As Slippery Rock University’s classes let out for spring break on March 8th, many students continued their studies and educational experiences, only this time, miles away from Slippery Rock.
About 250 SRU students studied abroad over Spring Break in places ranging from London to Costa Rica to Scandinavia. Twelve faculty-led groups represented SRU around the globe. According to Jenny Kawata, Director of Global Exchanges and Partnerships, every program is very different from each other based on country, location, and the faculty member leading the trip.
Locations visited included Italy, London, Costa Rica, Greece, Mexico and Ireland.
According to Kawata, the faculty-led programs help in many ways.
“Taking advantage of the faculty-led programs allow students to connect with professors along with new departments here at SRU. It opens doors for students on the academic, personal, professional, and intercultural level,” Kawata said.
Kawata said that these shorter length trips provide students the opportunity to travel together with faculty leaders and other students from their university, which can ultimately release some fear of traveling abroad. Going on these shorter seminars abroad often is a springboard to regular study abroad programs.
“When students gain experiences from the first trip, they then have the self-confidence to travel abroad alone and for a longer amount of time,” Theresa Thrower, assistant director of global exchanges and partnerships said
The costs of faculty-led spring break programs are almost the same all across the board due to the fact that the university subsidizes the costs to make it an affordable experience for all students that may be interested.
“We not only encourage students to study abroad, but also invest to help offset the costs for students to travel so that anyone can have access,” Kawata said. “They can find their path and then make connections that can change their perspectives on the world.”