Short-Term Study Abroad

Samantha Hazen

Syracuse University’s short-term study abroad programs allow students to familiarize themselves with new cultures. In a short amount of time students study the literature of different countries in those countries, or simply view the sights and sounds of a bustling land off the “Hill” and outside the U.S.

Many students pursue these endeavors in the normal semester-long SU Study Abroad programs offered, but the short-term programs have become increasingly popular with students who don’t want to spend an entire semester overseas.

Students appreciate the shorter opportunities because they give the same chance with less financial strain, and without creating as much of an emotional rollercoaster from being far from home for so long. Students can also use the short-term programs as a way to test the waters to see whether or not they would consider returning to that country for a longer stay.

The courses offered are very diverse, and students can find programs that best suit their academic or personal interests. Nineteen students enrolled in Mysteries of London, the ETS 410: Forms and Genres class that was offered for Spring Break 2010. The course focused on crime and mystery literature from Victorian London, and included visits to the Sherlock Holmes Museum, the West Cemetery at Highgate, and several other law buildings, prisons, etc. Assistant professor of English Mike Goode taught the class, and has taught similar classes with spring break trips focusing on Jane Austen.

Senior English and Textual Studies major at SU, Jessica Scicchitano, recounted her most memorable day on the London trip during spring break, which broke up the two halves of the semester – literature written during the Victorian Era, and literature written about the Victorian Era in modern day.

“The last day of the trip, a few of my friends and I woke up and took the tube down to one of the cities’ many markets with our professor,” she says. “We spent the day shopping and relaxing, which was such a nice end to the hectic week. We had dinner at the Tate Museum, and took a cab down to Harrod’s, then spent the night in Soho dancing. It was as if we lived there as opposed to just visiting.”

Jessica says that the programs are very fast-paced so that students can visit many attractions of the region where they’re studying and “leave feeling fulfilled.”

The programs aren’t limited to just literature, but range from Italian Renaissance art to Brazilian anthropology, African business to Spanish architecture. Students get to visit London, Italy, Uganda, Brussels, and Madrid while pursuing varied academic interests.

To apply for one of Syracuse University’s life-changing short-term programs, students are encouraged to visit the SU Abroad site at http://studyabroadarchive.syr.edu/programs/shortTerm/. Students must have at least a 2.5 grade point average on a 4.0 scale, complete the Program Application, pay a $60 Application fee, and have an Academic recommendation.

While fees and application procedures add to your never-ending to-do list, the opportunities the programs provide make up for any minor inconvenience.

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