Lakers can study beyond the gates

Marina Boyle, Features editor

Studying abroad has become a hallmark of a Mercyhurst education, with more and more study abroad options offered each year.

This year, the office of Global Affairs has announced yet another study abroad lineup that stretches across the Earth in the hopes of ensuring locations and courses that offer something for everyone.

Heidi Hosey, Ph.D., dean of Global Programs and Experiential Learning, has been excited to release the final list of worldwide locations.

“Study abroad, whether it’s short-term or full-term, can change your life,” Hosey said. “You have the chance to get outside of yourself to see the world from a new perspective. Yes, you see incredible places and meet interesting new people, but study abroad is really about you. It’s about what you can do that you never imagined you could and how you are prepared to take on the world.”

Mini courses that will travel in January include “World War II in France,” “Art Therapy Practice in Ecuador” and “Service Learning Social Work in Guyana.”

Students who choose one of these programs can take related Intelligence Studies, History, Graphic Design, Art and Social Work classes.

In May, students have another opportunity to travel again, this time to the United Kingdom, Finland and Sweden, Peru and Spain. Students can sign up for “Sleuthing in the UK,” “Education and Arts in Finland and Sweden,” “Service Learning in Peru” and “Fashion Merchandising in Madrid and Barcelona.”

For those who want an even longer taste of time abroad, the Mercyhurst in Ireland program is a full term 2020 experience that takes students and faculty members to the Mercyhurst University Ireland facility in Dungarvan, County Waterford, for eight weeks. If accepted, you take two or three courses on site in Ireland, live in university-leased accommodations and travel and study throughout Ireland and Europe as part of the program.

“The programs we are offering this year are pretty amazing. The range of opportunities for students to meet requirements in both REACH and diverse majors is probably the widest we’ve ever had,” Hosey said.
Hosey also stressed the availability of courses that can be used to fulfill requirements and can be put toward your minor or major credits.

“Rising seniors have the chance to experience our incredible Ireland term and get their Capstone Ethics credit. Rising sophomores can pursue their BTG credit in Peru through service and have the chance to experience the wondrous Machu Picchu. Students can storm the beaches at Normandy or follow in the footsteps of Sherlock Holmes. So many exciting adventures means literally something for everyone,” Hosey said.

Students will need to pay a $500 enrollment fee and then the cost of the experience they choose.
For students with financial worries, there is plenty of help available.

“The Ireland program is eight weeks and it is less than half the cost of term-long study abroads offered almost anywhere else. Our FSAT programs are linked to our curriculum so that we only charge for the travel and not for the credits, which is pretty unusual for a university. For over a decade we have managed to help nearly every student who wanted to find a way to study abroad make it happen. We’re proud of that,” Hosey said.

Many students have expressed excitement about the options this year. In particular, students with less general majors, such as Intelligence Studies or Art Therapy, have valued being able to get these credits abroad.

Enrollments are limited in the 2019-20 Mercyhurst in Ireland and FSAT Study/Travel Programs.

Ethan Wagner is a junior History major looking forward to his January travel.

“I am going on the World War II in France trip next January and I will be taking the history class with Dr. Scharff in preparation for the experience,” Wagner said. “I would say I signed up for this because I have been wanting to do a study abroad trip, but I was waiting for the right one to present itself. I do not think it could get much more perfect for a History major than to take a class at one of the most significant sites from WWII. It seemed like a once-in-a-lifetime trip, so I took the opportunity.”

With so many exciting options, students are encouraged to choose a destination and get their application into the Study Abroad Office in Preston 101. Carpe Diem Lakers!