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Short-term Study Abroad Program Open to Entire CSULB Community

Published: March 15, 2010

Faculty and staff wishing to travel and learn during their vacations now have the opportunity to participate in CSULB’s short-term study abroad programs. Thanks to a partnership between the Center for International Education (CIE) and the College of Continuing and Professional Education (CCPE), there are 35 summer session and 11 (so far) winter session travel/study courses available to the CSULB community (including alumni) as well as students and adults from outside the campus.

The application process is a one-page form sent to the professor leading the chosen study abroad course. Once approved for inclusion in a course, applicants follow instructions for registering through CCPE and paying fees. All participants who enroll in short-term study abroad courses receive CSULB credit, including those who wish to audit the class and waive participation in assignments and tests; few of the classes require prerequisites. Tuition fees as well as some travel expenses are included in the costs and vary based on the destination and length of the trips, which run from two to five weeks.

“I encourage our campus community to think about enrolling in a short-term study abroad course,” said Sharon Olson, director of CIE’s Education Abroad and the GLOBE program. “I know the financial part can seem daunting. It’s more expensive than if you book a tour, but you have to think about what you’re going to get from this experience that is different than when you’re traveling on your own or taking an organized tour through a tour company. From my perspective, there are different sets of dynamics going on during the class–you have the interaction with the faculty member, the other students, the culture; you might be living in a flat so you’re shopping in the local stores and interacting with the locals all the time. It’s a much deeper, richer experience than what you can get on your own.”

Matt Reimers, program manager for CCPE, believes that non-students from the CSULB campus stand to gain quite a bit from a short-term study abroad program. “The city of Long Beach is extremely diverse, and the CSULB campus is diverse, not only in the student body but in the work force,” he commented. “For our staff to go and experience something different, something not usual–not just a trip to San Diego or Santa Barbara for the weekend–I think it will give them a greater appreciation for where they work and who they work with, and who they are helping out, whether it’s a student, instructor, department chair, dean, supervisor or student assistant. I think it provides them a greater perspective and greater appreciation for the way things are in their lives and their jobs.”

Deadlines for the upcoming summer session study abroad programs are varied, with some extending through to the end of May. Countries where the programs will be held include South Africa, China, Kazakhstan, Taiwan, Vietnam, Brazil, Guatemala, Czech Republic, Poland, England, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, Ireland, Netherlands, Russia and Ukraine. Course and travel expense details and applications are available on the CIE Web site. Individuals interested in applying to programs that may have already closed their deadlines are encouraged to contact the instructor for last-minute openings, changes in deadlines and/or information on 2011 courses. Closing dates for the winter session programs vary from early October to mid-November. CCPE also offers a toll-free phone number, 800/963-2250, for more information.

–Teresa Hagen