Over 200 students from Fort Lewis College are currently studying abroad at some point this academic year, comprising roughly 10 percent of the student body population.
Studying abroad can be an option for every student, no matter what major or financial status may be.
The first step in planning study abroad is making an appointment with Jennifer Gay, the coordinator at the International Study Abroad Office.
Students can schedule a half hour intake appointment, where Gay will evaluate a student’s specific academic situation in order to understand their major. This will consist of where a student is in their degree, and what semester would be most appropriate for their time studying abroad, Gay said.
Students are strongly encouraged to take GS 250 or GS 251, both International Studies courses, prior to their term abroad, Gay said.
In addition to taking these courses, students must meet individually with Gay to ensure that they have all of the necessary paperwork before leaving the country, she said.
All students are required to attend an accredited university, which means that if the students choose the correct classes to correspond with their major, credits are most likely to transfer back to FLC.
Planning early for a study abroad trip is essential to ensure that a student has as many options as possible in choosing a place to study abroad.
Remi Majeski, a student currently studying abroad in the United Arab Emirates, spent almost two years planning his trip.
“It’s a long process and the sooner students plan the more options and the better the experiences will be for them,” Gay said.
Since students are encouraged to take the GS 250 and GS 251 classes prior to studying abroad, the time to plan ahead for a summer innovate month has already passed. However, it is never too late to start planning ahead for other upcoming programs and independent trips.
Study abroad is possible for all students, and there is an option available for everyone, Gay said.
“I haven’t talked to one student who hasn’t come back and felt like it was the most amazing and important experiences of their college career,” she said.
Study abroad is an opportunity for students to gain experiences and broaden their understanding, she said.
“For anyone else considering applying to study abroad, I say go for it,” Majeski said. “Ever since I've been in the UAE, I've taken many more opportunities to try new things, and it was all because I decided to take that first step and fill out a few forms.”
To receive more information, the Study Abroad office is located in Jones Hall 106.