Above: Megan Bruce (left) and Regan Ashford of Angelo State University’s study abroad program visit Plaza de Santa Teresa in Avila, Spain.
Brand X Pictures
Top: ASU student Gabriel Cedillo visits Stonehenge in England as part of his summer study abroad program.
Great Cities of Europe
About 30 students will travel to the great cities of Europe (Rome, Verona, Paris and London) May 29-June 29 to study the evolution of international business from early trade routes in China, Italy, France and Great Britain. Additionally, the program will explore the history of freedom and the Roman and Greek influence on the development of our constitution.
About 10 students will visit South Africa, Kenya and Uganda to study community, health care, agricultural, and educational development in an international setting. The 2012 program will be conducted during the first summer session, June 1-July 1.
About 25 students will travel to the Peoples Republic of China May 16-June 14 to study the visual art and culture of one of the world’s oldest, enduring, and rapidly developing modern day civilizations.
Costa Rica and Panama
About 20 students will visit Costa Rica and Panama June 4-July 5 to study tropical biology and biodiversity of one of the best available examples of tropical forest in Central America.
Fiji and New Zealand
Eight students will travel to Fiji and New Zealand June 7-June 30 to study the education system in a Third World country and a developed country.
France, Germany Belgium
Live for two weeks at the Château de Pourtalès in Strasbourg, France. Experience Europe through this visit to the Alsace region in France; Frankfurt, Paris, Trier and Antwerp.
Bulgaria, Greece Italy
About 30 students will visit Athens and Thessaloniki in Greece and Sofia in Bulgaria May 13-June 6 to study international management and logistics issues.
Eighteen students will visit Scotland and Turkey May 15-June 13 to study global economic issues with particular emphasis on emerging economies.
About 20 students will visit Avila, Spain, June 4-July 5, 2012 to develop their proficiency in Spanish, to acquire and develop academic writing, reading, speaking and listening skills, and to develop cultural interaction skills with Spanish native speakers. In addition to studying the Spanish language, lessons will include the study of the culture and society of Spain, with specific focus on Castilla, its social and political system, and its history.
Twenty students will visit South Korea in a student exchange program July 6-Aug. 6 with Dongguk University in Seoul and Gyeongju, Korea. The program will provide a concise but intensive cultural immersion experience with a comprehensive, hands-on, insider’s view of the major components of the criminal justice system in Korea.
About 30 students will travel to the Caribbean islands of the British Virgin Islands, Barbados, St. Kitts, Dominican Republic, St. Maarten, Antigua and, Dominica Jan. 3-15 to study international and entertainment management issues, focusing on relevant ways of doing business in today’s multicultural world.
SAN ANGELO, Texas —
At least 130 Angelo State University students participated in this past summer’s study abroad program, earning course credit while widening their horizons.
ASU students get a boost toward this opportunity, thanks to the university’s International Scholarship program. Introduced in 2008, it awards a scholarship covering 50 percent to 70 percent of the total cost to every student taking a study abroad trip, making the opportunity one many more students can experience. Study abroad courses can improve foreign language skills and cultural understanding.
To qualify for study abroad, students must have a 2.75 overall grade point average, have completed at least two full semesters of coursework at ASU and have accumulated at least 30 credit hours by the fall semester before their proposed summer trip.
Applications become available online in September and the deadline for applying for summer 2012 will be in October.
For more information, contact the Center for International Studies at 325-942-2083 or go online to angelo.edu/dept/cis/.
Here, three students, Regan Ashford, Gabriel Cedillo and Hector Romo, share their study abroad experiences from Summer 2011.
Time in Spain
By Regan Ashford
Before my arrival in Spain, I had several concerns about studying abroad.
I worried about how much it would cost, how difficult it would be learning Spanish in just one month, what living with a host family would be like, whether I would get along with the other students on the trip, how difficult dealing with airports and their security measures would be, safety outside of the United States, and as a nontraditional student, I worried about leaving my husband and two young daughters at home for so long.
But all of my fears were put to rest after only a short time in Spain.
My study abroad experience was incredible. I went from knowing very little Spanish to holding simple conversations with strangers, comprehending classes taught entirely in Spanish and reading exhibit information in some of the many remarkable museums and palaces we visited. I tried new foods (some delicious, some not as much), and I learned a great deal about the history and culture of an empire that has been in existence for thousands of years. I gained confidence in areas I did not expect, such as navigating Madrid’s transportation system, solving problems in a foreign language that I had only been studying a few months, and discovering new passions, such as the art of Diego Velasquez and the architecture of Toledo.
My fellow students and I worked hard in Spain, spending an average of five hours a day in classes. But we had plenty of time for fun. We spent afternoons playing “futbol” with new Spanish friends, exploring the city and its astonishing 11th century wall, talking to our families back home, window shopping, and tasting every flavor of ice cream at our favorite “heladería.”
Would I participate in another study abroad program at ASU? Absolutely; and I enthusiastically recommend the Spain program to anyone needing Spanish credit and looking for one of the best months of their life. Yes, my bank account is a bit emptier, but my life is forever changed and enriched because of my month in Spain. I not only gained knowledge of the Spanish language and culture, but I gained wonderful new friends from all over the world and a new perspective that has made me a more well-rounded person.
Taste of Europe
By Gabriel Cedillo
My study abroad experience was not only educational academically, but also culturally. The opportunity to interact with people with different perspectives, ideologies, and languages allowed for a better understanding of their culture. It is pretty amazing to have hourlong conversations with people while not being able to speak each other’s language. The opportunity to see the art and architecture that I had previously only seen in books also was pretty amazing.
I met quite a few Europeans traveling; almost all could speak a few different languages. I envy them and realized that I would like to learn another language in addition to English and Spanish. In this increasingly globalized world, many economic, political and cultural interactions span across geographic lines. It is important to develop a degree of cultural competence and awareness. This program definitely allowed me to explore ideas and perspectives that I had previously been ignorant of. It also allowed for a comparison and reflection on how we live our lives in the U.S.
We had the opportunity to travel independently, and I was fortunate to visit Stonehenge, Versailles and the St. Andrews Golf Course. One of my favorite memories was watching a lunar eclipse on the beach in Cannes. I realized that we were pretty fortunate to be able to travel and experience such things. The palace and gardens of Versailles were incredibly opulent and one of the most amazing sights. London and Paris were both great cites to explore and the public transportation system is really efficient and affordable.
I particularly enjoyed the food and beverages of Europe. Being out in West Texas makes it often difficult to experience the different flavors of Europe. I took full advantage of the opportunity to try the local cuisine and beverages. I had my fill of fish and chips, crepes, scotch, falafels and cask ales.
The opportunity to study abroad taught me quite a bit. We often have blinders on and do not consider our actions or implication on a global scale. It has become increasingly important to understand other cultures and one’s own from an outside perspective. Studying abroad provided me not only greater cultural competence, but also a greater desire and curiosity in embracing challenges and understanding new perspectives. This study abroad trip, most importantly, has increased my desire to travel and to continue exploring new cultures and ideas.
By Hector Romo
Being a first-generation student and coming from a family of low income, I never even imagined that it would be possible for me to go anywhere outside the United States — at least not without a real job. While in college, I heard stories from several students who had gone on study abroad trips and how relatively inexpensive it was, in addition to how much of a life-changing experience they had gone through. I always smiled when I heard them, but never really thought it would be for me. Plus most of the trips were about history or business, and I none of these applied to my major.
When I heard about the biology program in the United Kingdom, France and Germany, it immediately grabbed my attention. One of the classes would count toward my major, so the first requirement was met. But funding was still an issue. As interested as I was, I started to dig deeper and find out more about the program. Voilà! Students could apply for an International Studies scholarship that would cover some of the expenses.
July rolled around, we boarded the plane in Mathis Field, and I just couldn’t believe it: We were bound for Europe. Our first stop was the capital of the United Kingdom where I had the chance to visit Charles Darwin’s house, his dorm room in Cambridge, and his tomb (and Isaac Newton’s) in Westminster Abbey. After three days of being in London, it hadn’t really “kicked in,” the fact that I was there, until I heard the chimes of Big Ben. I also had the exceptional chance to see the end of the Harry Potter saga while I was there.
The adventure in London ended, just to let a new one begin. There was so much to do in Paris, and so little time to do it. I went to the top of the Eiffel Tower, had Mass in Notre Dame Cathedral, took a boat tour on the Seine River, and saw the Arch of Triumph. The French Odyssey ended and the German commenced in the small town of Eichstätt — it was a nice break from the big cities. Some of the world’s best preserved fossils have emerged here, so we went on a fossil-hunting trip. This made us all appreciate the hard work done by the paleontologists.
We concluded our European quest in Berlin, which contrasted with the other two big cities in the sense that this was much more modern. Here, I learned that I knew more German than I thought. Sometimes I found myself asking for my meals fully in German.
In France is where I learned the most important lesson. My parents don’t speak English and live here. I didn’t speak French and was there. I felt impotent when I was deprived of doing something because I didn’t speak the language.
As a final point, I visited several historically and scientifically important museums during our trip, such as the British Museum of Natural History and Kew Gardens in London; the Grand Gallery of Evolution and Louvre Museum in Paris; and Naturkunde and Jura Museums in Germany, just to name a few.
Truly, the opportunity given to us to personally see these specimens and experience the conditions in which great scientific discoveries have been made was remarkable. These study abroad programs are life-changing experiences that I recommend without reservations to any student at Angelo State, or any other college. Go for it. It’s worth it!