One of the least expensive ways to travel is as a student, Scott Miller, International Student Advisor said. Fort Lewis College has many programs to get students out of the country, with the help of fundraising, financial aid or scholarships.
Listed below, are a few organizations that partner with FLC to allow students to study abroad for a whole semester.
International Student Exchange Program
With ISEP, the money you pay goes to FLC and is roughly the same cost as a semester’s tuition, full meal plan, and Centennial apartment living, Miller said. Sometimes you live on campus at the abroad university with a meal plan, and sometimes you get an apartment and stipend. It depends on the location, Miller said. Financial aid and tuition waivers apply.
On the FLC’s International Programs Office website, there is a list of partnering Universities under the programs tab, Miller said. Similar to ISEP, students pay their at home college fees while studying at a different college in another country. This way you can attend college for a semester in Denmark, Japan, Australia, and more.
University Studies Abroad Consortium
USAC is a non-profit study abroad provider, Miller said. The price you pay goes to this organization rather than FLC, and cost depends on the location you travel to. All financial aid applies other than the Native American tuition waiver and the Merit Scholarship, since classes aren’t offered directly through FLC. However, all credits are still transferable. USAC offers internship opportunities and acts as a safety net for students in case of injury, illness, or other emergency, by taking students to hospital and translating the language, for example, Miller said.
All of these programs require students to take a class at FLC, called GS251, Miller said. This class isn’t worth credit, and doesn’t cost anything, but helps students see which program and location is best for them, helps them with all the paperwork, and helps them plan their trip.
An entire semester away may seem like a bit much, especially if a student has never left the country before, Miller said. If this is the case, there are classes available through USAC for a few weeks in the summer, taught by FLC professors. Each of the courses are 300-level and worth three credits.
FLC Faculty Taught Classes Abroad, Summer of 2019
Political Legitimacy and Secession in Spain and Beyond (philosophy/psychology)
This class will be taught in Alicante, Spain by Sarah Roberts-Cady, Political Science, Psychology, and Gender and Sexuality professor.
The Two World Wars in Europe (history)
This class will be taught in Prague, Czech Republic by Ellen Paul, History professor.
The Psychology of Happiness:What Brazilians Know (psychology/sociology)
This class will be taught in Florianopolis, Brazil by Brian Burke, Psychology professor.
Plants and People (biology)
This class will be taught in Puntarenas, Costa Rica by Aurea Cortes-Palomec, Biology lecturer.
If a classroom environment abroad isn’t quite what you’re looking for, there are also programs that focus more on experiential learning and volunteer work. These trips are independent programs through FLC, rather than ISEP or USAC. They tend to be worth a bit more credit, too. Application dates vary, so contact the professor leading the trip if interested for the upcoming summer term.
FLC Faculty Led Trips Abroad, Summer of 2019
Africa (anthropology, 5 credits)
This trip will be led by David Kozak, Anthropology professor, and Stacey Sotosky, Journalism and Multimedia Studies professor. Students will start preparing for a week on campus, from April 29 to May 2. Then students will spend three weeks in Tanzania, Africa from May 3 to the 23, Kozak said. The program is open to all majors, who can choose to research and volunteer within global health, food security, substance abuse, women’s work, environmental studies, and more. Sotosky will even be there to assist students in creating documentaries.
Mexico (sociology, 6-credits)
This trip will be lead by Benjamin Waddell, Sociology professor. The purpose of this trip is to trace migration backwards, Waddell said. The trip extends from June 3 to the 22. Students will start in San Diego, then cross the border into Tijuana and spend five days volunteering with organizations that work with migrants. After that, students will go by bus to Guanajuato and spend a week there and take Spanish classes and attend cultural talks to help students communicate. The last week will be volunteer work within migrating villages.
Italy (art, 3-credits)
This trip will be lead by Paul Booth, Art professor, and Julie Tapley-Booth, Center of Southwest Business and Public Relations manager. Students will be preparing for a week on campus from April 29 to May 3.. On May 6, students will fly into Rome to meet Booth and Tapely-Booth at the airport. From there they will explore Florence, and southern Italian villages until May 20. This program is run through a company called Education Tours and Cruises. The best part about this is being able to skip four-hour lines, Booth said. Because of the efficient use of time, the itinerary is packed and students get to experience much more than they could if traveling any other way, Booth said.
Germany (business, 9-credits)
This trip will be lead by Chris Lyon, Accounting professor, and Doug Lyon, Management professor. Students will be taking classes in Heidelberg, Germany for 7 weeks, from May 1 to June 18, Doug Lyon said. In addition to excursions and tours during the week, students get long weekends to go off on their own, and explore surrounding countries. You can be any major for this program, and can earn half of a business minor from the trip, Chris Lyon said. The class is even accessible through canvas like any other FLC class.
With each of these programs, there is a set fee not including airfare. Cost depends on location. Tuition waivers and financial aid apply, as well as some scholarships, such as a competitive abroad scholarship called the Benjamin A. Gilman scholarship that grants up to $5 thousand, Waddell said.
Financial aid isn’t the only way to make travel affordable for college students. FLC has a program that is specifically centered around volunteer work in some of the world’s poorest countries, Don May, Engineering professor said. It isn’t worth any credit, and no aid applies. However, there is plenty of fundraising to make the trip possible.
Village Aid Project
There are two trips within VAP, one to Myanmar and one to Nicaragua. These happen at the same time, and are lead by either Don May or Laurie Williams, both Physics and Engineering professors. The purpose of this trip is to build water and sanitation systems in some of the poorest countries in the world, May said. However, students can join in any major. The trip will extend through the first three weeks of May.
Fundraising this year has included stocking and selling snacks through the vending machines on campus, as well as putting on a concert, May said.
If studying or volunteering abroad seems like something you want to do, FLC has plenty of options for you to explore.