By Hannah Ander
Bellevue Community College gives students a variety of study abroad opportunities in distant countries.
A different study abroad location is offered each quarter, and the programs are open to all students regardless of their proficiency in the language of the country to which they plan to visit.
Through the BCC Study Abroad Program, students live in foreign countries for a quarter while taking a full 15 credit class load. The classes offered range within the humanities field. Students decide whether or not they wish to study the language of the country they visit.
For the 2009 winter quarter, BCC offers a study abroad program to Costa Rica. Classes typically hold four students, and the classrooms generally have big windows on all sides, giving students a view of the scenic beauty while they study.
Study abroad coordinator and BCC Instructor, Carol McKee, said the Costa Rica trip is her favorite because “the people there are friendly” and “the weather is nice.” McKee said the application deadline for the Costa Rica trip has been moved from Oct. 24 to Nov. 20. There is still time for students to sign up for the study abroad trip to Costa Rica.
There is a spring 2009 trip planned for Florence, Italy. The accommodations include many trips to Florence’s historical and cultural sites, and students will live in furnished apartments. According to the Florence study abroad brochure, students will have between two and six roommates.
McKee said the study abroad program “helps students find out who they are and what they want to do in life.” She also said that, for students who are looking to transfer to a four year university or improve their resume, the study abroad trips can reflect experience and maturity on a school application or resume.
Applicants for the Study Abroad Program need to have at least a 2.5 grade point average, attain recommendations from college professors, write a short essay about interests and personality, and go through an interview. The interview is “not about eliminating people,” rather, it helps staff to direct students to the Study Abroad Program that fits them best, said McKee.
The price to study abroad is roughly $7,000 (not including air-fare), but financial aid and scholarships are available. So if $7,000 seems like a lot of money, then apply for some scholarships or go to the BCC financial aid office and ask what kind of financial help is available for students who would like to study abroad.
To begin the application process, pick up brochures around campus or go to the BCC study abroad website at http://bellevuecollege.edu/studyabroad/default.asp.