SUAbroad : Incentives encourage fall, summer attendance
Students are being given new motivation to study abroad during the summer and fall, SU Abroad announced Monday.
‘Traditionally, we have less students that go in the fall,’ said Daeya Malboeuf, the communications manager of SU Abroad. ‘We want to even that out.’
SU Abroad increased financial aid for summer programs, and students studying abroad during the fall semester can receive a $1,000 discount for on-campus housing the following spring.
‘One thousand dollars off is definitely helpful,’ said Tom Sjoberg, a senior information technology major, but he said he didn’t think it would make much of a difference.
Gael Noyes, a counselor at SU Abroad, agrees. She said the timing of students studying abroad has been consistent over the years, and that the monetary incentive would not affect enrollment.
‘A lot of people prefer the spring because they can travel after the program,’ Noyes said.
Others choose to spend the spring abroad because of Syracuse’s harsh winter weather.
‘As simple as it is, that was sort of the deciding factor,’ said Jake Wehrman, a senior history and television, radio and film major who spent last spring in Madrid, Spain.
Certain programs also have more opportunities abroad during one semester than the other. Kirsten Dahmer, a senior musical theater major who spent the fall of 2006 in London, said it wouldn’t have been worth it to go in the spring because collaboration with the Globe Theatre is only available in the fall.
Other students base their decisions on factors other than their area of study.
‘Most of the fashion students go in the spring, but my entire group of friends were all going in the fall so I did too,’ said Morgan Cohen, a senior fashion design major.
The other incentives in the new plan include a significant increase in need-based aid for all summer programs, from $1,000 to $1,400.
Specific programs, such as ‘Arctic Journey,’ an exploration of the Inuit in Canada and ‘Muslim Cultures,’ a London-based program with trips to Istanbul and Granada, also come with automatic grants of up to $4,000 and $2,000, respectively.
Other summer options, such as ‘Paris Noir’ and ‘Entrepreneurship & Empowerment in South Africa’ provide students with an opportunity to receive a need-based grant of up to $4,000.
Malboeuf hopes that these changes will increase enrollment in the programs. ‘That’s definitely the spirit in which we’re offering them, to try to open up availability to a larger group of students,’ she said.
Nell Bartkowiak, assistant director of SU Abroad, thinks that the increases in aid will raise interest in the summer programs.
‘All of our programs are really unique,’ she said. ‘A lot of these programs offer opportunities for experiential learning and internships, which students don’t have a chance to pursue during the semester.’
Bartkowiak’s goal is for the increased monetary aid to enable more students to participate in these diverse cultural programs.
‘I think that’s a really cool idea depending on how much money you have and whether or not you can afford to take the summer off from working to do that,’ Dahmer said.
But such a discount may not be enough to convince the students who rely on their summers to earn money, she added.
Though some students said the increases in aid might not make a difference, others still said it was a good idea.
‘Pretty much everyone that I know would go abroad, the only thing is it’s a lot more expensive,’ Wehrman said. ‘As far as I can tell, that’s the only thing holding most kids back. Any financial aid would be helpful.’
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