When wanderlust calls, Belmont’s study abroad department gladly helps a student out.
Between CCSA and a new partnership with CIEE, a nonprofit exchange program, students can travel all over the world, and get class credit by doing so.
Some of the more popular programs include Maymester trips to Africa, Central Europe, the Holy World and Geneva.
Shelley Jewell, the director of study abroad, said this year it is the biggest year for study abroad options the program has seen.
“We have 25 short-term programs, more than we’ve ever had. We also have over 300 applications,” Jewell said.
Some new programs are being offered, including Maymesters in Haiti, Guatemala, Italy and Switzerland and a London course that differs from the popular CCSA offered later in the summer.
The programs have expanded beyond the expected humanities classes offered in the various countries.
“We are trying to provide opportunities for science, nursing and theater, a wide variety of students,” said Jewell. “This will also be the first year we offer online Third Year Writing, International Business and Third Year Religion.”
Special interest classes are offered abroad as well, like a Geisha and Samurai course in Japan as well as a course on cuisine in Argentina.
Then again, there is always the tried and true CCSA London and Ireland programs that take place in July and offer courses on everything from illuminated manuscripts to “Mystery, Murder & Mayhem: From Sherlock Holmes to Harry Potter” to an always popular class with Dr. Rich Tiner on British media.
This year, the university has joined forces with a nonprofit called CIEE that offers programs in more than 60 sites in 42 countries and has been in existence for 65 years, bringing many new options to Belmont’s study abroad program and encouraging students to go anywhere and everywhere.
While its programs in college studies abroad are widespread, it also offers opportunities for high school students, positions for teaching English in other countries, internships and service learning experiences.
Tyler D’Andrea, CIEE’s manager of institutional relations, was eager to point out the varied opportunities it offers but quickly pointed out that too many people study abroad merely to take a vacation.
“Make sure you are going for the right reason,” said D’Andrea. “CIEE programs focus first and foremost on the study aspect.”
While there are some students who do take study abroad trips to mean lower drinking ages and better locations for them to take selfies, many still utilize these trips in the best ways possible – taking classes, learning about the country or city surrounding them and immersing themselves in the new culture.
CIEE provides hybrid programs to fit every need and are outfitted with a combination of local teachers and staff that D’Andrea said is the “greatest value of CIEE programs.”
If any of these options appeal, be sure to check out the study abroad office on campus to determine a possible trip. Hurry though; applications are due at the end of February.