By Apple Parry
Students who are interested in seeing the world, meeting new people, and trying new foods should check out the study abroad program at Whatcom Community College.
“It’s definitely worth it. I can almost guarantee it’s something you won’t forget for the rest of your life,” said Ulli Schraml, the associate director of international programs at Whatcom.
Over the next year, Whatcom students can attend study abroad trips around the world, in countries such as France, India, Morocco, and Spain.
Whatcom is not alone in this educational endeavor — it is working with 16 other colleges through the Whatcom Community College Consortium for Study Abroad.
Schraml said that working with the Consortium helps to recruit students, making the overall cost cheaper.
Included in the cost of the trip is housing, insurance, a public transportation pass, and group excursions, such as hiking trips or museum tours.
But students must foot the bill for airfare, a passport, and tuition, along with other less-obvious expenses.
“It definitely is a big challenge,” Schraml said, “plan ahead.”
The change of being abroad can help some struggling students, Schraml said, “Generally students who are not doing that well here are doing better abroad. It’s a new environment. It’s hands-on learning. Basically anyone can go.”
Lyon is a hot-spot for student tourism.
Upon arrival, there will be a tour of the ancient city and its 2,000-year-old historic center, plush with Roman architecture.
Students can look forward to cheese tasting, cooking classes, and a day trip to Beaune, a city revered among wine aficionados — also included are visits to the Roman amphitheater and, equally exciting, a chocolate shop.
Study abroad classes are tailored to fit the location by faculty. Professors teach classes that they have taught before in America and infuse them with a new angle appropriate to the country the class is visiting.
The class students who visit Lyon will be taking is “American Literature: Visions of France,” which is a five credit course.
This trip is planned for spring quarter. The application deadline is December 14, 2018.
Himachal Pradesh, India:
There is not much information about the trip to Himachal Pradesh, except that it will be in summer quarter and will be combined with an environmental literature class — the rest is TBD.
The application deadline is Jan 4, 2019.
The trip to Rabat offers a new twist on the traditional study abroad experience: students will be staying with a host family.
Students can hope to experience Rabat’s rich and colorful culture by making bread, taking dance lessons, and going on a three-day excursion to the history-soaked city of Marrakesh.
Classes are varied and include subjects such as history, literature, and colloquial Moroccan Arabic lessons, which are taught by a local instructor.
This is the second study abroad opportunity of the summer. The application deadline for Morocco is May 15, 2019.
Visiting Barcelona, touted as the most modern city in Spain, is an option for study abroad in the fall.
Students will enjoy weekly cultural activities; an overnight stay in Zaragoza, a city with impressive architecture; and a three-day trip to different Spanish highlights.
This trip is paired with a creative writing class, which involves writing a travel journal, or an English literature class.
The application deadline is June 24, 2019.
Studying abroad is a mix of work and pleasure, and Schraml said it’s important to strike a balance.
“There is always free time, but it’s definitely a commitment,” Schraml said.