Summer study abroad information sessions will be held this week for students interested in travelling this summer while earning credits towards their degree.
Students can earn credits toward their degree through institutions that are partnered with Brock, but that is not the only advantage that studying abroad offers. The program offers cultural experiences, promotes personal growth and helps students develop skills that will translate to their careers.
“In today’s job and career market it’s advantageous to have skills where you can understand different: point of views, belief systems, perspectives, problem solving methods to learning and ways of life especially when colleagues and clients you work with may be coming from different backgrounds,” said Dan Portanova, international mobility advisor. “A study abroad experience can definitely help open up someone’s eyes to a new way of living, especially for someone who has never travelled before.
At the information sessions, Portanova and the team at Brock International will discuss the requirements, the funding structure and themes of the programs available.
“If someone is interested in language courses then we give an overview of the types of programs we have for that. As well as the options for traditional summer schools that are more in the classroom and focused on academics versus the more experiential courses,” said Portanova.
According to Portanova a popular program location has been France with the French Language Program called the ORA. Students spend four weeks in France in August to learn French. They receive a full credit they can use as a language credit.
There is a new scholarship opportunity for Brock students as well who are interested in studying abroad.
“Brock secured two individual scholarships each valued at $500 U.S. for the specific programs offered through our UMAP program, which stands for University Mobility in Asia and the Pacific. There are a lot of different partnerships in South Korea, the Philippines, Malaysia and Taiwan. There are a variety of programs that are open to students for full credit. A student can participate in any of those programs and receive one of the scholarships,” said Portanova.
While OSAP can not be extended for these programs, tuition, according to Portanova, is discounted due to the partnerships Brock has secured. Students can also choose shorter programs which cost less due to the variety of program lengths. They can choose one week to one month depending on their budget, interests and goals.
Portanova took part in an exchange program in 2011 where he enjoyed the experience it offered him in his music degree.
“I participated in a full year exchange to the United States in North Carolina. It was definitely an experience for me. I am a music major so it was something a little bit different. A chance to experience new things like the marching band culture and the fraternity culture in the U.S. which is very different from life in Canada. And just to expand, that experience motivated me to want to pursue education and I ended up teaching abroad in the UK for a couple years. It was not something I considered while I was doing my undergrad, but it was kind of a springboard to new opportunities, to open up things that I never thought were available,” said Portanova.
If students are interested in new opportunities the Summer Study Abroad, Information Sessions will run January 21, 1:30 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. in MIWSFPA 207 at the Downtown Campus and Jan. 23 from 3:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. in the Sankey Chambers. They can also contact Portanova and colleges to meet to discuss their program options at Brock International.
Additionally, Brock International offers Culture Fest on certain Friday’s where students can learn about different cultures from international students as well as discuss options and ask questions at these events as well. These events can be found on ExperienceBU.
Students are encouraged to attend the session and visit brocku.ca/international/mobility/summer for further information.