Get Up, Get Out, and Study Abroad

In a small town like Shepherdstown, becoming complacent in your understanding of the world is an easy thing to do. I wake up, go to class, eat lunch, go back to class, and go back home. When I need coffee, I take a two-minute walk to Lost Dog, buy myself coffee, and return to the good ol’ campus grind, you could say.  
In other words, I, like many other Shepherd students, get wrapped up in the monotony of college life at a small institution. With such a routine, it is not uncommon to close off your peripheral vision from the outside world.  
Believe it or not, there are a slew of solutions available for lessening the dullness of small-town life, but I can only think of one solution that broadens your horizon, provides you with lifelong memories, and supplies you with academic credit. This convenient little opportunity is known as the study abroad experience.  
Shepherd University’s study abroad program, headed by Director Ann Henriksson and Project Coordinator Beth Cauvel, has placed Shepherd students in over 72 countries and on all continents besides Antarctica.
Not only do students have essentially six continents to study in, but the program also allows students to apply to study abroad programs ranging anywhere from a week to a full academic year.  
According to Study Abroad Project Coordinator Beth Cauvel, the program is very lenient about prerequisites and offers a variety of options for aspiring study abroad students.  
“Firstly, we are fully aware of the fact that not all students who want to apply for programs have fluency in that specific language. You don’t have to be fluent in Italian to travel to Milan. We urge students in this position to take advantage of the language classes being offered in the country they decide to visit,” Cauvel said.
In addition to having an open door policy for students lacking in language fluency, Cauvel also emphasized the multiplicity of the programs offered.
“In addition to the more traditional programs that are offered at Shepherd, the Study Abroad Office also offers affiliate programs that range from a summer in one location to an academic year that is split between two locations. We do our very best to place you in a country that will afford you with the experience that you want for the cost that you want,” Cauvel said.
If studying abroad is beginning to sound appealing to you, you are probably curious as to how you can apply for a placement similar to the ones mentioned above. Overall, the process is fairly easy and includes ample assistance from Henriksson and Cauvel.
The study abroad application process consists of exploring the study abroad Web site at, going to the Study Abroad Office in the Scarborough Library to ask questions, finding a program that suits you properly, being approved by Shepherd, being admitted to the program, attending the pre-departure paperwork session, having a great trip, and facilitating your transcript when you return.  
Also, if you are leery of the financial aspect of the trip, federal aid is a feasible option for students.  
According to Cauvel, study abroad is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity that every student should experience.  
“This is the best way to learn about the world and about yourself. The experience will broaden your cultural perspective and will teach you more about yourself,” she said.
Because study abroad applicants are admitted to programs on a rolling basis, it is vital for students to apply early and to have an idea of the type of culture they want to experience in mind. Not only does studying abroad broaden your appreciation of the world, but the experience is also a major résumé-builder. Creating life experiences that are exclusively yours is intrinsic for the state of your quality of life, and doing so in other worlds only adds to experience. Get on the computer, check out the Web site, and start planning your getaway before it is too late.  

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