Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Study abroad offers opportunities

The Texas A&M Study Abroad Program provides Aggies with traveling opportunities and experiences that can affect a student's education and career choices. Many students want to get involved in studying abroad, but they do not always have the information or means to do so.With the pending deadlines for admission to the program, students and advisers look forward to the opportunities to come and reflect on memories from previous trips.Olga Catalena, a senior study abroad adviser meets with students before they apply for the program. Catalena sees all the preparation in applying to study abroad.We have in depth discussions about the program. The faculty reviews the application and if the professor accepts, the office does soon after. The student gets 10 days to think over the offer and confirm their decision,she said.There are three different kinds of study abroad programs that students can get involved at A&M.

There are faculty lead programs, where most students are involved because credits can be transferred and is good for their major, the reciprocal exchange program in which you would need to know the language and the transfer credit program that is best for students that are mature or have traveled a lot,she said.Brandi Pustka, a senior and early childhood education major, visited Costa Rica and Nicaragua summer 2010, with the education department.We learned Spanish and visited schools to observe and teach the students,Pustka said.Traveling to Costa Rica and Nicaragua greatly affected Pustka's education and memories of college. Experiences out of the country and in new working environments often draw attention to the cultural differences within similar career choices.Students can also get a lot of exposure while studying in such universities and different course Global Production Engineering,Master of Architecture and Intelligent Software Systems.

Being a teacher comes with many tasks and one of those is to make sure every student feels comfortable in their own skin," Pustka said.Madeline Mignano, also an early education major, taught in a foreign country through her involvement with the study abroad program as well.I went to Texas A&M's Study Abroad website to see where would be the best place for me and my studies,Mignano said.Many students who have traveled with the study abroad program urge other Aggies to take interest and get involved.

It really was the experience of a lifetime. I made such great friends, got to experience a totally different culture and take part in some insane adventures,Mignano said.Studying abroad was definitely one of the highlights of my college career. I traveled to another country knowing I was safe and well-off being with Texas A&M. I made friends that will always be special,Pustka said.
Students should not hesitate to get information or get involved as they might miss the chance of a lifetime.Studying abroad can broaden your thinking and understanding,Catalena said.It can make you a well rounded person.

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