By Dustin Rich
Anyone who has done so will express how valuable of an experience going abroad is to him or her.
Held down by school or a job, surrounded by all your friends and family it can be easy to forget that Bellingham isn’t the center of the world.
Whatcom students with a yearning for adventure, have year-round opportunities offered here at Whatcom to live and study abroad. Whether this is for a short period of time or more so on the long-term side of the spectrum, your adventure awaits.
Many staff members here at Whatcom work hard to provide these incredible opportunities to the student body.
Whatcom professor of Music and German, Ben Kohn, recently returned from the last Berlin study abroad program. Alongside him was a diverse group of Whatcom students most of which had no traveling or German language experience.
This is one factor that is greatly expressed to those interested in studying abroad: no second language is required for any of these programs, and that lack of the native language should not deter any student from following his or her interest.
“(Traveling) is about becoming a different person; being changed by a different culture,” said Ben.
The changes that emersion in these different cultures has on a person are lifelong and sure to permanently change your perspective on the world around you.
Not only will you be exposed to a completely new world while abroad, but upon returning, your experience will have shaped the way you see the world you came from.
First on the list of adventures offered here at Whatcom is the Australia/ New Zealand study abroad program. This is an academic oriented trip that will land you in the heart of Melbourne, Australia, with classes at Newman College included.
Students not already onboard for the 2017 expedition can plan for next year or even the year after that, as it is offered annually for the next three winter quarters.
Florence, Italy, a city that inspired some of the most influential artists in history is opening its doors to you. Living accommodations in the heart of Florence are included, as well as courses oriented around the cultural and artistic significance of this ancient city.
Students will take a total of 15 credits divided among an Italian Language and Culture class, a Renaissance Art History class as well as a drawing class.
There truly is no better place to find your inner-artist and see one of the best architecturally renowned locations in Italy.
In the summer of 2017 there are two short-term study abroad opportunities being offered, one in Costa Rica and the other in Scotland. Both trips will include course material specific to the cultures relevant in the area.
An information session for the Scotland trip is scheduled for Nov. 8 at 1 p.m. in Cascade room 130. Those even slightly interested are encouraged to attend.
Ever wanted to experience the culture and architecture of Barcelona? Or maybe Tokyo is more your style. Both of these cosmopolitan capitals of the globe attract people from all over the world and you could be one of them.
In the fall of 2017, Whatcom students attracted to the idea of flying halfway around the world and immersing themselves in a completely different culture will have the chance.
All courses offered through these two programs will be taught in English, so no prior Japanese or Spanish language credentials are required. However, limited space is a concern, so don’t waste time making your decision.
As amazing as all of these opportunities sound, let’s address the initial concern, cost.
It’s easy to look at the finite prices of these expeditions (all of which are displayed on Whatcom’s international programs/ study abroad page) and be deterred. Compared to the cost of living here; what you pay for school, food and activities, there really is not a huge leap in price.
For those of you that qualify for financial aid, it is offered to assist you in making these opportunities become your reality.
Schedule a meeting with the financial aid advisor and see how much help they are willing to offer you before deciding studying abroad is financially impossible.
Ulli Schraml, the Associate Director of International Programs at Whatcom, is the man to visit if you’re even slightly interested in studying abroad in the future.
His office is in the Syre Student Center, second floor in the international department room 201C.
Studying abroad is a process that takes a lot of planning ahead and motivation to make happen. Given these two qualities, anyone can experience a new world with the help of Whatcom community college and its resourceful faculty.