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Whatcom sends students to study abroad

By Kenzo Yamamoto

Scholarships specific to Whatcom Community College allows students to study abroad in five different countries with other community colleges. Future trips include Berlin, Costa Rica, London, and a combined Germany/Poland trip. Faculty members will accompany students and teach the 10-week, 15-credit courses in English.

Each student will receive an internal scholarship which reduces tuition to $25 per credit. Students will be going with other community college students that are a part of the Washington State Community College Consortium for Study Abroad.

In addition to the $25 per credit fee, the consortium also provides two scholarships per program excluding summer. The international programs department at Whatcom was able to find funding to provide two $1,000 scholarships for fall and spring quarter programs, and two $500 scholarships for summer programs.

Ulli Schraml, Associate Director of International Programs, said he encourages faculty members to pitch ideas for short-term programs during the summer that are roughly two to three weeks long.

“Not everyone can afford a 10-week program that’s $8,000 to $10,000, and to have an alternative shorter and cheaper program gives more students the opportunity to experience what learning in another country is like,” Schraml said. “It’s also cheaper to go abroad while you’re at a community college than it is at a four-year university.”

Students desiring to learn more information about  the scholarships can go to Syre 135 2:30 pm to 3:30 pm on Feb 1.

“They will have a panel of students and faculty members alike who have gone on these trips and can answer questions for students who still want to know more about the programs and specific trips,” It’ll be a perfect opportunity for students who are interested in future programs to come and hear about previous student experiences and also faculty input,” Schraml said.

Schraml mentioned that people who don’t feel they have the means to travel abroad, they now have a “meet the world at Whatcom fair” in the Syre foyer on Jan 31, 11 am to 1 pm, where staff tries to motivate international and immigrant students to set up booths with cultural presentations to highlight their cultures.

 Schraml said he highly encourages students to separate themselves from the rest.

“The important thing is to tell the reader why you are different, not only why you want to study abroad, but what’s so different about you. Why should they give it to you and not the next person?” Schraml said. “The more information you provide the better.”


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