Find your next adventure with study abroad programs

By Nathan Cobb

Staff Writer

As fall starts and the memories of summer begin to settle, students find themselves mentally preparing for all the deadlines, tests and curriculum this semester has to offer. The infamous syllabus week has come to a close, and teachers are eager to share knowledge with their classes.

But for a select few, this semester holds much more.

Year round, UWF gives the option, to students with a minimum 2.5 GPA, 24 credit hours and at least one semester at the university, of studying abroad and immersing themselves in a completely different culture. Courses are available in cities in France, Germany, Japan and many more countries with different ranges of difficulty in the languages spoken.

“Across the Programs, one of the things we evaluate is the student’s readiness for the academic experience,” said the UWF Abroad coordinator, Karen Smith. “Typically the courses that students enroll in are conducted in English, but some of our students are already bilingual. So, say they were studying in Spain, it wouldn’t be a problem for them to take classes in English along with ones in Spanish.”

She explained that while most students choose spring to travel overseas, other courses are available to give students the best experience possible. Programs can range from a week in the summer to the full academic year.

Tuition is even paid to UWF the same as someone studying on campus, and financial aid and Bright Futures are also accepted.

The opportunity seems almost too good to pass up, and students who have returned from the program are eager to go back to their visited country.

“China is an amazing place to study abroad,” said Ruby Gregory, senior biology major. “Each city is unique in culture, and it is extremely easy to travel because of the superb public transportation. I studied the Chinese language at Taiyuan University in northern China for three months and was able to visit 11 different cities while there.”

The Catalyst program, which last about five weeks, is also open to students who do not want to spend an entire semester abroad but are still interested in the experience.

“I took a history class along with an international relations and communication course that studied the Syrian, Afghan and African refugee crisis in Berlin and Prague,” said UWF junior Jordan Pearson. We visited London, Paris, Berlin and Prague, and I even traveled to Sweden. I encourage everyone to get out and travel, whether is for a holiday or the study abroad program.”