By Lisa Behnke
The troubled economy may be to blame for the lack of enrollment for the Study Abroad program. This year’s winter session trips to London and France were cancelled for failing to meet minimum number of students registered to go.
The study abroad program has been successful for the past two years and has attracted many students; Richard D. Britton, College Associate Dean of General Education, and Nick Hoffman, Associate Professor of Business Management, who also advises the Business club, started the travel abroad program in 2006.
On Wednesday, Feb. 25, representatives from the program were in the Babylon Student Center during common hour promoting the program. A table was set with brochures, handouts, and mini kisses wrapped in tissue paper with the website address for the Spanish travel abroad program, courtesy of its adviser Professor Ana Menendez-Collera. Also on hand were Professor Nieves Alonso Almagro and Pat Carrai, Professional Assistant to Britton.
Students who visited the display were captivated by a laptop presentation of the previous year’s trip to Spain. An Honors College student who attended the program to Spain last summer was enthusiastic about the experience.
“The experience was much greater than the cost, “ Rachael Forester, said. A senior graduating this spring, Forester utilized personal expenses, along with financial aide and money left from scholarship funds.
The financing is all-relative when it comes to going abroad. The college is offering the opportunity to study abroad for a month in Europe and earn 6 credits in the process. Most of the trips range from $1,500 – $3,000, plus airfare and tuition. The fee includes meals and lodging, along with tours to historic sites and museums.
Hoffman, has run the Italy trip for the past two years. It is the one college trip that is run alongside SUNY Stony brook, and one that can earn participants as many as nine credits.
“SCCC is committed to the idea that travel helps craft the educated person,” Hoffman said.
As for the expense and the toll it may be taking on the program, “most students have the money to go, they compare the funds to that of purchasing a set of rims,” Hoffman said. When asked if students might look to fund raising to earn the money, Hoffman said,“It would not be possible through the program because it is an academic program not a club.”
The one incentive that Spain is offering the college, are two scholarships from the University of Santiago, each for $500, that will be raffled off to the first 10 students to enroll in the program.
Additional trips for this summer are Berlin and China. The other three trips are, Spain, Italy, and Quebec. Be prepared to also pay a $200 non-refundable application fee. Eligible students need to be in good standing with the college and maintain a 2.5 GPA.
In order for these programs to get off the ground, a minimum of 12-15 students needs to enroll. The maximum number is 30, with two advisers. Each one of the programs has between four and six students currently enrolled. If you ever thought about the study abroad program, now is the time to act. Go out and get your passport before it is too late. The program depends on it.