Saddleback goes global with study abroad programs

Students have the opportunity to study in various countries in the Study Abroad program. (Oliver Yu)

Ashley Henderson

Tired of sitting in the same mundane classroom with the same humdrum routine? Study Abroad Programs may hold the solution to your monotony. 

“When you live for weeks or months abroad it is a different experience than staying for a week or two in a hotel,” said Kevin O’Connor, dean of Liberal Arts and LearningResources.

Aside from a change of scenery and, of course, all the new experiences that come along with traveling to different areas of the world, studying abroad offers students various opportunities to maximize learning.

Not only can students take full advantage of educational opportunities at Saddleback College by diversifying the learning environment, but SAP broadens global perspective, as well as foreign culture.

Many students look to study abroad for the travel aspect, however the program itself is very academic process, O’Connor said.

“The faculty interview each student to make sure the student is making the right decision to study abroad,” he said. With 16-80 students per year looking to participate,  faculty must make sure that each student is eligible by being in good academic standings, he said.

Having studied abroad himself, O’Connor visited Cambridge as a graduate student.

 “I found British professors were like professors you read about in a novel or a good film,”he said.

Among the various places students have chosen to go are Spain and Europe. “Three programs we have consistently offered are: The Oxford spring trip, the Salamanca spring trip, and the Santander summer trip,” O’Connor said.

Studying abroad in areas such as Oxford allows students opportunities to visit Stratford-Upon-Avon, Warwick Castle, Bath and Stonehenge, and of course, tours of Westminster Abbey and various other areas of London.

The two Spanish trips are no different. In Salmanca students can expect to see beautiful landscapes and diverse areas of Spain, not to mention various cultural experiences like the Prado Museum, Reina Sofia Museum and of course Plaza Mayor. Santander has beautiful beaches as well as vast snowy mountains.

The Santander trip is a great opportunity to experience Spanish culture while learning the language.             

Along with the discotheques, prehistoric caves, and summer festivals and various sandy beaches, Santander is the perfect learning destination. These three locations offer students the ability to more closely study Spanish culture, while the Oxford trip allows them to fuscous on English literature, he said.

“Saddleback College has a standing tradition of providing these opportunities for students,” O’Connor said.

So next time you find yourself staring at the back of a colleague’s head in the same Monday morning class, remember that travel, adventure, and cultural diversity are part of the study abroad experience. 

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