American University Study Abroad Spotlight
[Intro Music] Hi, I’m Joel Iscaro! I’m a senior double majoring in public communication and political science. I’m originally from downtown Pennsylvania and I studied abroad in Brussels, Belgium during the fall of my junior year.>>Alissa: Hi, my name is Alissa Platz and I’m a senior and I studied abroad in Santiago, Chile in the spring of 2015.>>Joel: I did a really cool program called the Brussels: European Union in Action program. It’s specifically geared towards political science majors, economics majors, and international studies majors. So we all took the same four class while we were there. We took a class on government in the European Union, we did a class on economics and trade in the European Union, one on the national security of the European Union, and a class about NATO.>>Alissa: I took a class in development and poverty, Latin American politics, a class about indigenous culture, and a Spanish grammar class and I was able to intern for credit. All of the classes had an international studies focus, so that was really nice and they counted for my major.>>Joel: One of the best things about study abroad was just the opportunity to travel and do so many new things. So I had only been to Europe once before going abroad, and got to travel–I made it to 30 cities and 14 countries over the span of four months. So I got to go to all of these new places that I had never been before. I made it to Rome, Paris, London.>>Alissa: I really loved the travel aspect to be able to immerse myself in a new country. I was able to experience Copa América which is like the world cup of Latin America. And South America in general and in Chile are obsessed with soccer, like we would be for football season – even more. The energy was just really eletric almost like election season in Washington, DC.>>Joel: I began the process to study abroad during the beginning of the spring semester of my sophomore year because I was planning to study abroad during the fall semester. First step for me was, I went to my academic advisors in my two major to talk about what different programs were best for me that I could take classes that still count for my major and still have time to graduate on time. So once I narrowed it down to a few programs then I made an appointment with the study abroad office here on campus and so I met with the advisors for the specific programs that my academic advisors had mentioned and so I was able to talk with them about what class I would take and find out more information from them about what would benefit me the most.>>Mark: The university has a vast array of offerings for students who want to study abroad. We have over 130 programs, and 40 countries. So there is basically any kind of place you think you would want to go, you can go.
We encourage you to engage early. When you get here, you are thrown with 1,000 different things that you need to look at and kind of explore and learn about. But really try to start to dip your toes in the very beginning because the more you think about it earlier, the easier it is to make it a reality later.>>Alissa: The application is all online. There is a part, it also varies by program – so my program was partial direct enrollment, so I was able to direct enroll in one class and then the rest of my classes were pre-approved through AU.>>Joel: AU Abroad website really walks you through. It tells you all of the different documents you need, all of the different forms you need, a couple short essays about why you are interested in it, and what you hope to get from it, what experiences you are looking for while you are abroad. It really just walks you through. It is very clear like the college application process, with all of the different boxes you have to click and what you need to do. So once I had that in, I sent that in and I found out during spring break my sophomore year that I got accepted into the program Study abroad is just a really cool opportunity because there is no other point in your life where you can pack up all of your stuff and leave for four months or a year, however long your program is. It is such a unique opportunity where you can try something completely new and not have any consequences for leaving. AU is great because it really encourages their students to go abroad so there is so many fantastic opportunities and I have absolutely loved my whole experience.>>Mark: If you really want to perfect your language skills, or you really want to have a work experience abroad, then think about that and try to look at what your needs are getting out.>>Alissa: I think if you are curious about the world, if you haven’t traveled anywhere, or if you traveled a lot of places – I definitely recommend it. Studying abroad was probably one of my favorite semesters here. You learn a lot about yourself, you make new friends, you have experiences you can only have in that specific country, or countries – wherever you go. [Exit Music]