Students see the world, still graduate on time

Imagine spending Spring Break in the Czech Republic, learning about international treatment practices for communication disorders, or Summer Break in Hungary, comparing healthcare methods abroad to ones used in America.

In summer 2014, the largest number of students studying abroad were majoring in nursing, elementary education and studio art. Students are taking advantage of opportunities to travel the world as programs that were once confined to campus are expanding their horizons abroad.

Murray State is sending students around the world to study communication disorders, archaeology, economics and more.

Programs offered for students in these majors, however, are designed for students who can’t fit a semester away in their schedules.

Students are taking advantage of the opportunity to travel during summer, winter, and Spring breaks.

Allison Caudill, senior from Louisville, Ky., chose to study literature and creative writing abroad in the summer so that she could take a smaller course load during the traditional school year and not push back her graduation date.

“I got to experience Europe and spend most of my travel time on foot because of the summer weather,” Caudill said. “It was also a shorter program, so as someone who had never traveled before, it was a nice introduction.”

Several majors have added new course options around the globe. The nursing program is the most recent to join.

Nursing students and professors get to participate in courses taught during the summer in Belize and Hungary every year. The Belize program focuses on clinical delivery, while the course in Hungary allows students do a comparative analysis of the healthcare systems at home and abroad.

Nursing is not the only program to develop new study abroad opportunities. Bobbie Albertson, junior from Evansville, Ind., said communication disorders courses offered in Prague allow her to complete the Honors Program requirement of studying abroad and earn credits in her major.

“I’m glad that I can study abroad and receive credits that I need,” Albertson said. 

Melanie McCallon Seib, director of Education Abroad, said the change is the result of faculty designing courses and encouraging students to enroll.

“Six years ago, only 10 faculty members helped organize and lead study abroad programs,” she said. “Now, there are 62 faculty members going abroad with students.”

McCallon Seib said the Education Abroad Office will continue working with faculty in all departments to develop more programs to increase the opportunities offered.

Story by Lucy Easley, Contributing writer