The study abroad program at California Baptist University has extended its application deadline for the fall 2020 semester to June 1 because of the COVID-19 outbreak.
The application process starts with an email to Garrett English, the director of Academic Engagement. English will then walk students through the process, including how to find an appropriate university, how to check whether classes will transfer from that institution to CBU and how to prepare to talk to the dean of their chosen program. This time around, every step will be completed remotely.
English said that by the extended June 1 deadline, CBU is looking for a few key pieces of information: knowing which university the student is applying to attend, meeting with the dean of the student’s program, submitting the courses they wish to take and anything else that needs university approval. Students do not need to be accepted to their chosen university abroad prior to June 1.
Although there are multiple steps students need to take to study abroad, English said this should not discourage students from applying.
“We do not want students to take this lightly. Studying abroad is not for everyone, but it is very beneficial to those who decide to do it,” English said. “Studying abroad shows future employers that the candidate is not afraid to travel or step out of their comfort zone. It also shows employers that you know how to problem solve because (when you are) living in a different country for three months without knowing anyone else, challenges are bound to arise.”
Students have found many advantages to studying abroad: newfound independence, even more travel opportunities from their new place of residence and the opportunity to learn about other cultures and meet people unlike anyone they had met in the United States.
Mara Mann, senior sociology major, who studied in Scotland during her junior year at CBU, said while studying abroad can be challenging, her biggest takeaways were a greater ability to problem solve and more independence.
“Flying into a new country where you do not know a single person is very surreal,” Mann said. “Then once you are there, grocery shopping, navigating the city and understanding the new school are all things that you have to figure out pretty much on your own. It was definitely a challenge because I am a very dependent person, but I am so appreciative of the growth I gained from that experience.”
Although coursework is largely done in the classroom, much can also be learned outside of it. Mann said traveling in another continent is also useful because students get to experience a variety of different cultures.
“Students should travel — but travel with purpose — to places you have a strong desire to see rather than just trying to get another stamp on your passport,” Mann said. “When you do get to travel to other countries, meet up with the locals and get involved with their traditional activities in order to truly embrace the culture. One of my favorite activities I did while abroad was going to Sweden. My friends and I signed up for a sauna to Baltic Sea jump with natives and they taught us all about their culture and told us their folk tales.”
Natalie Peters, junior marketing major, who studied in Barcelona, Spain, said although it can be daunting for students to study abroad, it is an experience every student should have.
“(You have to) be smart about whatever you do,” Peters said. “Put yourself out there to allow yourself to have more opportunities and try to say yes to adventure. You will regret missing out on experiences you could have had. I strongly encourage everyone to try to study abroad sometime during their college career. I still have not stopped telling people about my time abroad because it was that amazing.”
Students looking for more information or the steps needed in order to study abroad during their time at CBU can follow this link: https://calbaptist.terradotta.com/index.cfm?FuseAction=Abroad.ViewLink&Parent_ID=C507B0E6-5056-BA12-C072B227CC7BF00C&Link_ID=71F06928-5056-BA12-C064BB089857C179.