Study Abroad program offers students once-in-a-lifetime experience

The possibilities with the Study Abroad program are endless, with programs that quite literally span the seas from Waterford, Ireland to Calabash Caye off the coast of Belize. Each study abroad program varies in length, allowing students to choose between spending a week abroad during spring break, two or more weeks abroad during the summer or an entire semester abroad.
Whether a Lamar University student chooses to study at the University of Salamanca, Spain's oldest and most historic institution, or Seoul National University of Science and Technology, one of Korea's best national universities, the outcome is often the same — a life-changing academic experience that will have a profound impact on students’ personal and professional futures.

The 2022 Business is Spain program recently returned from Alicante. According to Mary Alice Haas, Study Abroad and Student Exchange coordinator, it was an experience that tested students’ resiliency, expanded their perspectives on international businesses and fully immersed them in a new language and culture. Study Abroad

“Throughout the program, students were using Spanish as much as they could, as well as dining on traditional Spanish dishes and taking the tram to a variety of places neighboring Alicante,” Haas said. “My favorite part of the program was touring multinational companies and listening to students engage with their marketing directors and business professionals.”

After the group’s tour of Alannia Costa Blanca, one of the most complete camping resorts in Europe, the students enjoyed refreshments and a presentation about the business, as well as a new business venture lead by the marketing directors of the resort. At the conclusion of the presentation, the students stayed well over our scheduled time asking questions and talking about the business models.

“It was beautiful to see students engaged in course content outside the traditional four walls of a classroom,” Haas added. “Whether it was playing volleyball on San Juan beach or taking the tram to Luceros, the Business in Spain program is a perfect balance of cultural immersion, academics and fun. Our students didn't want to leave and most, if not all, want to return!”

Following their trip to Alicante, Spain, Haas explained more about the Study Abroad program.

Q: What is the mission of the study abroad program? 
A: The Office of International Education and Services team is happy to help foster an environment in which university stakeholders — administrators, faculty, staff, students and residents of the local community and Southeast Texas — have diverse opportunities to gain appreciation, knowledge and understanding of other cultures and global trends.”

The OIES is the comprehensive home for international student programs, Study Abroad and international student organizations. All programs and activities are intended to help enrich the experiences of international students and scholars on campus and to help expand global engagement for students, faculty and staff.

The Office of Study Abroad’s goal is to "encourage transformative learning opportunities that foster academic development, personal growth and intercultural competence that are essential elements of a quality education in today's global society.”

Q: What are some of the programs offered?
A: Lamar University students can participate in short-term and semester long programs. Short-term programs go abroad during the summer and mini sessions. Students usually take between 3-6 credits and gain a global understanding of their major/minor. Past programs have embarked to Belize, Italy, Brazil, Spain and Costa Rica! Our semester long programs allow students to take courses at a university across the world. Their courses are pre-approved by their department chair, which guarantees that they transfer. Semester long experiences allow students to full immerse themselves in another country and language for a longer amount of time. We have a variety of program locations. The most popular choices for semester exchange are South Korea, Spain, France and Germany.

Q: Where are some of the places LU students have traveled to?
A: Students have traveled to Belize, Italy, Brazil, Spain, Costa Rica, Panama, Argentina, China, Canada, Mexico, Iceland, India, England and others! They have access to more than 50 program locations across the world.

Q: What does study abroad entail?
A: Studying abroad is an opportunity for students to expand their academics outside the four walls of a classroom and learn about their major/minor on an international scale. The professional and personal benefits of study abroad are overwhelming and students report that it is one of the most formative experiences of their entire college career.

Study AbroadQ: What is the program's benefit to students?
A: In the largest known alumni survey, IES Abroad reported that 80% of respondents agreed that studying abroad had enhanced their interest in academic study.

• 80% of study abroad students reported that study abroad allowed them to better adapt to diverse work environments

• 97% of study abroad students found employment within 12 months of graduation, when only 49% of college graduates found employment in the same period.

• 59% of employers said that study abroad would be valuable in an individual’s career later on in their organization

• 96% of IES alumni from the University of Maryland associated study abroad with an increase of maturity

• 97% of alumni said studying abroad increased their self-confidence
(This information was retrieved from the following: Amy Ruhter McMillan, & Gayly Opem. (2002.) Study Abroad: A Lifetime of Benefits. Richard C. Sutton, & Donald L. Rubin. (2010). Documenting the Academic Impact of Study Abroad: Final Report of the GLOSSARI Project. What Statistics Show about Study Abroad Students.

Q: What is the process of applying? What are the requirements?
A: Everyone can study abroad! So long as you are a full-time enrolled student in good academic standing with at least a 2.0 GPA (undergraduate) or 3.0 GPA (graduate). We highly encourage students to meet with the study abroad and student exchange coordinator. Whether you apply to a short-term or semester long program, you also need to meet with your academic advisor to get your course/courses pre-approved. 

Learn more about the Study Abroad program or the Office of International Education and Services.