Study-abroad programs encouraged

Kylie Corbett

     From January to April of next year (2011), several students will travel to Salamanca, Spain, with Saddleback College’s Study Abroad Program. 

     Spanish professor Carmenmara Hernandez-Bravo, will be taking the students this spring to Spain.  She has been involved with the Study Abroad Programs for over 27 years. 

     “The first couple days are a big culture shock to the students, but it’s important for them to embrace difference,” Hernandez-Bravo said. 

     Understanding the significance of learning cross culture, Hernandez-Bravo explained how students stay with families that have lived in the country their whole lives.  

   “They stay with families that are in different classes economically, [immersing themselves] into the culture,” she said.

     There are always students attending the trip that are trying to achieve a double major in Spanish.  

   “It helps them in any career, [especially in] California; being bilingual is a huge plus,” Hernandez-Bravo said.    

   Having the chance to live in 11 different countries, Hernandez-Bravo believes those experiences have shaped her as a person.  

   “It opens your eyes to new ideas and the different ways countries work.  We should all learn from one another,” she said. 

     For more information regarding the Spain trip this spring, there will be an informational meeting on Thursday, September 23rd, in the Student Service Center: room 212 at 6:00pm.  

   Also from March to May, Professor Gary Luke will be taking 20-30 students to Oxford, England.  

   Never having the chance to study abroad while growing up, Luke enjoys giving the opportunity to others.

  This will be Luke’s fifth group of students this spring.  

   Luke sees how the Study Abroad Program has helped several people in a positive way. 

     “Most students who have gone before, have come back and they’ve said,

‘Wow that was a transformative experience, they’ve grown as individuals,'” he said.  

   Sometimes it is a student’s first time being away from home, so they learn a lot throughout their stay.  

   “It’s usually a huge growth process and an experience you can’t get in Orange County,” Luke said.  

   Students live with local families and attend classes three days a week, as well as four field trips throughout their stay.

     “Students have four day weekends, so they can travel and connect and 11 day breaks,” Luke said.

   To become a part of the Oxford, England program this spring, see Professor Luke for more information or attend the meeting in the near future.

    See http://www.saddleback.edu/la/sa/ on Saddleback.edu, regarding any study abroad program that Saddleback’s campus has to offer.   

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