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Study abroad still provides look at culture

Jan. 18, 2001

By ERICA SANDS

Reporter

When it comes to studying in a foreign country, Baylor offers students a wide variety of opportunities.

Each semester, hundreds of students embark on overseas journeys designed to immerse them in foreign cultures for short periods of time. Students can choose from more than 20 different programs that last from several weeks to an entire semester.

Destinations include England, France, Italy, Belize, Germany, Hong Kong, and East Africa, as well as several other European, Asian and African countries. All students are eligible, though many programs have language requirements that students must meet.

'Studying abroad is a great way for students to learn and enhance their knowledge of other cultures,' said Dr. William Mitchell, director of the Center for International Education. 'Classes are conducted at some of the world's most renowned schools, and there are plenty of opportunities for travel built into the curriculum.'

Baylor professors accompany group study abroad programs and instruction comes from both the professors and the host institutions. Students may apply for financial aid at these institutions in the same way they do at Baylor, and there are some additional awards for foreign studies.

Brook Carreker, a Dallas junior, participated in the Baylor in Paris program this past summer. Carreker, a Marketing/International Business major, plans to work overseas and said she wanted the study-abroad experience to better understand the language and culture in France.

'The easiest way to learn a language is to immerse yourself in the culture and lifestyle on a daily basis,' Carreker said. 'You are exposed to so much more when you are in a foreign country, and you are forced to learn out of necessity.'

In terms of filling quotas, the Baylor in Great Britain program is a favorite among students. According to Dr. Bill Pitts of the Religion Department, about 30 percent of students at Baylor who travel abroad go on this particular trip. In the last three years, the program has filled up in about four hours. This fall, students camped out on campus the night before sign-ups for a spot in the program.

'London tends to be a favorite for students who are traveling to Europe for the first time because it is cheaper and the language barrier is lower,' Pitts said. 'There is nothing in Texas that can compare to a British museum.'

Students who are interested in study abroad opportunities are urged to contact the Center for International Education and speak to someone in International Programs to get information for any program.

As a final bit of advice, Dr. William Mitchell encourages students to find a program right for them and start researching and learning as much as possible about its destinations.

'Our goal is that every student at Baylor have the opportunity to study abroad,' Mitchell said. 'We would like to see a large percentage of Baylor students graduate with overseas experience.'

STUDY ABROAD from page 5