Life slows down for many students in the summer months, allowing time to recuperate from the school year. Although not everyone takes it slow, many students and faculty use this window of opportunity to participate in study abroad programs.
Senior Zackary Pena, a Journalism major, is doing just that as he expressed his excitement while sitting in the Dublin airport waiting for the other participants of the "Reporting in the British Isles" study abroad program, administrated by Professor Sue Carter and Associate Professor Eric Freedman.
"This is my first time participating in a study abroad program and even leaving the country," said Pena. "I don't know what I want to get out of the experience - I just want to dive right into another culture and see what comes out of it. I haven't been this excited about anything before. I'd study abroad every semester if it were feasible...studying abroad in the U.K. is a nice segue into my final semester at MSU."
Michigan State University's study abroad program experiences its highest level of participation during the summer semesters. The Study Abroad Office 2011-2012 statistics states participation reached a total of 1,667 students for the summer in comparison to 243 in the spring and 142 in the fall. The majority of student participation involves seniors at 47.1 percent and juniors at 23.9 percent.
For the summer of 2012, CAS had 180 students participate in a study abroad program with a 17.7 percent undergraduate participation rate. CAS has approximately 160 students participating in MSU-administrated study abroad programs and nine faculty-led study abroad programs this summer. CAS study abroad focuses range from "Mass Media in the United Kingdom," led by Professor Sue Carter and Academic Specialist Troy Hale, to "Visual Communication & Infographics in Spain," led by Graphic Editor-in-Residence Karl Gude and Senior Specialist Cheryl Pell.
The Study Abroad Office has found that the top three influential factors of study abroad programs to be personal growth, education goals and career enhancement. Senior Paul Bupte, a Media and Information major, sought similar goals when given the opportunity to participate in the "Technology and Culture: Communication and Games" program in Japan and Korea, administrated by Assistant Professor Constantinos Coursaris and Assistant Professor Wietske Van Osch.
"I expected to get the experience of a lifetime out of this program. And I was not disappointed. I ended up with invaluable information on the Japanese culture and bonds with people I'll have forever," said Bupte. "Michigan State is the greatest place for learning in the entire world; I wouldn't go anywhere else for education as a college student. But doing a Study Abroad is something everyone needs to experience. I did it as a junior during the summer of 2012 and it only furthered my experience when I came back to school in the fall."
So instead of choosing to veg at home, why not consider doing it in a French cafe?