By Kyra Inglis
CHATTANOOGA (UTC)–When students begin their college career, they are told of all opportunities that exist for them while they complete their studies like internships, organizations, volunteer opportunities, and the chance to study abroad. Are UTC students aware of the opportunities that exist for them to take a trip that is shorter than a semester and still earn college credit? What is included in these trips and what is required to go?
In the last decade, trips abroad for students included Russia, India, Spain, France, and England. They typically take place during students breaks, such as winter between the fall and spring semesters or during the summer months. Generally, students have assignments related to what they see and do during the trips or they have a larger assignment due after the trip.
A great deal of work goes into planning some trips, including pre-departure arrangements such as transportation, site visits, food and lodging, budgeting and above all course requirements. “It takes working with administration to get the plan approved along with the budget,” says Victoria Steinberg, UTC Professor of French and accompanying faculty for “Paris as a Text.”
Students also experience culture which is emphasized on these trips and recommended by the faculty. “Studying abroad and experiencing another cultural is very important, especially as globalization accelerates. I think it is valuable educational tool and every student that can possibly take part in a studies abroad program should do so,” says David Young, Drawing and Painting professor for the UTC Art Department, and accompanying faculty on the “Silverpoint Drawing in London” trip.
While the cultural experience is a plus, and the chance to travel for college credit is irresistible, students have to think of cost. According to Steinberg, students can expect to pay a lot but it’s still a bargain for the amount in return. She gave a rough estimate of what her trip would cost a student:
- program: $2750
- 6 hours of summer credit: $1339 in state
- airfare: estimated at $1500
- lunch & sundry costs: estimated at $700
- total: around $6289 for one month in France.
Students interested in taking a trip with the University should get their information ahead of time by contacting the faculty in charge of that trip. Some travel courses require prerequisites that a student must fulfill before being able to take that course.
Why does UTC offer trips abroad as part of their curriculum? is it part of an accreditation requirement for colleges or just a fun short vacation opportunity? It turns out that the answer is neither. “Studying abroad and experiencing another cultural is very important, especially as globalization accelerates. I think it is a valuable educational tool and every student that can possibly take part in a studies abroad program should do so,” says Young.