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Learning Without Borders: Fort Lewis College on the Forefront of Student Exchange Opportunities

Learning Without Borders: Fort Lewis College on the Forefront of Student Exchange Opportunities

Story by Lio Diaz, Graphic by Graeme Johnston

Thursday, January 30, 2014 | Number of views (2992)

For over 30 years, Fort Lewis College has sent students around the world through various study abroad programs. Though a large number of students show interest in participating in the programs, many wonder what the next step is when considering studying abroad.


Students often find themselves questioning what is required to participate in the program and believe that they cannot afford it.


Tina Zuniga, a FLC junior majoring in sociology with a focus in ethnic studies was able to study abroad last semester. Through the FLC Foundation, she found student aid opportunities and scholarships, which helped her study in Costa Rica.


“I’m glad I took the initiative to utilize what my school offers,” she said.


Initially, FLC students studied abroad only through faculty-led programs.


Since then the program “has become more individualized where students could customize their own experiences,” said, the Director of International Programs, Jennifer Gay.


Gay has directed the program for four years and has expressed concern regarding students’ belief that they cannot go abroad for any number of reasons. She works with students to establish individual plans for their time abroad, a strategy she calls “myth busting”.


Gay said it is important that students have an open mind when planning their time abroad.


“It’s never something a FLC student regrets doing,” she said.


In addition to sending students to other countries, FLC welcomes a diverse multitude of study abroad students. One of these students, Simon Law, a sophomore studying social science from Waseda University in Tokyo.


Law enjoys receiving one-on-one attention from FLC professors and perks like faculty office hours not offered at his university, he said.

Students considering the study abroad program at FLC can visit the International Programs Office located on campus in Jones Hall, Room 106. There, students can learn about prerequisites for studying abroad such as the application process, required courses, and programs offered. More information can be found on the International Programs Office of Study Abroad webpage on the FLC website.


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