The world is our campus

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    By Allison Fors

    BYU has become a haven for those seeking education coupled with cultural experiences. The most enriching of those experiences perhaps happens off campus. Students who take advantage of BYU”s Study Abroad programs come away calling it their best college experience— one worth every cent.

    “Students probably don”t realize how much it”ll change them, how much they”ll grow and learn,” said Rodney Boynton, director of International Study Programs. “They”ll worry about the cost, but how do you put a price tag on the best educational experience?”

    Students are encouraged to begin planning for a Study Abroad experience early. Boynton recommends students study abroad their junior year and begin saving as a freshman.

    Faculty members who collaborate with sponsors arrange each program”s curriculum. The student”s cultural and educational needs are at the core of each agenda. However, Boynton described the process as being competitive and recommended anyone interested in studying abroad to begin the process as soon as possible.

    BYU”s program is successful because of its implementation of the gospel of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and the BYU Honor Code that correlate with the programs.

    “Our program is an integration of spiritual and secular,” Boynton said. “BYU students have an interest in the world that goes beyond a regular university student because of the gospel. I also think we offer more than education. Studying abroad is about people and their happiness.”

    Study Abroad programs range from London to China to Egypt, and span different languages and career emphases. Students immerse themselves in not only courses congruent with the studies but will also have the opportunity to discover ethnic and unique aspects of the culture through travels.

    “I”ve been looking forward to [studying abroad] my whole life,” said Briana Goulding, a sophomore from San Diego, Calif., going on the Madrid, Spain program this Fall. “I hope it”s an experience I”ll never forget and will be able to tell people about forever.”

    Patricia Dills, a senior from Englewood, Tenn., majoring in English, stressed it was such an important decision to study abroad in Spain because it opened her mind to a whole new world.

    “I learned how sheltered I was,” said Dills. “It was amazing to have my BYU classes in a completely new world and culture. It was worth every cent.”

    Boynton commented on the overwhelmingly positive feedback from all students that took advantage of the many programs.

    “Without question, it was the best experience they”ve had at BYU. You can ask anyone,” Boynton said. “Every single BYU student ought to go.”

    For more information, go to Student Services Office in 280 Kennedy Center or visit the Web site: www.kennedy.byu.edu.

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