As the fall quarter begins, a new wave of studying abroad opportunities are open to Whatcom Community College.
For the 2020 school year, Whatcom students can experience locations such as Australia and New Zealand in the Winter, Berlin in the Spring, and Tokyo in the Fall.
“One of the most important things you want to do if you want to do study abroad is to start early to investigate what’s involved, what the program is and how much it costs,” said Ulrich Schraml, the Associate Director of International Programs.
Each trip is planned two years in advance, giving students a year to apply for scholarships, save their money, decide on a destination and see if the courses provided will count towards their degree.
Whatcom is a part of the Washington State College Consortium for Study Abroad. Made up of 18 different colleges across the state, the WCCCSA works with study abroad providers to create programs in different countries like England, China, Costa Rica, Italy, Spain, France, and Germany.
Once a quarter, they meet up and decide what would be the best, most affordable destination for students. “We are always trying to find affordable programs and keep the costs low,” says Schraml.
The more colleges and students involved, the cheaper the cost. Students eligible for financial aid can use their refund to pay for their trip, and may apply for a low-interest loan. Students eligible for the Pell Grant are able to apply for the Benjamin A. Gilman Scholarship.
Other scholarships are rewarded for every season. Students looking for more information can get in contact with Kelly Bashaw for academic and financial aid advising, six months before the trip is planned.
There are multiple different insurance packages provided by the program and Whatcom for those who need it.
Schraml said “anything is possible” when referring to accommodations that can be made for those with accessibility requirements.
In the cost of the trip, you are provided with housing, a public transportation pass, optional medical insurance upgrades, and personal effect coverages.
Students must pay for their airfare, tuition, passport, and other necessities like clothing, toiletries, and food.
In the Winter 2020 trip to Australia and New Zealand, the courses offered for this trip are The History of Australia and New Zealand, Biology of Australia and New Zealand and Intercultural Communication. Students may earn up to 15 credits, through these classes.
During the trip to Australia, students may participate in activities such as a Melbourne scavenger hunt, a trip to the Melbourne museum: Banjalika Aboriginal Exhibit, the national gallery of Victoria and more.
While in New Zealand, students may go to the Mirawai Beach Gannet Colony and Maungakiekie Volcano, visit the Aritaki Forests Center, Waitakere Ranges, and Rangitoto Volcano. Optional field trips offered for this trip consist of going on a Lord of the Rings tour, a Whale Rider Tour and a stay at the Mangere Marae overnight. The optional field trips may require an additional fee. The application deadline is Friday, Oct. 18.
Courses offered for the Spring 2020 trip to Berlin are German life and Culture, Film 101: Introduction to Film, and Music 105: Music Appreciation. Students can earn up to 15 credits taking these classes.
While in Berlin, students may participate in a guided sightseeing tour of Berlin by private bus, a guided tour of the Reichstag, a full-day guided excursion to Potsdam and weekly activities like a boat cruise, opera tickets, a sporting event, museum visits, and an optional Prague excursion. The application deadline is Wednesday, Oct. 30.