Study Abroad Offers New Experiences

Hannah Brooks, Features editor

When thinking of the “college experience”, more than likely, the first thing that comes to mind is all of the traditional parts of college. A dorm room to decorate and make one’s own, a roommate to seemingly love or hate with no in-between, a variety of new classes and experiences, and new friends. One non-traditional part of the college experience that may not typically be considered is studying in a completely different country.

Students have many options when it comes to studying abroad. Maybe they are interested in studying abroad, but are not quite ready to commit for more than a couple of weeks. If that is the case, then students may want to take advantage of the Faculty-Student Academic Trips (FSAT), which last no more than two weeks. There are many situations that may come into play when making a choice on what pro-gram is the best option for any given student and their circumstances, and that is what the Study Abroad Office is available to help with. While time comes into play, location is another obvious factor. Students choosing to study abroad would obviously want to spend time in a location that is intriguing and exciting. According to Janet Pasco, coordinator of Administrative Services for Global Programs, the office announces the Faculty-Student Academic Trips (FSAT) every spring for the following year. There will be three different FSAT trips taking place this year. This year’s FSAT trips will be going to Greece, Israel and Costa Rica. For these trips, students will take a mini course in the spring and then travel to these locations in May.

Students also travel every spring with Mercyhurst faculty to Mercyhurst’s program in Dungarvan, Ireland. Students will be departing in early March for their 8-week program in Ireland. The locations for study abroad this semester are Paris, France; Grenoble, France; Seville, Spain; Valencia, Spain and Seoul, S. Korea. Money is also another factor that may potentially scare students away from studying abroad, but Pasco said that students should not let this steer them away from checking out the program. “There are so many options, including financial aid and scholarships that could help students out when it comes to paying for trips,” said Pasco.

There are many factors that come into play while planning a trip abroad, but when it comes down to the planning process, students should know that the Study Abroad office can help with anything they may need throughout the process. Students are invited to attend pop-in info sessions on Mondays and Wednesdays from 1-3 p.m., or Tuesdays and Thursdays from 10 a.m. – 12 p.m. in the Study Abroad office, which is located at Preston 101 and 105. You could also reach the office at any time by e-mail at If you are starting to think about going abroad, the Office of Global Programs encourages students to start planning early.

“The Study Abroad office invites you to visit their website on the Student Hub under Academics and submit a form to schedule a time to meet with a study abroad advisor,” said Pasco. Whether you are interested in a short trip, or a semester or year abroad, the Study Abroad program at Mercyhurst offers a plethora of opportunities for students to take advantage of. Make sure to pop in to the Study Abroad office soon to explore which options are best for you.

College is all about new experiences, and studying abroad is a perfect way to experience new things, meet new people, and broaden your horizons. Go out of your comfort zone and try something new!