Instead of going back to their regular summer job this year, University of Arizona students are being encouraged to get hands-on learning experience in another country this summer.
From Chile to Turkey, a bevy of new international course offerings at the UA will send students to corners of the world to study and explore new cultures – all while earning credit towards their degree.
Last year, the UA Study Abroad Photo Contest gave students a chance to share their study abroad experience. Check out some of the photos Wildcats took around the world in this photo gallery.
"These programs give students an opportunity to put their UA experience into a new, exciting and rewarding context," said Harmony DeFazio, director of study abroad and student exchange programs in the UA's Global Initiatives office. "Studying abroad is an experience that is open and encouraged for all students. We are constantly working on breaking down the barriers – both perceived and real – of access to students who want to add a global component to their education."
Global Initiatives coordinates programs in more than 50 countries, including some new offerings.
This new eight-week program is based in Izmir, Turkey, that offers academic credit for Middle Eastern coursework in language and culture studies. Students will start off with a four-day orientation in Istanbul before flying to Izmir – the country's third largest city. Courses are held on the campus of Dokuz Eylül University.
"Students can study Turkish in the United States, but by offering it in context in Turkey, we provide students with an opportunity to surround themselves in the language, not just in the classroom, but in their daily life as well," DeFazio said.
In addition to regular coursework, students will participate in numerous academic excursions to sites in Anatolia, also known as Asia Minor, including a stop in Turkey's capital city, Ankara.
Located on the white sand beaches of Portugal, Tróia is the site where students have the opportunity to participate in a real archaeological dig. The city was the largest fish-salting production center known in the Roman Empire. When the Roman settlement was abandoned in the 6th century, objects were buried and preserved in the sand dunes. For four weeks, students will work to uncover potter, coins and bone objects. The fieldwork is accompanied by lectures, workshops and site study visits.
This program for fine arts majors offers a chance to create and study art in the historical region of Oaxaca de Juárez, Mexico. Located 287 miles south of Mexico City, Oaxaca is touted as one of the world's greatest meccas of art and printmaking.
"Offering lithography in a vibrant area like Oaxaca provides a whole new set of sights, sounds and smells that can all serve as sources of inspiration to budding lithographers," DeFazio said.
As part of this three-week program, students will study and create art using the printing process of lithography using facilities at the Rufino Tamayo Workshop. They will also get the chance to spend two days in Mexico City exploring parks and museums like the Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera House-Studio.
Those who prefer to study the art of buildings can spend four weeks studying architecture in Chile. Three weeks will be spent in the country's capital, Santiago, with side trips to Valparaiso and Ciudad Abierta de Ritoque planned. Students will draw plans, sections, elevations and model spaces. When they're not in class or traveling, they will get the chance to be immersed in local culture by staying with Chilean families while in Santiago.
To encourage students to take advantage of study abroad programs and help ease any financial strain, some departments in the UA College of Humanities are offering multiple awards for students to use this summer to study internationally.
The African Studies program is offering two $5,000 awards and one $3,000 award to send students to South Africa and Swaziland this summer. In addition, the School of International Languages, Literatures and Cultures will give up to two $1,500 awards as part of its Global Award Fund. Last year, students were sent to Leipzig, Germany, and Montpellier, France, thanks to the fund.
The Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship is also available for students looking for financial aid to study abroad. Last year, the UA had the second highest number of students awarded the scholarship, which is funded by the U.S. Department of State. (Read more about the scholarship in this article.) For those would like more information, Global Initiatives is hosting two workshops on Feb. 14 and Feb. 18.
For students who want to study somewhere new but stay in the U.S., the National Student Exchange offers nearly 200 colleges and universities to choose from across the U.S. and Canada. Students pay UA tuition rates and can apply their grants, scholarships, tuition waivers and financial aid to the cost.
Jeanais Brodie, UA director of transfer student services, said the National Student Exchange helps students develop a sense of independence.
"The National Student Exchange is one of those best kept secrets," Brodie said. "It offers students a great opportunity to study away for a semester or a full academic year, and at the same cost as being at the UA because you pay your UA tuition."
The application deadline for placements through the National Student Exchange, the South Africa and Swaziland program and the Global Award Fund is Feb. 14.
The application deadline for the Arizona in Turkey, Arizona in Portugal, Lithography in Mexico and Architecture in Chile programs is Tuesday, Feb. 25.