Study abroad still popular among students
Published: Tuesday, September 18, 2012
Updated: Tuesday, September 18, 2012 00:09
People learn in different ways; some do best sitting at a desk, while others thrive in a more tangible learning environment. For many students each year, the term “field trip” takes on a whole new meaning as they travel across the world with the study abroad program at the University of Southern Mississippi.
The study abroad program at USM enables students to get out of the classroom and get a hands-on experience while simultaneously being in an educational environment.
“It was such a great experience and a wonderful opportunity that I know I couldn’t have experienced anywhere else,” said Rebekah Segraves, a junior marketing major who went to London over the summer to take six credit hours. “I didn’t know very many people that went, but spending a summer together really helps you get to know them while also learning the history of a wonderful place.”
To ensure that every student has options that they could enjoy, a variety of programs are offered.
One option is a short-term program, which lasts from one to five weeks and offers four to six hours of credit. Most of these programs are available during the summer, but some are also offered in the winter and during spring break. Another option is a semester program, which includes the Abbey and Granada programs. These offer 12 to 15 hours of credit over a period of three months in France and Spain, respectively. These programs are very similar to the exchange programs. However, in the exchange program a student may spend a semester or academic year at another university and earn school credit at USM. Other programs, such as affiliate programs and student teaching programs, are also available.
According to the USM website, assistant professor Kristy Halverson has spent a major part of her academic career studying biology. She said she was inspired by her several trips around the country to offer a study abroad course.
“I’ve been given the opportunity to take up to fourteen students with me to explore the Emerald Isle and learn firsthand about the local biodiversity and conservation efforts,” Halverson said.
Study abroad is not only a great learning experience but also gives students opportunities to be surrounded by another culture while learning. After all, the programs are centered on making students feel as though they belong. They do this by encouraging interaction with the students and locals.
To learn more about studying abroad, contact the International Center at 601-266-4344 or visit www.usm.edu/study-abroad.