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This year left students of all ages on edge about their education in the midst of a pandemic. As 2022 approaches, so does the slow return to normal. COVID-19 restricted in-person classes for RIC students and many followed the quarantine rules. People were wondering when they could travel back to campus; for some it was about the thought of travelling to a campus in another country. Now that things are improving in the U.S. and across the world, the option for students to travel abroad for a semester is being considered to open back up through the Study Abroad department.
RIC’s Study Abroad office had struggled through the quarantine, limits on travel were put in place and opportunities were temporarily closed for students wishing to go abroad. Next week the International Education Committee plans to hold a meeting to discuss whether or not it will be safe to relaunch study abroad in the Spring 2022 semester. The chance to apply for scholarships/financial aid to cover trips is still available and applications for possible travel this Spring are open. Some applications to consider are the Shinn Study Abroad Fund and the Beatrice Demers Foreign Language Fellowship, which funds language students’ trips to immersive language environments. The amount of students receiving awards depends on the year, but the majority of applications in the past have all received financial aid. The Shinn Fund especially awards students with well thought out applications.
Dr. Anabela Maia is an associate professor for RIC’s department of biology and also is an advisor for students who are curious about what study abroad has to offer. As an international student herself, Maia says her experience “expanded [her] horizons in a way that no other experience has. Study Abroad is a great opportunity to learn other cultures and to grow as an individual by placing oneself outside their comfort zone on a daily basis.” As for students studying a particular language, she says “It is also a great way to become fluent in a second or third language through immersion. In terms of one’s education, there is also a lot to be learned by how a different country approaches the teachings in a particular discipline.”
The Study Abroad Department at RIC is looking forward to discussing the plans for Spring 2022. RIC encourages students who want to study abroad to apply for scholarships before their deadlines.
For a list of Study Abroad Programs, scholarships, and to book advising appointments visit: https://www.ric.edu/department-directory/office-study-abroad