Study abroad available for students amidst pandemic

Study abroad is available to DSU students after a few years of no travelling. The study abroad program remains hopeful to send out all planned trips. Photo curtesy of the study abroad department.

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The Dixie State University study abroad program is back this summer but as with all travel, it has changed because of the pandemic.

“Some trips will have a better chance than others, but it depends on what happens with the pandemic and where it is strongest,” said Jenny Callahan, the study abroad program coordinator.

The trips will depend on the number of students who enroll in them. If there is low enrollment, it may seem to the faculty that students are not interested.

“One thing we don’t want students to do is to wait to apply to a program if they think they want to go,” Callahan said. “We refund the application fee if the program is canceled due to the pandemic.”

With so much uncertainty in the world, the DSU study abroad program has learned how to keep living life as normal as possible and make changes if needed for safety reasons.

Kimberly Jensen, assistant professor of dental hygiene at DSU, who is also the program leader for the Dominican Republic trip, said, “The first priority is always the safety of the students.”

The details of the trips offered will be available to explore at the Study Abroad Fair Sept. 14 from 9:30 a.m. to noon on the diagonal sidewalk on campus.

“We will have faculty leaders there [the study abroad fair] from each of the programs,” Callahan said. “The students can walk through and see the full roster of programs because we are still getting a few programs approved.”

The study abroad currently has 12 summer semester trips in the work that range in length and location.

The program leader for the Rome trip, Lauren DiSalvo, assistant professor of art history, said: “Rome is a place of general interest to many people who want to travel; however, you get to do it with an art historian who knows all about the art and the city. I also take students to some more off-beat things that they likely would not know to do in Rome were they there for just a few days of personal travel.”

While studying abroad, students are able to get college credit and learn in a different environment which is why it is extremely beneficial.

DiSalvo said: “What benefits aren’t there? Perhaps one of the lesser talked about aspects of studying abroad is the confidence that it instills. Navigating a foreign country on your own, or even with someone else is intimidating. And successfully overcoming those challenges builds confidence and is so rewarding for opening up the world.”

More information about the study abroad opportunities can be found at their website.