Cabrini gives students opportunity to travel abroad

By Michelle Costa
September 24, 2009

Shannon Keough

At Cabrini College, students are certainly not limited to the opportunities of studying abroad and visiting countries that some only dream about.

Although Cabrini is a beautiful and scenic school, after several years it may be time to travel to places that lie outside our driveway.

As freshmen, we promised ourselves to “Do Something Extraordinary.” It may be time to see countries that will help develop one’s mind and soul.

Cabrini made this opportunity possible in 2002, when the school signed the first study abroad agreement, allowing students to study in Rome that fall.

Kristin Comly, senior exercise science and health promotion major, recently attended the University of Limerick in Ireland, located across from Dublin on the west coast of Ireland.

“The privilege of learning culture first hand is a precious and unforgettable value that every college student should try to experience,” Comly said.

Cabrini has approximately 50 to 60 students per year who are involved in the study abroad program.

Studies show that, along with personal growth, about 70 percent of students that study abroad excel in career and academic commitment, compared to those who do not choose to study abroad.

“Companies look favorably upon candidates who are able to offer a global perspective. International study is a definite asset, no matter what major a student is studying,” Dr. Nicholas Uliano, Director of Cabrini’s study abroad program, said.

Over the years Cabrini has sent students to a number of countries, including Italy, Spain, France, Germany, England, Mexico and Australia. For the first time, a Cabrini student is spending this fall semester studying in South Africa.

Yearlong programs that involve both fall and spring semesters are available, as well as spring sessions, and summer sessions that are given from three to six weeks.

“Different programs have different GPA requirements,” Uliano said. “We offer an honors program abroad at Oxford University. That particular program requires a GPA of 3.5, while most other require a GPA of between 2.5 and 3.2 ”

“The idea of being thrown into a different culture, in a different part of the world, among strange people intrigued me,” Nick Kaminski, junior psychology and sociology major, said.

Kaminski, who did ‘Semester at Sea,’ one of the most unique semesters abroad, left from the Bahamas and sailed to Spain, Morocco, Namibia, South Africa, Mauritius, India, Thailand, Vietnam, China, Japan, Hawaii and Guatemala, before returning to the United States.

“Whenever we sailed, we had class; the longest stretch at sea was about 10 days. Once we arrived in port, we were free to go on excursions or explore the culture, which varied from one to five days,” Kaminski said.

“I’ve always loved to travel and I wanted to experience another culture and way of learning,” Eric Gibble, junior communication major, said. Gibble traveled abroad in England during the fall of 2008.

Many students have said that a separation from all that surrounds them on a daily basis typically becomes an irreplaceable and worthwhile transformation.

“My parents came to visit at the end of my stay, and being able to show off where I had lived made me appreciate everything so much more,” Ben Ferguson, senior Spanish major said of his experience in Granada, Spain.

Research shows that most individuals who study abroad learn to have a greater appreciation for America, its way of life and role in international affairs.

“Students come back a different person than before they left because the experience they had abroad has made them much more independent, especially in a place where English is not spoken,” Uliano said.

“While living in another country, our students often have to adapt to new educational systems, living conditions, social customs, monetary systems and so on. Their ability to adapt often results in positive changes, which will affect their lives both personally and professionally. Their resumes are often enriched by their experiences abroad,” Uliano said.

“It was incredible being able to travel three hours on a train from London to Paris and be immersed in a completely different culture and language,” Gibble said.

Cabrini students have the capability to expand their knowledge in a powerful way, tackling life’s journeys one step and one country at a time.

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Michelle Costa

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