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Thinking about Spending a Semester Abroad?

Today’s BU Study Abroad Fall Expo features more than 100 programs


Ready to escape the impending Boston chill for warmer climes in Morocco, New Zealand, or Ecuador, to trade views of the Prudential building for a skyline punctuated by the Eiffel Tower, or to study Dickens on the banks of the Thames?  Stop by the BU Study Abroad Fall Expo, a showcase of more than 100 study abroad opportunities available to BU students this coming spring and summer. The event is being held today from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. on the BU Beach. (A spring semester Expo will highlight fall programs.)

A one-stop shop for anyone interested in stamping their passports while earning credits toward graduation, the Fall Expo brings together program directors, international directors, academic advisors, and student veterans of the Study Abroad experience to answer students’ questions and inquiries, as well as the event’s tagline, “Where will you be you abroad?”

More than BU 2,500 students study abroad each year, their reach extending to over 35 countries on 6 continents. Spring remains the most popular time for students to study abroad, because it affords an opportunity to extend the stay and travel over the summer.

Students studying abroad can choose from a wide array of subjects—from art and architecture, environmental studies, and engineering to languages and public health, to name just a few.

While some of the programs are built around specific mandatory courses, others offer more flexibility, such as the New Zealand Program. “The students are much more in control of their experience,” says program assistant director Brett Armstrong. The program enrolls students at the University of Auckland. “They go through the catalog and pick their courses. They attend classes among real New Zealanders,” says Armstrong.

In addition to academically directed programs, BU Study Abroad offers numerous internship programs as well, where in addition to taking courses, students gain real-world experience—and a résumé boost to boot—in their area of interest. Placements within an organization are guaranteed and tailored to students’ needs. For example, the New Zealand Program offers a management internship program in Auckland, where students take three courses and a four-credit internship focusing on management.

“Internships are not a cultural expectation in New Zealand the way they are in the States,” Armstrong says. “Because employers don’t have the same expectations, they see students as partners and give them more responsibility.”

Two of the programs being offered this summer and featured at today’s Expo have been slightly revamped. The Lima Contemporary Politics Program will give students an opportunity to explore the social, political, and economic effects of Peru’s natural resource extraction. During the three-and-a-half-week course, students will live with local Peruvian families while earning four credits at a nearby university. The Brussels Internship Program offers students an eight-week immersion as they study and work in the Belgian capital.

Absent from this fall’s Expo is the summer Menorca Field School in Archaeology and Heritage Management Program. The program is not being offered in 2015, but is expected to resume in 2016.

Students enrolled in the London and Madrid programs this spring will have access to a new online course, The Global Learning Experience. Designed on the edX platform, the optional one-credit course “promotes meaningful engagement with the study abroad experience as it follows students through study abroad,” says Meg Lucas, Study Abroad senior manager of university relations and campus outreach.

Students interested in applying for spring study abroad programs have only a few weeks to decide where to go. The deadline to apply for most spring programs is Wednesday, October 1. The deadline to register for summer programs is March 1 and for fall programs is March 15.

The BU Study Abroad Fall Expo is today, Friday, September 12, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., on the BU Beach. In the event of inclement weather, the Expo will be moved to the George Sherman Union small Metcalf Ballroom, 775 Commonwealth Ave., second floor.

See videos of some of BU Study Abroad programs here.

Paula Sokolska can be reached at ps5642@bu.edu.

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