AUBURN UNIVERSITY – While summer is a time for college students to start a new internship, relax by a pool or visit home, for many Auburn University students the summer semester brings with it the opportunity to travel the world – all while earning class credit.
Auburn Abroad, the university’s study abroad program, allows more than 1,000 students to study around the world each year from every area of study.
This summer, 585 Auburn students are participating in study abroad programs. Another 45 students are involved in non-credit international programs for volunteer work or an independent program.
Studying abroad during the summer gives students the special opportunity to choose among many different locations, according to Auburn Abroad Coordinator Korbin Dimmick.
“Typically the most common locations for Auburn students are countries in Western Europe including the United Kingdom, Spain, Italy and France,” Dimmick said. “However, what is unique about the summer is the number of faculty-led programs that take place in new and nontraditional locations including Jordan, Fiji, Southern Africa and Chile.”
In a faculty-led program, an Auburn professor conducts an academic program abroad for a group of students. While abroad, students are also given the opportunity to explore their locations through different excursions throughout their cities and countries.
While making the decision to study abroad, some students have misconceptions and concerns.
“The most common misconceptions that we get from students are ‘I don’t have time to study abroad’ or ‘I can’t study abroad because my major is too strict or difficult,'” Auburn Abroad Coordinator Abbie Naglosky said. “Auburn faculty and departments are developing an increasing number of study abroad programs for specific areas of study and for a variety of time frames.”
Study abroad programs can range from a week during spring break to a full academic year.
“For most areas of study, there is an international program in a student’s field, or at least they would be able to find some courses that comprise their degree within a study abroad program,” Naglosky said. “All courses are pre-approved so students shouldn’t be put behind in their graduation track.”
For most students, studying abroad is an invaluable experience.
Taylor Hettinger, a senior in public relations, is spending her summer studying in London. She says she is gaining a deep respect for different cultures and their histories.
“I think this experience will provide me with a different edge, perspective and knowledge to bring to the table in the States for future employers,” Hettinger said. “I think I will gain an appreciation for not only this country, but America as well.
Students can learn more about the different programs by attending weekly orientation sessions held each Thursday at 3 p.m. and Friday at 11 a.m. at 243 Foy Hall. Study abroad fairs are also held in September and February in the Haley Center.
A video segment and photographs are available in the featured story on the Auburn University website at http://www.auburn.edu/communications_marketing/featured_story/summer_abroad.html.
(Written by Lindsay Miles.)