London calling travelers for Spring 2009

Jenna Treliving and Jenna Treliving

Have you ever dreamed of living in another country? Do you want to immerse yourself in another culture, and experience new and exciting things? Do you want to travel with other students and make lifelong friendships, while getting academic credit? Well, that is exactly what students do when they study abroad.

The Spring 2009 semester’s study abroad program in London is open and accepting applications. The program will start on Jan. 29 and end on May 1. Applications and brochures can be found at the study abroad office, in the International Education Center on East Campus. The application deadline is Dec. 1.

The London program offers 13-16 transferable units in the 12-week course.

“A good introduction to studying abroad is in England,” said Carola Smith, director of the study abroad program. Students will attend classes at the University of London, where they will get a taste of British life, Smith said. They can choose to live with British host families or in student apartments.

“It’s a great way to be exposed to another culture and helps you look at the world from a different perspective,” Smith said.

“The most convenient way to travel is through school,” said Maya Cifuentes, a City College student. Cifuentes participated in the Summer 2008 study abroad program in Spain, and has since become an intern in the International Education and Study Abroad Office. “I would recommend anyone to do it, it really brings cultural awareness,” she said.

The upcoming program in London journeys to the cities of Cambridge, Bath, and Stratford. It also offers an optional three-day and three-night trip to Scotland, at an additional cost. Although studying abroad may seem expensive, Smith said financial aid and scholarships are available to those in need.

According to Smith, 25 to 30 percent of students are financial aid participants. “I paid my whole trip through scholarship money,” Cifuentes said.

The program costs about $7,725 to stay with a host family, or $8,625 to live in student apartments. These costs do not include airfare.

“London is one of the greatest cities in the world,” said David Starkey, who is leading the trip. Starkey studied abroad in Wales his senior year in college, and has been a college English professor for 18 years.

Other programs abroad are also planned for Summer 2009. Each lasts four weeks, and gives students an opportunity to earn six transferable units.

These programs include Spain, Southern France, Rwanda, Germany, Czech Republic, and France. The Fall 2009 semester has one program in Peru, and another in Chile and Argentina.