Study abroad adviser talks advantages to organization

Published 2011-08-29T19:31:00Z”/>


Campus Spotlight

Jennifer Gruber, Chico State study abroad adviser and alumna, had a passion for international travel since spending six months in Italy during her own college years. As the study abroad adviser, she helps students choose where to take their time abroad. Gruber is responsible for answering any questions students have, assisting with pre-departure orientation and attending on-campus programs put on by the office.

The Orion: When did you begin working with the study abroad program at Chico State?

Gruber: I’ve worked here for almost two years. I started as an administrative coordinator and recently became the study abroad adviser.

The Orion: How would you help someone deciding where to spend his or her

time abroad?

Gruber: The first step is to attend one of our information sessions, twice a week on Wednesdays and Fridays, where students get a broad overview of our programs – the differences between them, the prerequisites and what they need to do. After that, they need to meet with a region-specific adviser, a student who has gone to that location or the study abroad coordinator. This will help them narrow down their options and interests.

The Orion: What year is best to go abroad?

Gruber: The majority go abroad their junior year; however, we have students go abroad their sophomore or senior year too. Junior year is just generally the most flexible with major requirements.

The Orion: What do you suggest for people worried about going abroad in terms of graduating on time?

Gruber: We’ve done studies in the past, and the majority of students have told us that they went on after studying abroad to graduating on time. I double majored, went abroad and graduated in four years. The biggest thing to do is plan ahead.

The Orion: Can seniors go abroad the summer after graduation?

Gruber: Yes, taking elective classes just for units or their upper division theme. That’s a great thing to do abroad.

The Orion: Why study abroad?

Gruber: To have a change of pace, a world outside of Chico, to meet other types of people, more independence and more perspective of their major, minor or theme. To just see the world and travel while getting university credit and especially because after graduation, there isn’t a lot of opportunities to live abroad and travel.

-Compiled by Stephanie Geske


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