Classroom 224, Episode 2 “Study Abroad I”

Welcome to the second episode of Classroom 224. My name is Butler Cain, and I’m your host and producer.

If you’re new to this project, Classroom 224 is an audio podcast with the broad theme of education, and students might find it particularly helpful. Some of my favorite subjects include travel, journalism, and mass communication. The podcast and scripts are available on my website – ButlerCain – dot – com.

Cain is spelled C-A-I-N. And remember, each episode of Classroom 224 is only two-to-three minutes long, so it’s easy to fit into your day.

In this episode, I’m talking about Study Abroad, and there are several things students should think about when considering this kind of travel adventure. For the sake of brevity, I’ll focus on three questions I believe are particularly important:

Do I want a long-term or short-term experience?
What kind of financial commitment am I making?
And – What do I want to learn?

Let’s start with the length of time. The most common long-term study abroad is when a student attends a foreign university for a semester or even an entire academic year. Someone choosing this option should have a high tolerance for uncertainty – at least at the beginning – and should be comfortable with self-sufficiency and independence.

However, if spending months away from home sounds terrible to you, but you’d still like to explore another culture, a faculty-led Study Abroad trip might be more palatable. These programs commonly range from one-to-two weeks, but they could be a bit longer during a summer. The advantage here is that a faculty member is traveling with you, and most of your experiences have already been planned.

As for the financial commitment, students need to remember that for short-term programs, you are still paying tuition for the Study Abroad course you’re taking. On top of that, you will need to pay for other associated expenses: flights, accommodations, food, entrance fees, souvenirs – even some of the travel expenses for your professors. Also, they will likely set up a schedule for you to make deposits toward your trip, so start saving as soon as you commit to participate. Check with your university to see if it offers a Study Abroad scholarship. If it does, apply for it. Every little bit helps.

Perhaps the most important question you need to ask is this: what do I want to learn? I can’t answer that for you, but as someone who has coordinated and assisted with several study abroad programs, I have been able to give students opportunities to answer that question for themselves. And, I can tell you this: what you learn will change you. That’s why Study Abroad is so powerful, and it’s worth your consideration.

If you participated in Study Abroad as a student or faculty member, feel free to share some advice or perspective at ButlerCain – dot – Com. You can post a comment on this episode’s home page. On the next episode, we’ll talk about a few things you’ll want to have for your Study Abroad experience.

The music you hear on this podcast was produced by Kipp Cain and is used with his permission.

You’ve been listening to Classroom 224, I’m Butler Cain. Take care.

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