The Student News Site of Averett University

The Chanticleer

The Student News Site of Averett University

The Chanticleer

The Student News Site of Averett University

The Chanticleer

Explore the World Through Averett’s Study Abroad Program

Explore the World Through Averetts Study Abroad Program

Averett University offers its students many opportunities to learn new things everyday. Some students may not realize that they can learn new things while also being in a different country. This is all possible through Averett’s study abroad program.

“My office oversees all credit bearing programs and it’s for students who are going abroad to study. I facilitate every step of the process from initial advising to guidance on credit transfer and financial aid. I also advise students on programming that is a good fit for them,” Catherine Clark, associate professor of French and English and director of study abroad, said. 

When it comes to studying abroad, students have an array of options when it comes to how long they want their trip to be. 

“We do everything from short-term, summer which can be anything from three to 12 weeks, and fall and spring semesters. I also facilitate faculty-led classes where Averett faculty members run a travel class,” Clark said. 

Students are also provided with a variety of countries they can visit. 

“Students can travel to the standard places like Great Britain, Spain, France, Italy, Germany, Austria, and the Netherlands,” Clark said. “Students can also travel to places people may have not thought about like Morocco, Costa Rica, Japan, South Korea, Vietnam, Thailand, South Africa, Argentina, and Australia.”

Erin Hayes in London, England.

Since study abroad is credit-bearing, students receive their education while on their trip. 

“You have content classes that are in English, but then you can also take introductory language classes that can help you navigate where you are living,” Clark said. “No matter what, there is no break in your studies. The classes you take while studying abroad transfer over to match your classes here at Averett.” 

Studying abroad can also be quite expensive for most students, but there are many different ways that students can receive help covering the costs. 

“Whatever your financial aid package is can be used for the program. When and where you go can make that vary. We also have a few small scholarships that are Averett scholarships,” Clark said. “If you are looking for a long summer or semester, there are definitely national scholarships. There are some prestigious scholarships for Pell Grant recipients as well. Usually the partners you are applying with have their own grants as well.” 

The study abroad office is also able to help find programs that are accommodating and inclusive to all students. 

“We have some programs that are very open and accommodating for members of the LGBTQ community and anyone with disabilities. We also have programs that are specifically for student athletes. Students can continue to train on site, they get service learning experience, and they are with other student athletes,” Clark said. 

Not only is studying abroad a great opportunity to experience the world, it is also very career-building. 

“Study abroad is for any major and any discipline across the board. It is also a huge resume booster. It demonstrates a wide range of skills employers are looking for,” Clark said. “It shows independence, cultural literacy, how you can work with diverse populations, resilience, organization, and language skills.”

Erin Hayes and Madison Masoudpour are two current students that have taken advantage of Averett’s study abroad program. Hayes is a junior majoring in aviation business and minoring in musical theatre who traveled to London, England over the summer. Masoudpour is a sophomore majoring in sports medicine and she is currently studying in Alicante, Spain. 

Madison Masoudpour in Spain.

I chose London because that was somewhere I had always wanted to go and explore. The country’s history, the theatre presence, and the familial ties were all interesting to me. There is also a large aviation industry in London and I saw this as an opportunity to explore if I could see myself living there,” Hayes said. 

When going to a new country and being surrounded by a new culture, some students can face a few challenges initially. On the other hand, some students can feel right at home. 

I actually got comfortable here very quickly and quickly picked up on some of the culture as well as some of the local customs and it has all felt very normal,” Masoudpour said. “Sometimes it still doesn’t feel like I am 16 hours from home even though it is all so different.” 

Studying abroad isn’t just about studying. It’s also about making memories that will stay with you forever. 

One of my favorite experiences in England was hiking on the Seven Sisters Cliffs with my friends. We went after class one day and spent the whole afternoon up on the cliffs. I still vividly remember dancing and staring out into the water. It was so windy, but so worth it,” Hayes said. 

Students also get the chance to make long lasting friendships while studying abroad. 

I have met so many amazing people both international and local students. Having these relationships have opened more doors to even more cultures and future travel plans and especially experiencing more of the local culture, which I have loved,” Masoudpour said. 

Being in one country does not mean that you don’t have the chance to experience more places while studying abroad. 

“I have had the opportunity to travel a lot and have more plans to continue both within Spain and to other countries. Two of my favorites so far have been Barcelona, Spain and Lisbon, Portugal. Both have been places on my list to travel for a long time,” Masoudpour said. 

While nerves may be present and adapting to new cultures can be challenging, students have found that studying abroad is an experience that is worth it. 

I gained a level of independence that I do not think I could have replicated anywhere else. I gained friendships and connections that I will cherish for a lifetime,” Hayes said. “I think that everyone should study abroad if they have the facility to. It opened my mind even further to the world around me and showed me that I am capable of building something from the ground up without familial connections.”

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About the Contributor
Rebecca Briones
Rebecca is a sophomore commuter student who is majoring in communications. She enjoys writing, reading, listening to music, and spending time with her friends and family. She hopes to one day be a music journalist or be a broadcaster for NASCAR.