Weekly five: Study abroad programs for any major

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Hundreds of BYU students file through the halls of the Kennedy Center every year in hopes of pursuing their own study abroad experience. While many programs lend themselves to specific majors, there are options for undecided majors or those simply looking to expand their horizons. Here are some programs to consider:

1. Jerusalem Center

The Jerusalem Center is a satellite BYU campus, which hosts three four-month study abroad programs for BYU students each year. Students have the unique opportunity of studying the life of Christ and his ministry while in the Holy Land, as well as a variety of other topics related to the Near East.

Jennifer Riding, a senior at BYU studying public health, spent Winter semester 2012 at the Jerusalem Center. She said she would recommend the experience to any student.

“It was such a special time to grow spiritually, make really unique friendships, and learn about a new culture,” Riding said. “I think it is great for any major because you do get credits for religion, you do fulfill a couple GEs, and you make friends for life.”

2. Vienna

Students participating in the study abroad program in Vienna immerse themselves in the rich Austrian history while learning about German language, history and fine art as well as the LDS Church’s history in Austria. Students are placed in pairs with Viennese hosts families, giving them the opportunity to gain insight into life in Austria.

3. Siena and Rome, Italy

The Italy study abroad is based in Siena, where students are housed with host families and given the opportunity to experience Italian culture, history and art. Students study the Italian language and art history as well as electives including LDS history in Italy and Italian cooking.

Aaron Rose, the international internships coordinator at the Kennedy Center, recommends the Italy study abroad program for individuals who haven’t finalized their major or hope to have a general European experience.

“The study abroad can help reinforce your major or maybe decide a major,” Rose said. “Hopefully when a student goes on the program they get a wide enough variety of experiences about Italian culture and European culture that they can help solidify what they want to major in.”

4. Paris

The interdisciplinary study abroad program in Paris is designed for students hoping to have a more general international experience. For 12 weeks, students live with a French host family and take courses in French language, fine art, history and literature. While students are required to take a minimum of 12 credit hours, most of the learning takes place outside the classroom with trips to museums, historical sites, churches, architectural sites and gardens.

5. London

Study abroad programs in London are offered every term and are based at the BYU Centre in London. Students are given the opportunity to study in and experience the vibrant culture of London as well as the larger history of England.

TC Corless, a senior majoring in American studies, spent last semester studying in London. Corless said he believes that the London study abroad is a great way to experience and understand a new culture.

Aside from fulfilling GE requirements, students studying in London explore outside the classroom through weekly day-excursions and longer trips.

“It made a place that you hear about all the time in your studies really come alive,” Corless said. “You realize that it’s a real place, but you don’t have the same capacity to appreciate the struggles they went through.”

For more information on specific programs, visit kennedy.byu.edu, or attend the International Study Programs fair at the Kennedy Center on Thursday, Jan. 24, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.

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