Study abroad offers students exploratory learning

 “Many of our providers then have coordinators … in that international location so when students travel to that particular place they have somebody to talk to, somebody who has helped them to arrange the housing,” Gillman said.

 Students pay the provider program tuition and the provider then forwards the money to the foreign institution. Students do not pay anything to SDSU if they are studying abroad through a provider program. Provider programs have semester, year and summer-long programs.

 Gillman said another opportunity for students is exchanges.

 There are two types of exchanges: ISEP exchanges and bilateral exchanges. ISEP exchanges allow students to pay everything to SDSU excluding airfare and personal spending money.

 “Last spring we had one person on an exchange, this fall we have 13,” Gillman said.

 The ISEP exchange option has a small staff of one to three people.

 “The [bilateral exchange] is when students pay 12 credits of tuition at SDSU, and then at their host destination they would pay for housing and meals, among other things,” Gillman said.

  There are nine bilateral exchange locations students can travel to if they want to go on a bilateral exchange. Students can travel to Sweden, Manchester, Norway, Winnipeg and several other countries. The price of study abroad varies from program to program. Price also depends on location and duration.

 “The South Dakota Board of Regents has mandated a medical and security evacuation insurance that costs $36.90 per/ month,” Gillman said.

 The insurance covers if anything should happen to a student while they are traveling or living internationally.

 “Right now we have about 80 countries and that’s growing; however, I will say there are some places that we would not permit a student to go,” Gillman said.

 SDSU has travel warnings for countries that are vulnerable due to health or safety crisis.

 “When students arrive on any semester long program, they’re arriving with students from all over the world to this particular location for that program and there will be an orientation of all of them all at the same time and there is their new family,” Gillman said.

 Students can decide on their study abroad location based on their major or choose a location that has interested them.

 “As an apparel merchandising major, I knew I needed to head somewhere culturally rich in fashion,” said Brielle Mears, a sophomore apparel merchandising major. She is studying in Florence, Italy at the Florence University of the Arts.

  Students who go on study abroad experiences often do not know anyone when they arrive at their destination.

 “I have made tons of great friends in just a few weeks and we have become very close, it’s hard to believe we only met two weeks ago,” said Robert Olson, a junior Spanish major studying in Vigo, Spain. 

 Studying abroad encourages students to get out of their comfort zone by traveling to a new country and by experiencing a different culture.

 “I am looking forward to experiencing a different culture, traveling and making new friends from all over,” said Gabrielle Horton, a sophomore mass communications major.

 Horton is studying in Manchester, England. She will be in Manchester starting in September until the middle of July.

 “SDSU students should study abroad so that they see the world and experience life outside Brookings,” Horton said.

 Students are able to learn more about studying abroad by using the study abroad database on the SDSU website.

 “I would like to suggest to anyone who has the interest in studying abroad to go to the International Affairs office in the library and to make an appointment to just sit down with an adviser and to explore your options,” Mears said.

 Students are able to set up appointments to speak with study abroad advisers for more information.

 “Take yourself somewhere where you’ll learn things that will begin to craft or change you as person that will take you in a direction you’ll never go if you don’t do that,” Gillman said.