Skyline’s Study Abroad Program opened itself up to the public on Nov. 16 as the committee set up a table in building 6, informing passing students about the various opportunities available to them.
The table itself was modest, with people in the Study Abroad Program at the helm, informing those who seemed to take an interest on what studying abroad really is. The most vocal was Study Abroad Program Coordinator Calvin Nguyen
One of the main points that the program wanted to make was that studying abroad helps students be more prepared for an ever-evolving, more globalized world.
“Studying abroad teaches soft skills such as negotiation and problem solving,” Nguyen said. “There are many multinational companies that value open mindedness, which studying abroad teaches.”
Nguyen elaborated on other types of soft skills gained from engaging in the Study Abroad Program.
“Studying abroad really is an amazing experience,” Nguyen said. “It allows for a lot of personal development.”
Professor John Ulloa was also at the tables, promoting his own sort of “side branch” of the Study Abroad Program. While the main focus of the table was on promoting the upcoming trip to Barcelona, Ulloa had his own presentation for a short term trip to Cuba.
Ulloa’s presentation exposed interested onlookers to the Cuba-specific aspects of studying abroad, with a PowerPoint presentation of the ways that prospective students will learn about Cuban culture. Of particular note in the presentation were the pictures of students engaging with people such as a Cuban music group, or meeting up with a famous Cuban artist, complete with a piece from said artist in tow.
Even amidst concerns that are most likely less relevant as time goes on, Ulloa assured students that the long-held tensions between the two nations would not affect the experience.
“People have always gone to Cuba,” Ulloa said. “It’s always been open for academics, and Obama got us closer to Cuba. Our trip is fully legal.”
Ulloa also touched on the first time he went to Cuba with a Study Abroad Program at the University of Havana, and how that inspired him to lead the Cuba trip.
“Americans have ideas about Cuba, and Cubans have their own ideas about Americans,” UIloa said. “You get to really learn about the host culture as well as yourself.”
To this, Nguyen outlined the different ways one can study abroad and some of the more tangible benefits of studying abroad, besides personal improvement.
“There are both long and short term study abroad programs,” Nguyen said. “Short term programs can help students earn up to three units, while students on long term programs can take up to four classes during their trip.”
The Study Abroad program is now accepting applications for their upcoming Barcelona trip in the fall of 2017, which runs from Sept. 9 to Dec. 9.