Experience the world beyond the classroom—study abroad in 2023

Samantha Weber, Editor in Chief

Studying abroad is a wonderful opportunity for students to take advantage of while they are still in school. It allows students to explore other countries and cultures they might not have visited otherwise. Mercyhurst offers a variety of options for students who wish to study abroad. The first option is for the student who does not want to miss out on being physically present for the school year or the who may be nervous to be so far away from home for a long time. This type of study abroad is known as Faculty-Student Academic Travel (FSAT).Students take courses throughout the spring semester and then travel after the semester ends for 10-14 days. This past year, there were two short-term FSAT trips, one to Greece and the other to Costa Rica. Professor of Criminal Justice Emmaleigh Kirchner, Ph.D., and Professor of Philosophy James Snyder, Ph.D. accompanied 17 students abroad in Greece. Graphic Design Professor Pete Stadtmueller, Associate Professor of Physics Joseph Johnson and Biology Professor Katie Kilmer accompanied 10 students to Costa Rica. The biggest study abroad opportunity that Mercyhurst offers its students is to Dungarvan, Ireland. Mercyhurst has a sister campus there and it is a wonderful opportunity for students to see where the Sisters of Mercy originated from. Students who study abroad in Ireland stay for eight weeks in the second half of the spring semester. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, this past spring was the first time students were able to return to Ireland for the annual study abroad trip. The Dungarvan trip was made up of eight students: Mikal Abraham, Madison Bottcher, Delaney Cranston, Emma Kuchinski, Eva Philips, Kasey Short, Lily Smith and Jameson Stoner. “I would recommend the Ire-land program to anyone who is interested,” Philips said. “Even if you think your major might not let you go to Ireland for eight weeks, you might be surprised by how flexible professors can be to make it possible for you to travel,” said Philips. The students were able to travel all over Europe on their long weekends to explore more places abroad. “My favorite part of the trip was traveling throughout Ire-land on our week-long group excursion,” Philips said. “We saw so much incredible natural beauty, and the cities we stayed in each had unique character. I also loved settling in to Dungarvan—visiting different shops, going on walks along the beach and noticing the seals that would sun themselves in the bay.” For those who are intimidated by the idea of studying abroad, Philips assures that the process to get started is simple and she felt well-prepared to travel, de-spite it being her first time. “I had never traveled outside the country before, but we received lots of guidance, so I never felt unprepared or uncomfortable,” she said. The Study Abroad Office offers plenty of guidance when it comes to traveling abroad to help with an easy transition. “Before we left, we were introduced to the professors who were traveling with us, and the study abroad department pro-vided information on our itinerary and what we should pack and expect from the trip,” said Philips. The Study Abroad Office is still accepting applications for Spring 2023 trips. Mercyhurst offers multiple scholarships for students who want to study abroad and the application to apply for those is also relatively simple. If you are interested in studying abroad, be sure to reach out to the Study Abroad Office or attend the Study Abroad Fair on Wednesday, Oct. 19, from noon to 4 p.m. in the Student Union Great Room to learn more. “If given the choice to go back and do it again, I absolutely would,” Philips said. “The whole trip gave me more confidence and independence, and it was an incredible experience.”