Deadline looms for students studying abroad
As the end of the semester nears, UH students looking to go abroad during Summer 2013 start their search.
The filing deadline for the first few summer sessions is April 19, and the orientation follows a week later.
The Office of International Studies and Programs, which has sent more than 4,500 students abroad since 2002, has five types of study abroad programs, including special and Visiting International Studies Program, faculty-led, exchange outgoing, exchange incoming and affiliated. With all of these options, students can go to their perspective country of choice during any time of the year, ranging from three weeks to one year.
“I tell students all the time, travel is the best education, and experience is the best teacher,” said Parul Fernandes, director and one of the founders of UH’s OISP. “If you want to be globally competent, you can’t sit in one room or place; you have to step out of your comfort zone.”
Fernandes, along with other staff members in the OISP, work year round to host study abroad fairs and be available as a resource for students looking to broaden their educational horizons.
While the process to study abroad can be overwhelming, students can begin their journey online at uh.edu/academics/intlstu, beginning by setting an appointment with an OISP adviser and ends with a compilation of the lessons learned while on the trip. Because these steps take time, students should get an early start on the process.
“Students can go online to the OISP website to begin the five-step process for studying abroad through UH,” Fernandes said. “Four of the five steps are completed before students go abroad, and the final step is completed when students return.”
Even with a direct system to studying abroad, many students find it difficult to implement the abroad opportunity into their schedules. Marketing senior Tiffany Trevino is one of the many students who said she shares this concern.
“I would love to go to Western Europe, but work holds me back. Keeping an income is the only way I can be able to afford studying abroad,” Trevino said.
The OISP offers financial assistance for those attempting to study abroad. Its two most popular scholarships, the International Educational Fee Scholarship and the Houston Junior Chamber of Commerce Scholarship, both have deadlines during the first half of the semester.
Aside from these scholarships, there are several other scholarship and financial aid opportunities offered throughout the year.
Fernandes encourages students who haven’t explored their options to look into the chance to get an excellent balance of education and fun.
“Many people haven’t explored. They must realize, it isn’t what you look at in a book, but what you see and feel in person,” Fernandes said.
For more information on studying abroad, visit the office on weekdays from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. in the Ezekiel W. Cullen Building.