While most of us were at home this summer, some dukes were lucky enough to take advantage of JMU’s wonderful Study Abroad programs! According to Jason Good, the Director of the Office of International Programs, “close to 70 JMU faculty led study abroad programs this summer. Additionally we have many JMU students who study abroad on external and exchange programs throughout the year. This year we set a new record with more than 1,300 students studying abroad.”
These programs range from a semester at sea, to a summer in Seoul, South Korea, which I did (and it was amazing, see my pics below). Studying abroad is a unique way to see the world in a light that you would not have seen it before; you spend time in a foreign place and get pushed far outside your comfort zone. Studying abroad can also give you a competitive advantage after graduation, in fact, it’s been shown that study abroad students on average receive a 25% higher salary than their peers. For my study abroad trip, we visited several Public Relations firms to get to know what it’s like to work in an international industry. We also visited the site of the 2018 PyeongChang Olympics; where else do you get this much practical international experience and get to have fun at the same time!?
Nina Geleta, who studied abroad in Florence, Italy this summer, said that her favorite part about studying abroad was “experiencing a totally new culture and making close friends with my peers while there. Florence is amazing, and it was awesome getting to know it!” Nina also said that she’d recommend studying abroad to others because,
“It’s an experience that you can never get anywhere else. I’ve learned so many new things, and even the professors I’ve made close relationships with will be great connections throughout the rest of my life. There were also many different opportunities to venture outside of Florence and experience other parts of Europe!”
Its rare to find an opportunity where you can have this much fun while also getting professional experience, but with JMU’s study abroad opportunities, it is not only possible, but probable. Just look at these pictures from this summer!
If you feel like having as great of a time as these people, then I highly recommend applying to study abroad! Visit the OIP website for more information about upcoming trips!
Worried about possible financial issues with going abroad? Jason Good from OIP says,
“JMU offers a range of scholarships for study abroad. The Office of International Programs offers both need-based and merit-based scholarships for both short term and semester programs. We post these scholarships on our website and send reminder emails to students throughout the fall. Additionally there are several external scholarships that are available to students looking to study abroad.”