An education abroad is a worthwhile experience

A student argues their peers should apply for study abroad scholarships to participate in a valuable program.

Noelle Robinson / The Temple News

Studying abroad can open students’ eyes to a world of new perspectives by allowing them to immerse themselves in different cultures. 

Temple’s study abroad program is a worthwhile experience because it empowers students to challenge their way of thinking, develop independence and build universal skills. However, participating in these programs can be difficult because of expensive fees some students can’t afford, as the Temple Rome, Japan and Spain study abroad programs each cost roughly $20,000 without financial aid at minimum. 

Students should apply for Temple’s study abroad program and related scholarships because the university’s Education Abroad and Overseas Campuses department can provide students struggling with affordability with different opportunities to study abroad. There are clear steps for financial aid applications listed under the finances section on their website. 

Specific scholarships that accommodate students who struggle to afford these programs include a passport scholarship, which reimburses students for their passport fee, and the Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship for Federal Pell Grant recipients, which provides up to $5,000. 

“Surviving and learning how to navigate another culture, another subway system, in another language can really help to build confidence and sense of independence,” said Suzanne Willever, associate director for academics and outreach at Education Abroad and Overseas Campuses. 

More than 1,000 Temple students study abroad each year. Temple’s overseas campuses are popular among students because of the academic variety each program offers. Taking advantage of these diverse campuses engages students in cultural studies they wouldn’t typically learn at Main Campus in Philadelphia.  

For example, the Rome campus hosts interactive activities like wine tastings, yoga classes and language immersion sessions by conversing with native Italians, while the Japan campus offers a variety of courses for different degrees and access to Tokyo, a vibrant city. Temple’s Spain program in Oviedo is known for its language immersion program, where all courses are taught in Spanish.  

Studying abroad provides local experiences with host families and allows students to explore cities they’ll remember for the rest of their lives, said Jaime Duran, an associate professor of Spanish and Portuguese and director of the Temple in Spain abroad programs.  

“It is a very enriching experience, no matter how you look at it, from an academic, personal and linguistic point of view, it’s something everybody should do,” Duran said. 

Studying abroad can give students experience working with globally diverse groups of people, which could be beneficial for career development because it improves work efficiency between those of different cultures and languages, according to USA Study Abroad, the U.S. Department of State’s official study abroad website.  

Olivia Harmanos enjoys going out to eat with her friends in Rome to learn about the cultural differences in how food is prepared and ordering meals, which makes the experience valuable for her, she said.  

“I’ve had experiences abroad where I’m by myself and nobody else speaks English, but I actually feel extremely comfortable here because there’s such a community,” said Harmanos, a junior architecture major currently studying in Rome. 

Traveling abroad allows students to step out of their comfort zone, learn a new language and interact with different cultures, preparing students for real-world experiences. 

Studying abroad in college is consistently linked to students developing substantial professional skills, according to the Power of International Education, a global non-profit that designs international education services. 

As many students struggle with affordability, they should apply for scholarships by consulting Student Financial Services. Grants that award students an average of $6,000 can help a wider range of them afford to study abroad.   

Education Abroad suggests students complete FAFSA early in the calendar year, so they can use their financial package to pay for study abroad programs. Students should take a copy of the package to SFS, where they will re-evaluate a student’s aid package based on the budget for the requested study abroad program.  

It’s important for students to take advantage of education abroad scholarships because the experience creates incredible memories, and students can expand their global understanding through academics, trying new foods and making strong friendships in a different country.  

Be the first to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.