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The news site of Santa Barbara City College.

The Channels

The news site of Santa Barbara City College.

The Channels

Travel to Rome, Costa Rica, Japan or Bali with SBCC to study abroad

Yarrow Hogan
Illustration art by Yarrow Hogan that shows a timeline of the upcoming study abroad trips in 2023: Italy, Costa Rica, Japan, and Indonesia.

The study abroad program is one of the most renowned and passion driven opportunities City College offers. In almost 50 years, there have been more than 6,000 students who participated in a trip abroad and the program has sent students to 20 different countries around the globe. According to Study Abroad Program Advisor Nicole Walther, City College has a robust and sought after program offering a more diverse variety of trips and lower cost excursions while still offering the same quality of adventure and education. Students often come back from their trips around the world with a new sense of confidence and a deeper relationship with themselves and the world around them. Walther also noted that when students return home, they have such a bond with the people they traveled with, that those relationships often lead to traveling the world together again. City College is offering four study abroad trips in the spring, summer and fall of 2023.


From the city to the countryside, students will be immersing themselves in Italian culture while enhancing their writing skills in Italy’s Capital. 

Students will be honing their skills in Contemporary Fiction, Creative Writing: Non-Fiction, Italian language, and Personal Development courses, while taking study breaks at the local coffee bar around the corner. 

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Classes will be held Monday through Thursday, allowing opportunities for travel over their three-day weekends. 

Students will also be able to explore southern Italy on a three-day, two-night included excursion to Sorrento, Pompeii, and Capri. 

Sarah Boggs and Camila Acosta will be co-directors for this program. Boggs was the director of a similar trip in 2019 and according to her, she has wanted to go back ever since. 

“This program is unique because you can really use Rome as the classroom,” Boggs said. “It’s like living in a history book.”

The educational journey will last 88 nights, leaving the United States on Feb. 5, and returning on May 5. 

More information about flights, housing, books, and more can be found on the website.

“It’s fun to watch them fall in love with Rome,” Boggs said after expressing what excites her most about the upcoming trip. 

Costa Rica

After a long and stressful school year, students can spend their summer decompressing on the sandy beaches of Manuel Antoni, Costa Rica. 

Costa Rica offers a special array of outdoor opportunities this program plans to utilize. 

After waking up and eating breakfast provided by a host family, students will spend the day surfing with a local instructor, along with stretching and Spanish grammar classes. 

While no previous surfing experience is required, students must demonstrate the ability to swim competently nonstop for 100 meters.

Weekly salsa dance classes, a Mangrove boat tour, traditional cooking classes, and visiting Manuel Antonio National Park are just a few of the included activities meant to introduce the student to the surrounding culture.

For a small fee, students can also partake in ziplining, a white water rafting experience and a visit to the Nauyaca Waterfalls. 

Teaching at City College since 1982, Sally Saenger will be the first part-time teacher to direct a study abroad program. 

“I’m so excited to be with a group of students in a different country and see their growth while facilitating a new and wonderful learning experience for them,” Saenger said. 

Students will begin their summer adventure on June 3 and return home on June 25. 

Potential travelers must complete the online application by March 26, more information can be found on the webpage.


On June 11, 2023, students will embark on a month-long summer journey to Japan. Exploring the city of Tokyo and the rural areas, students will attempt to gain a rich understanding of the culture, environment and life in a foreign country. Along with the exciting thrill of travel, the program includes studying the international art of cinema by experiencing and learning from classical and contemporary Japanese directors. Students will also have the opportunity to spend time in traditional temples and partake in meditations and tea ceremonies, as well as individual time to explore freely. 

Professor Michael Stinson, who will be joining the group of students in Japan, reminisces about his life experiences while spending much of his life and career abroad.

“It opens up the whole world,” Stinson said. “You don’t have to limit yourself to conventional life choices.” 

After spending six years in Japan, Stinson said what most excites him for the summer trip is the incredible food and the abundance of natural hot springs scattered along Japan’s landscape.

The application and fee deadline to submit is March 1 and more information about costs, flights, housing and activities can be found on the website

Joined by a group of like-minded students and adults, a trip to the other side of the world is right around the corner. 

Stinson advocates for every student to spend time immersed in another culture. “You end up coming back as a different person,” Stinson said. 


The deep blue ocean, white sand beaches and rich green rainforests, the study abroad program is taking on Bali. This trip is focusing on developing skills in the areas of Marine Biology, Oceanography, Sociology and Anthropology, offering one class per subject that students will be taking while in Bali. Students are required to enroll in at least 13 units throughout the program, with the classes beginning in the fall semester at City College and continuing when the students leave for the trip. This is an educational trip where students will be immersed in a hands-on experimental program that delves into the studies of the local environments and the nature specific to Bali.

Studying in Bali comes along with many activities not available in many other places. Snorkeling on coral reefs near local islands and lagoons and an immersive art museum visit . Many workshops are also included such as a Balinese cooking class, dance classes, stone and wood carving, and a Gamelan orchestra workshop.

Students will be staying in an amenity abundant hotel and will have access to a group flight rate. More information can be found on the website.

The last day to apply for this study abroad opportunity is April 23. The trip is a two month adventure, leaving the United States on Sept. 8, and beginning the route home on Nov. 9.

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