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Study Abroad extends available locations to Latin America

Sabrina Salvatore

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Students who are considering studying abroad now have a few more location options, including Argentina, Chile and Ecuador.

These added destinations have been made available by a program created this semester. The program, which features Latin American locations, will debut during International Education Week, according to Jennifer Gruber, coordinator of the Study Abroad and International Exchange program.

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Jennifer Gruber, coordinator of the Study Abroad and International Exchange program, emphasizes the new Latin American location additions to the program. Photo credit: Sabrina Salvatore

Every year, universities across the United States celebrate different cultures and international exchange programs during the weeklong event. The Office of International Education will be hosting a celebration at Chico State from Nov. 16-20.

“We have never had programs in these locations before,” Gruber said. “These are brand-new program sites.”

Students who participate in a Study Abroad program receive academic credit and typically take 12 to 18 units during a semester program. If students enroll in a summer program or during winter intersession, they usually take fewer units, Gruber said.

Some of these programs also offer internship opportunities students can take advantage of to earn up to three academic units with local businesses, non-profit organizations or in classrooms, she said.

Study Abroad offers more than 100 different sites in 34 countries around the world and welcomes all majors, Gruber said.

During IEW, there will be various events occurring each day to help educate students on the benefits of studying abroad.

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On Nov. 17, Gruber and the International Forum, a student panel presentation, will share study abroad experiences, she said.

“International students and Study Abroad alumni talk about their funny travel stories and cultural mishaps while traveling overseas, which is a lot of fun,” Gruber said.

Jessica Vazquez, senior agricultural business major, studied abroad in Spain from 2013-2014. It was one of the best decisions she has ever made while in college, she said.

“It expanded my views of our world, opened my mind to other cultures and revealed a lot of information about myself throughout the experience,” Vazquez said. “It has opened so many doors for me, and I cannot wait to see where in the world I will go next.”

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Jessica Vazquez, senior agricultural business major, said studying abroad was one of the best decisions that she ever made. Photo courtesy of Jessica Vasquez.

Vazquez recommends students take advantage of the Study Abroad program. Being able to do what she did was a life-changing experience, she said.

IEW was initially introduced to campuses in 2000 by the U.S. Department of State and the U.S. Department of Education. As of today, more than 100 countries worldwide participate in the weeklong event.

There are approximately 750 international students currently enrolled at Chico State for language or academic study and are staying either for the semester, school year or to receive academic degrees, Gruber said.

“Study Abroad and International Exchange sent more than 400 students overseas during the last academic year to the 34 available countries around the world,” Gruber said. “We’re also receiving international students on exchange every semester.”

The Office of International Education also helps international students who come to Chico State adjust to the community by assisting them with finding housing on or off campus, Gruber said. They also help students adapt to the American education system and provide visa advising and general support.

Latin America will be highlighted during IEW because of the program’s new locations in these areas, Gruber said. Information about studying abroad in general will also be available.

“We will be focusing on Latin America but IEW is really for celebrating cultural exchange and international education around the world,” Gruber said.

Sabrina Salvatore can be reached at [email protected] or @ssalvatore09 on Twitter.

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Study Abroad extends available locations to Latin America