Many students are unaware that the Study Abroad Office at FDU offers more than just a semester abroad at Wroxton. In the past, students have visited various destinations, including Brazil, Argentina, Australia, Ireland and South Africa, according to the FDU Web site.
Brian Swanzey, director of Wroxton and Study Abroad, said his office has organized a few programs that will be available this summer and during the fall.
As usual, courses are being offered at Wroxton this summer. According to the FDU Web site, classes start June 8 and run through July 18, with five different courses being offered in areas ranging from communication and literature to criminal justice. Swanzey said there is also a course being offered by Professor Ken Sammond called “Invading England.”
Students who have attended Wroxton tend to agree that it was a high point of their college years.
Senior Gina Chiarella, who attended Wroxton last spring, said studying in England was perfect for getting abroad and experiencing something entirely new.
“I have always wanted to travel and being that FDU offered the Wroxton program, I jumped at the opportunity. My uncle also attended FDU and traveled to Wroxton and told me I would be missing out if I did not experience it,” she said.
Junior Brandon Battersby, who also studied in Wroxton last spring, said that although it was an amazing experience, he would prefer immersing himself in an entirely different culture. “I would absolutely go abroad again. If it’s worlds different than Wroxton and affordable,” he said. “I loved Wroxton but I would much rather spend the money tackling a new culture.”
If England is not your thing, there is a list of courses in other countries that are up for grabs. The Department of Literature, Language, Writing and Philosophy has a few faculty-led courses being offered this summer and in the fall and spring semesters. Professor Laureano Corces, the director of modern languages, explained that most courses that include a study-abroad portion are broken up into on-campus study and a sort of “field work,” which takes place in a specific country.
“This format allows students who work part-time jobs, or have other obligations, to still be able to include study abroad,” he said.
According to Corces, Professor Gloria Pastorino will lead a program in Alassio, Italy. The FDU Web site mentions a summer trip to Greece and the Greek Islands for the course “Leading Culturally Diverse Workplaces.”
During the fall, Corces explained that there are a few courses planned, including “Latin American Culture and Civilization,” which will have a study-abroad component in Peru. There are also plans to have the “Spanish Culture and Civilization” class held in Spain in the spring.
“Experiential learning in Spain in the past has included visits to Madrid, Barcelona, Seville, Cordoba, among other cities. In general, the cultural excursion includes three different Spanish regions,” Corces said.
According to Swanzey, two courses will be offered in Paris, led by Professor Elliot Hoffman, with one concentrating on production and the other concentrating on web design. Two courses will also be held in Vancouver at the end of the summer. In January, a trip to Costa Rica will be led by Professor Dan Twomey.
Those who have attended Wroxton generally agree that students should take advantage of all the different programs that are being offered.
“Traveling is such a great experience and life-changing event,” Chiarella said.
Besides the number of courses available in the upcoming semesters, FDU also has a number of partnerships with universities in Spain and Germany. Another partnership in India is in the works.
FDU having partnerships with other universities basically means that students will continue as “normal FDU students,” as Swanzey puts it. They will pay the same tuition and continue to receive scholarships and other aid.
Students have a range of time that they can study abroad; they do not have to commit to an entire semester. Swanzey said the short-term faculty-led programs are some of the most popular among students. He said it is understandable that a 15-week program “scares” students, as being away from home and the financial aspect of staying abroad for a long time can put a major strain on them.
“Students can spend up to $3,000 to $5,000 in spending money alone during a semester abroad, compared to a couple hundred for a short-term trip,” Swanzey said.
There are some major advantages to studying abroad.
“Students have the opportunity to experience the foreign cultures first hand. They eat the foods, meet the local populations, visit the major sites, and in general get fully immersed rather quickly,” Corces said.
Chiarella said that studying at Wroxton for a semester helped her live a new culture in a hands-on way. “I adapted to the style of teaching, which is very different from that of FDU. I gained a more personal relationship with my professors, as each class had so few students in them. I gained the knowledge and awareness of cultures other than my own.”
Swanzey said the greatest experience of studying abroad is the fact that students are out of their comfort zone, fully immersing themselves in another culture.
“Courses of culture and civilizations bring to life readings, as it is a hands-on experience,” Corces said. “The entire nation becomes an extended classroom.”
Corces recommends students wait at least until their sophomore year to study abroad, since freshmen generally have too much on their plates.
Students interested in studying abroad should sit down with their advisor to plan their course loads accordingly.
Although a lot of planning is necessary, and the appropriate funds are needed, students who have studied abroad highly recommend the experience to their peers.
“I would study abroad in a heartbeat if I had the chance again,” Chiarella said. “It was the best experience of my life so far.”
Battersby encourages students to take the leap. “Go abroad. Get lost. Get found,” he said. “Studying abroad is simply a life-altering experience that you can’t miss in your college career.”