Uncalled for Study Abroad Changes

Beatriz da Costa, Staff Writer

Seville, Rome and Paris. since my freshman year, these were the countries that have been promoted and sold to me for study abroad.

Therefore, when I finally decided to spend a semester outside of the United States, I already had an idea of what I was going to wear, where I was going to visit and which cities outside out of the program I would travel to via the ones mentioned.

So imagine my shock when I received the email from Global Studies saying that the study abroad program for Spring 2018 had changed one of the locations from Seville to Limerick, Ireland.

My reactions ranged from “why did this change?” to “Limerick is completely random compared to Rome and Paris.” I have spoken to other study abroad participants about the change, such as sophomore Cassidy Seagren, and we both concluded that this change was sloppy – for lack of a better term.

“I was initially upset because I had dreamt of going to Spain for years,” Seagren said. “Limerick will be cool but Spain was what we had prepared for, dreamt up and signed up for.”

The fact that the school had students sign up for the program expecting to go to Spain, Italy and France to suddenly change it is unprofessional.

In my opinion, it would make more sense to make the Limerick substitution in Fall 2018 rather than blindside students and their families just weeks before the Spring program submission deadline.

Of course, the opportunity to study abroad is a great one regardless of the situation, however, the school dropped the ball on this one.

There could be students who are currently dropping the program because of this change but there also could be students who have not signed up yet and prefer Limerick over Seville and feel that they may have little time left to get all the paperwork in.

Had I known that Discover the World was being  changed to replace Seville with Limerick, I may not have done the program at all, since I truly have little interest to go to Ireland.

I would have settled for studying abroad in only Rome or Paris. An even better idea would be if students could do both without the third option. I am not sure if I am the only study abroad student who feels this way, but I would not be surprised if I’m not.

As I previously wrote, however, studying abroad really is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, so the fact that St. John’s gives students an opportunity, in which they can live in completely different places over three months, is good enough for me.

With or without Spain.

All is not completely doomed, however, for students who wish to study in Spain. Although the change was disappointing, with our first semester slowly but surely coming to an end, I am more than excited to study abroad.