Center for International Studies pushes to fill university?s Seville program

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    In the final push for the March 15 deadline to apply for programs in fall 2011, the Center for International Studies is trying to attract more people to the university’s Seville program, a study abroad official said.

    Alexis Branaman, study abroad coordinator, said the center was encouraging students to attend in the fall to even out enrollment in the program between the fall and spring semesters. She said students have gone during the spring in the past because of a longer semester, better weather and because students don’t want to miss activities in the fall on campus.

    Branaman said the center also was trying to give students an incentive to study abroad during the fall but would not go in to details about what the incentives would be.

    She also said the partner programs were adding new locations with affiliates in places like Tanzania, Barcelona and the Galapagos Islands.

    These new locations are from partnerships with the Institute for International Education of Students and the Council on International Educational Exchange, two non-profit study abroad organizations affiliated with the university, Branaman said.

    “The options are pretty wide for the program partners,” she said. “All of these different places are options, and we’ve had a lot of people study in many of them.”

    One other study abroad change this year was the elimination of student petitions that gave students the opportunity to choose their own study abroad destination, Branaman said.

    Petitions were put in place so students could pick any program that best suited their needs with any non-profit study abroad organization.

    Students can now only choose official TCU study abroad programs along with any program offered by IES and CIEE.

    Branaman said exceptions to that rule would be programs in Italy, England and Spain, where the university has their own programs, unless TCU does not offer courses a student may need in those countries.

    “We know [IES and CIEE’s] risk management, their housing, how their directors work and are very confident in how those programs are run,” Branaman said.

    Within the partner programs there are a variety of options to choose from, Branaman said. Students will find more traditional destinations with IES, such as China, France, Morocco and New Zealand. The most recent abroad program from IES is in the Galapagos Islands.

    She said CIEE has more unique destinations such as Botswana, Jordan, Tanzania and Senegal. CIEE’s newest programs are in Berlin, Belfast and Barcelona.

    “Regardless of interest, major, minor or passion 8212; whatever 8212; it is there is probably a program that is out there and tailored to your interest,” Branaman said.

    Senior musical theater major Audrey Burkhart said she studied abroad in London in fall 2009 through TCU. Burkhart said she chose London because of the city’s great playwright history.

    Burkhart said she was able to visit many unique destinations in the country and that she enjoyed the history of England. She also got to make a trip to Paris.

    “For a birthday present, my friend bought us tickets to go up to the top of the Eiffel Tower,” Burkhart said. “I don’t care how cliché it sounds, it was one of the most romantic spots I could ever think of.”

    Burkhart said studying abroad was a great experience that will change a person’s life and that it is essential for students to go out and see the world.

    Senior strategic communication major Albert Rayle said he studied abroad in Sydney in spring 2010 through the IES. In addition to taking some marketing classes, Rayle said he got to scuba dive the Great Barrier Reef and was able to visit New Zealand and Fiji.

    “Everyone should go abroad because it changes the way you view the world and opens your eyes on everything,” Rayle said. “You understand politics more, and you see how everything is interconnected.”