TAMIU Study Abroad Opportunities Expand Knowledge, Students' World in 2004

TAMIU Study Abroad Opportunities Expand Knowledge, Students' World


For two students at Texas A&M International University, spending part of last summer in a foreign country was a different experience.

"It was my first time anywhere outside the United Sates," gushed senior business student Gabriela de Hoyos.

"I met people from all over the world and had the chance to see different production processes for products like Evian and others," added De Hoyos. She spent four weeks in Chambery, France as a part of TAMIU's study abroad program.

University psychology senior Sandra Alcorta said her three weeks in Guanajuato were truly a learning experience.

"Even though I was raised in Nuevo Laredo, I realized that I didn't know a lot about the Mexican culture. I learned a lot about customs, backgrounds and traditions. Everything was so great I applied again." Alcorta signed up to study in Monterrey this Spring.

TAMIU students interested in a study abroad program should visit the Office of International Education (OIE). The Office assists those who dream of countries far away with the process of studying and living abroad, while still completing their academic objectives.

Jannet García, OIE director, said students can take advantage of a diverse number of study abroad programs to study abroad for a summer, semester, or up to one year. TAMIU provides access to several types of study abroad programs - exchange, affiliate, or faculty-led - to meet student needs.

Exchange programs allow for direct enrollment at a foreign institution while remaining enrolled at TAMIU. Financial aid can travel with the student to finance study abroad. Most exchange programs are offered in Western Europe and Northern America. Most popular at TAMIU are the business programs in France (Marseille), Germany (Berlin), the Netherlands (Arnhem), Spain (Córdoba), and México (Guanajuato, Monterrey, and San Luis Potosí). OIE has applied for membership to the International Student Exchange Program (ISEP), which offers TAMIU students access to study at 60 different universities in Asia, Latin America, Canada, and Europe.

"The ISEP program offers a very diverse offering in both academic programming and location to TAMIU students, while being cost effective and allowing for full financial aid transfer. It also is a full immersion program, allowing students to fully experience every aspect of the culture, people, and locations they visit," Garcia said.

More information about ISEP will be available as of Spring 2005.

Affiliate programs offer a wide variety of locations and disciplines anywhere in the world. Students enroll with a study abroad organization, and pay a program fee. Course work typically is taught in English, and students have the support of an on-site director. Popular locations are the United Kingdom, Italy, New Zealand, and Spain.

Faculty-led programs are TAMIU courses taught by TAMIU professors abroad, most often during the summer sessions. Students enroll and register at TAMIU, while enjoying the benefit of taking the course abroad.

"Typically such courses give students a quick overview of the country dynamics including government, culture, and business, and allow for comparative research," García said.

Proposed courses for summer 2005 are Latin American Identity Development, taught by Dr. Christy Teranishi in Guanajuato, Mexico, and International Business in Chambery, France.

Interested students are encouraged to visit the Office of International Education to browse through the Study Abroad Library, or visit www.tamiu.edu/dip/oie.

"Advisement appointments are encouraged, and will assist in determining which program fits best with the students profile in terms of academic objectives, financial details, and personal preferences. Academic advisement/approval is required to fulfill study abroad application requirements, and allows students to have realistic expectations of course transfer," García said.

The Office of International Education works closely with the students throughout the application process to assist with housing and travel arrangements, and remains in touch with the student throughout their study abroad program to provide support where needed, García added.

The TAMIU International Education Fee Scholarship is available to qualified students for financial assistance. Scholarship awards for 2005 range between $1000 and $3000 (semester/year programs) and $500 and $1500 for summer programs. Study abroad program expenses vary depending on length, location, and which type of program was selected.

For more information, please contact García at 326.2565, e-mail studyabroad@tamiu.edu or visit the Office of International Education at Pellegrino Hall 301.

University office hours are 8 a.m. - 5 p.m. Monday through Friday.

University offices will close for the holidays Thursday, Dec. 23 at noon through Sunday, Jan. 2. Offices reopen Jan. 3, 2005.

Online registration is available at https://lasso.tamiu.edu/ahomepg.htm

Classes for the Spring Semester 2005 begin Monday, Jan. 10.

Journalists who need additional information or help with media requests and interviews should contact the Office of Public Affairs and Information Services at pais@tamiu.edu