Thinking about studying abroad, but can’t decide between traveling to Zanzibar, Tanzania, to learn Swahili and explore the cultural, religious, and political roots of this East African region, or to Dublin, Ireland, to study public health? A visit to the BU Study Abroad Fall Expo today could help you decide. The Expo, being held from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. on the BU Beach, behind Marsh Plaza, gives potential travelers more information about the University’s 99 study abroad options and lets them chat with program staff and alumni—and even pick up some free snacks.
“Study abroad continues to be a very active pursuit among our undergraduates,” says David Lamitie, assistant director for program development and external programs. “There’s a culture of study abroad on campus, and faculty are interested in getting students abroad.”
In this calendar year alone, more than 2,500 students will have studied abroad in BU programs—1,064 in the spring, 611 in the summer, and 856 this fall. Spring is clearly the most popular time to travel, likely because students can extend their stay to travel during the summer. But Lamitie says attendance in summer programs is also on the rise at BU and nationally as students fit more into their academic year and use the four- to six-week programs as “a way to test out study abroad,” he says. Some get hooked and apply for full semester programs. BU hopes to make fall trips equally attractive by increasing the number of niche programs and making them more accessible.
With that in mind, BU Study Abroad will offer Chinese language courses at all levels—including novice—for the first time for students enrolled in its Shanghai Internship Program. Previously, only students with some background in Chinese were accepted to study there. Beginners will take an eight-credit intensive Chinese course while completing an internship. Lamitie hopes the program will now draw more preprofessional students, such as management majors, who can conduct their internship in English while learning a foreign language and the cultural cues essential to living and working abroad.
“English is becoming more commonly spoken in Shanghai, which has become a global city with lots of foreign companies,” he says. “People can become inspired by going to these places and then invest themselves more in language learning.”
This spring, BU Study Abroad is expanding its presence in Padua, Italy—where students have typically traveled for language immersion—by adding a Padua Management Internship Program and a Padua Italian and European Studies Program. The first will be offered solely in the spring and include Italian language instruction, business courses taught in English at the University of Padua, and a professional internship in English at a local company. The second will be available both fall and spring semesters and offer all levels of Italian language courses, as well as a variety of classes taught in English at both the University of Padua and the BU Padua Academic Center.
Sargent College students can now choose to study in Washington, D.C., where they will find courses and internship opportunities in public health and health care policy throughout the academic year. School of Management students will have new summer management courses and internship opportunities available in the nation’s capital, as well as in Dublin, Ireland, and Sydney, Australia.
BU Study Abroad recently signed two new exchange agreements—with Sabanci University, just outside Istanbul, Turkey, and with Nanyang Technological University in Singapore. Lamitie says both institutions are ideal for students interested in Near East or Far East studies or a wide array of arts and sciences.
And students are being offered a larger selection of electives within their respective programs, such as Sustainable Sydney–Sustainable Australia, Migrant Italian Literature in Padua, and Irish Economy in Dublin.
While it may be hard to choose from so many options, know that you have only a few weeks to decide which program you’re interested in. The application deadline for spring semester abroad is now October 1, two weeks earlier than last year’s deadline. Deborah Miller, associate director of enrollment services, says BU Study Abroad made the change so that students could receive admissions decisions earlier. Should they not get their first choice in more competitive programs, they’ll still be considered for their alternates. The new deadline also gives more time to students applying for visas and to overseas staff preparing for the spring arrivals. The deadlines for the summer (March 1) and fall (March 15) semesters remain unchanged.
So if you have the travel bug, take the advice of BU Study Abroad staff preparing for today’s Expo: “Come here to go away!”
The BU Study Abroad Fall Expo is today, September 13, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. on the BU Beach behind Marsh Plaza.