Study abroad trip planning: one student’s journey Part I

0
666
Photo by Leah Schwarting
Students gather for the Student Travel Workshop in Thrift Alumni.

Leah Schwarting
Co-Editor

As the end of my fourth semester approaches my thoughts have turned towards Junior Journeys. The Junior Journey program was a key factor in my picking Florida Southern College, so you could say that I am a little excited about it.

Although I am eyeing a trip for next spring break, I decided to start getting ideas. Brenna Hanley, the student travel coordinator, says that it is never too early to start planning.

“Every time is always a good time to start planning,” Hanley said. “I always like to have our students come in as early as possible, asking about trips.”

The trips are listed on the website, http://www.flsouthern.edu/KCMS/Study-Abroad.aspx#costs, and I scrolled through them. Hanley told me that I should not make any final plans yet, since trips for spring break will not be up for a while.

Even the upcoming fall break trips may be added to as time goes on.

Still, I looked. Junior Journey trips, like the week-long ones to Costa Rica and Guatemala, are worth around one credit hour.

The longer trips are worth more, and some, like the trip to Spain, would take care of a language course requirement. It depends on what I need, since the Junior Journey money can transfer to any trip

Since no trips are currently listed for spring break next year, I am currently holding off on deciding on a trip.

If I had decided on a trip, I would have gone on to filling out my form packet from the website or the Student Travel Office.

The packet includes a liability form, photo release form, a GPA request form, a student accountability contract and a student’s health records.

“Those just have all of their health information that we would need, or the trip director would need, while on the trip in case they got sick or hurt,” Hanley said.

Other nuts and bolts come from the Student Travel Workshops, which come after filling out the packet. I attended one on Monday, Feb. 4.

While the Workshops are geared towards students who are just about to take a trip, there was still a lot of information that I took away from it.

Hanley gave the lecture through a PowerPoint, telling students about financial information, such as when students should make deposits or apply for the Plowman Scholarship for the May option.

“There are several other scholarships out there. None of them are FSC-based though,” Hanley said. “The Plowman Scholarship is the only study abroad FSC-based scholarship that we have.”

When asked, Hanley recommended studyabroad.com for students who were not going on the May option but were still interested in scholarships.

Other nuggets of information included packing tips, such as keeping your medications in your carry-on in case your luggage gets lost. However, if it does, it is covered by the FSC travel insurance.

It appears that the school’s policies extend to the trips, but local laws apply too.

There are also several rules that apply for the longer trips, such as three strikes with the trip director before the student is sent home.

After the workshops there are smaller orientations that are geared towards students going to a specific trip.

These allow students to get last minute cultural and course information.

“It’s a chance for them to meet who they’re going to be working with for the next week to two months,” Hanley said.

After that, it is off to wherever they want to go.

While I have yet to finalize my plans, I am now more acquainted with what comes next, and I believe that I am more prepared for what to do when the time comes. It gives me something to look forward to, without the stress.

LEAVE A REPLY