Editorial: International studies proves effective

The international study opportunities offered to Villanova students should be applauded. The Office of International Studies has done an outstanding job gradually building and continuously improving the study abroad program. Students with at least a 2.75 grade point average are eligible to apply for opportunities to study all over the globe. Spain, Chile, Greece, France, Scotland, Ireland, Jordan, Russia, Germany, Italy, China, Poland and Australia are just a few of the options offered to University students. Students can opt to travel abroad for a semester in either the fall or spring, or choose to apply for the summer program, which allows them to study overseas without missing any classes during the school year. This is a valuable option for students who are very involved on campus but still want the opportunity to experience other cultures. Villanova’s international studies program is comparable to other similar universities such as Georgetown and Lehigh. All three schools offer many places to travel. Villanova, however, gives students the opportunity to go far beyond the standard options. For example, some students have applied to study in Israel and Tibet.

Villanova’s opportunities are unique, in the sense that they offer not only programs run through International Education of Students, but also those developed within Villanova itself. Such trips are also open to non-University students, but still, a good number of the participants are from Villanova, and it’s nice to be able to study in another country with familiar faces surrounding you.

The University’s program gives students the chance to put an international spin on their college careers. The Office of International Studies makes it easy to explore all the available options, whether that means spending a year or a summer or a semester abroad, or doing an area studies concentration. The program proves especially useful to business students; many corporations are beginning to expand all over the world, and they need employees who are at home in a variety of environments and understand how to conduct business in different cultures. The program allows students to improve their foreign language skills and to learn about their majors in a whole new way.

Many students have already taken advantage of the program and describe it as a life-changing experience. Villanova’s program is an asset to the University because it allows students to educate themselves outside the normal classroom environment, to broaden their understanding of global issues, to live independently and to experience more cultural diversity. Although certain trips are more about the traveling experience and social aspects rather than the classroom education, Villanova’s study abroad program presents indispensable learning opportunities to students ready for new frontiers.