Studying Abroad Through Gustavus

Posted on April 10th, 2007 by

When I began to seriously look at colleges during the summer prior to my senior year of high school, I paid special attention to what type of study abroad opportunities a particular college offered. I knew that studying abroad was an activity that I was going to be interested in during college, and I wanted to have lots of programs and countries to choose from when I eventually did get the opportunity to travel abroad. Gustavus was a college that seemed to have an impressive study abroad department when I was a prospective student, and this belief has held true after successfully registering for a study abroad program.

As a current sophomore student at Gustavus, I decided that studying abroad during the fall of my junior year would be an ideal time to travel. I began my search for the rightForest in Monteverde program this past fall. To do this, I paid a visit to the Study Abroad Office on the Gustavus campus. Once there, I began to learn about the multitude of programs available for any Gustavus student, and I picked up many brochures concerning study abroad programs. The staff of the Study Abroad Office were very helpful in pointing out programs that I may be interested in and helping me get started in the application process. Check out the Gustavus Study Abroad Office’s website here.

I initially thought that I would like to travel to Spain for a semester. I had taken several Spanish language classes in high school and college, and I thought it would be wonderful to practice those language skills in Spain. However, after more pamphlet browsing, I found aTropical Bird especially enticing program. This program took place in Monteverde, Cost Rica. Students who participated lived in a biological research station located in one of the many tropical forests of Costa Rica. I loved the program because it would allow me to use my Spanish skills and also to take ecology and conservation classes in the middle of a rain forest. The Monteverde program was offered through CIEE, an organization that offers study abroad opportunities to students all over the United States. Gustavus is on the list of universities whose students may apply to any CIEE program.

The application process for studying abroad was relatively simple. I first applied to the Gustavus Study Abroad department, an application that consisted of some personal contact information and a brief (500 word) essay. Next, I applied to CIEE, an application that again consisted of some more personal information and another short essay (I was able to use my first essay that I wrote for Gustavus in my CIEE application).

Several weeks after completing my application, I found out that I been accepted into the Monteverde program. Since that time, I have received lots of information about Costa Rica and the different types of opportunities that await. I have lots of packing andFlower preparing to do before I leave, but I should have plenty of time get ready. I am very content with the program that I have picked, and at the same time, I look forward to hearing about the stories of my friends who are traveling to other places around th globe. I encourage you to view some of the winners of the Gustavus International Photo Contest, it is sure to get you thinking about studying abroad.

Studying abroad isn’t a necessary component of a successful collegiate career at Gustavus. However, it is a wonderful opportunity for students, and if you have an interest in spending some time overseas, it is worth further investigation.

The fall of my junior year should be challenging and unique, but I anxiously await the adventure that is sure to take place!


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