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October 13, 1986 - Image 28

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1986-10-13

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Suffering from classroom claustropho-
bia? Imagine being able to step outside
that classroom to find that you have
just cruised into Hong Kong, Sri Lanka
or Egypt. A floating university is just one of the
hundreds of opportunities for students wishing
to escape their ivory towers.
From historic universities to internships to sci-
ence projects, there is a world of adventure open
to students ready for a change. Everyone has
done study projects for class, but about one that
takes you to the far corners of the world?
One way to escape classroom claustrophobia
is to move yourself to a campus in a foreign land.
For many years, junior-year-abroad programs at
historic universities like Oxford, Manchester and
the Sorbonne have been popular ways to experi-
ence the world and continue your studies at the
same time. Many credits are transferable, and
most students love the experience.
If you really want to get out of the classroom,
consider programs like the University of Pitts-
burgh's unique Semester at Sea. Twice each
year between 400 and 500 undergraduates pay
about $9000 each to sail on the SS Universe, a
floating campus. Ports include Japan, Korea, Tai-
wan, Hong Kong, Sri Lanka, India, Egypt, Turkey
and Greece. If the whopping fees of programs
like Semester at Sea leave you gasping, there are
other ways to get out of the classroom with mini-
mal expense.
One popular program (organized through the
Council for International Educational Exchange,
CIEE) is sponsored by the Japanese Ministry of
Education. Each year they invite English speak-
ers with bachelor's degrees to work for one year
in the Japanese educational system. Knowledge
of Japanese is an asset but not a prerequisite.
Transportation and salary are provided.
Most employment abroad opportunities
aren't nearly so romantic nor lucrative. Waitress-
ing or cleaning house aren't glamorous jobs, but
they do provide a chance to see a foreign coun-
try without breaking your budget. However, if
working abroad is your objective, be prepared to

be flexible and to accept lifestyles and attitudes
very different from your own.
Judy Gerber, a 21-year-old veterinary student,
went to Scotland last summer to seek work. "I
spent a week and a half going on calls," she
chuckled, "'but no one would hire me because I
was a girl. At first it really burned me up. I said,
'I've done all this work. I've got a resume!' And
they'd just pat me on the back and say 'Mrs. Han
up the road needs a babysitter'." Gerber ended
up waitressing in a hotel. Was it worth it? "Defi-
nitely, I wasn't disappointed at all."
Work, study or travel abroad can be exciting
adventures, but that's not their only attraction.
These experiences can also be serious prepara-
tion for future careers. A year ago Audrey, a 21-
year-old student from Brookville, N.Y. spent her
Christmas in Hawaii teaching dolphins to com-
municate. She hopes to pursue a career working
with animals when she graduates. "The big
thing for me was actually being able to touch the
dolphins and communicate. I was able to get
into the tank with them. It's the most incredible
feeling. I learned to take care of them, feed
them, to tell if they were angry or happy .. .
there are so many sides to research that I never
considered until I was actually doing it."
Heather, a 21-year-old student from UC Santa
Cruz is preparing for her second internship in In-
dia. During her first visit she spent five months
travelling; this time she'll earn credit by working
for a women's magazine in New Delhi.
Internships or projects that give you an oppor-
tunity to test out your prospective career are just
one example of the wide range of out-of-the-
classroom experiences you can choose from.
Another program, Earthwatch, offers an op-
portunity to spend a few weeks actually partici-
pating in scientific research. They act as a clear-
inghouse, matching volunteers to scientific
expeditions that need assistance.
Earthwatch arranges for 400 teams of volun-
teers to assist university professors with their
fieldwork in 38 different countries. Fees for
Earthwatch, ranging from $500 to $2000, are


contributions towards the support of the pro-
jects. Some scholarships are available.
Earthwatch programs include such opportuni-
ties as investigating traditional medicines in In-
dia, exploring a shipwreck off the coast of Aus-
tralia or studying the life of early man in Africa.
Before you start packing your knapsack, how-
ever, consider that foreign travel can be as ex-
pensive as it is exciting. Costs start at $2000 for
a summer study program and can go as high as
$20,000 for a year at a foreign university. Yet,
there are few financial aid opportunities for un-
dergraduate students. However, if you've decid-
ed that, despite the costs, fluency in Sanskrit is a
must, you should pay a visit to your college's
Study Abroad Office. The counselors there not
only can tell you about the opportunities avail-
able, but can also help you figure out how and if
study abroad fits into your long-term goals.
Don't forget your friendly academic advisor,
who can tell you how your year in Manchuria will
affect graduation requirements. Before you set
sail, make sure this advisor gives you a written
document from your college confirming that
credit will be awarded.
It pays to check out credit transfers ahead of
time. According to Clayton A. Hubbs, a study-
abroad counselor at Hampshire College, Mass.,
"There are lots of programs that say credits are
transferable. You should be leary of that as soon
as you see it because it's misleading. It's the
home institution that determines credit."
Also, check out the reputation of the program

you're considering. In the past, hundreds of stu-
dents have signed up for programs that
"seemed okay'' only to have the sponsoring or-
ganization go out of business halfway through
the school term.
Hubbs recommends that students begin plan-
ning early. As he points out, "long range plan-
ning is not paid enough attention to. . . a year is
a reasonable lead to begin looking at the options.
If it's at all possible, students should plan to take
a year abroad, not just a semester . . . It does
take time to adjust to a new environment."
There are other problems that a good study-
abroad counselor can help you avoid. "Not to be
recommended is a program where you will be
completely surrounded by other American stu-
dents," warns Hubbs. As one student described
her disappointing experience, "I didn't get a
chance to spend as much time with British stu-
dents as I would have liked or expected. First,
our residence halls were just for program stu-
dents-all Americans. Second, it was a com-
muter school. There was no campus, and a
campus would have been much more conducive
to meeting British students and forming more
solid relationships with them."
Careful planning is the key to success in study
or travel abroad. Check out the organizations
and publications listed below before finalizing
your plans to be sure that your experience
abroad will be an adventure you'll want to re-
member. Who knows? A whole new world may
open up to you!

CIEE (Council on International Educational
Exchange), 205 East 42nd Street, New York,
New York, 10017.
The CIEE is a clearinghouse for information
and assistance for students planning work or
study abroad. It operates a scholarship fund to
assist students studying in developing nations.
It also issues the invaluable International Stu-
dent I D. Card. This card is the only international-
ly recognized proof of your student status. It is
the passport to a multitude of discounts and ser-
vices around the world. Don't leave home with-
out it!
You'll find further details on CIEE's services in
their catalogue which is available for $1.
IE (institute of International Education),
809 United Nations Plaza, New York, New York,
If you are particularly interested in study
abroad, the lIE speciarists in this area can be
quite helpful. Also an excellent clearinghouse for
information and programs.
National Association for Foreign Student
Affairs, 1860 19th Street, NW, Washington,-
DC, 20009.
A free pamphlet is available by writing c/o the
Publications Order Desk.
Earthwatch, Box 127N, Belmont, Massachu-
setts, 02178. Annual membership is $25.
From CIEE:
Work, Study, Travel Abroad: The Whole
World Handbook, $7.95.
Many free pamphlets, including Basic Facts on
Foreign Study, and A Guide to Educational Pro-

grams in the Third World.
When ordering books from ClEE, write to them
c/o Publications Dept. and include $2.50 for
postage and handling.
From lE:
U.S. College-Sponsored Programs Abroad,
Vacation Study Abroad, $15.95
Study in the United Kingdom, $9.95.
Basic Facts on Foreign Study
Financial Resources for International
Study: A Selected Bibliography
Fulbright and Other Grants for Graduate
Study Abroad.
Transitions Abroad-A Guide to International
Study, Work and Travel is a quarterly publication
to help students study abroad. Subjects include
scholarships, volunteer work and independent
budget travel. You can subscribe or check for it
in your college library. Subscriptions are $9.50
per year, $17 for 2 years. Write P.O. Box 344,
Amherst, Massachusetts, 01004
The Experienced Hand-A Student Manual
for Making the Most of an Internship, $6.95 (in-
cludes postage), Carroll Press, P.O. Box 8113,
Cranston, Rhode Island, 02920. If you want to
combine work experience and travel with earn-
ing credit, this book from the National Society for
Internships and Experiencial Education helps
sort out the basics.
Let's Go Guides, Harvard Student Agencies.
Let's Go: Europe, $10.95. Other individual
countries, $9.95
Many of these publications may be available in
your college library.


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