Take a semester touring Europe

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By Jackie Adams / Asst. Features Editor

By Jackie Adams / Asst. Features Editor

“The world is a book and those who do not travel read only a page.” Saint Augustine’s famous quote seems to sum up the philosophy of the study abroad program at Riverside City College.

For 20 years, Jan Schall, the program’s coordinator, has been helping students realize their dream of traveling the world.

Schall and her assistant Bill Despres organize three programs every year. A fall semester in Florence, Italy, a spring semester in Oxford, England, and a summer tour program that has gone to Costa Rica, Mexico, The Czech Republic, Hungary, Greece and Turkey, to name a few.

Unfortunately, this spring there will not be an Oxford program available. But there will be a 16 day summer tour exploring Southern Spain and Morocco, which earns one to two units.

Students who might be discouraged from signing up because of financial reasons should know that any financial aid they qualify for can be used toward a semester abroad.

The fall semester in Florence costs $6,999, which is one-third to one-half the usual cost at most four-year colleges. And the summer tour program will be all-inclusive and include stays in five star hotels for $3,300 total.

Right now, there is a group of Riverside City College students taking their fall session in Florence.

They live in furnished apartments and attend classes four days a week. Their weekends are free to explore the museums, churches and local customs of the “cradle of the Renaissance.”

“We want them to have time to immerse themselves in the culture,” said Schall. “They can fly to Paris or Spain in just a couple of hours. Some students go to Oktoberfest.”

Students also get a ten day fall break, which is ideal for exploring more of Europe.

Tarah Maresh went to Oxford last semester with the program and said she traveled all over Europe.

 “I also stayed a month and a half after the program ended and backpacked around Europe,” said Maresh.

Need more reasons to study abroad? It also looks good on your resume.

According to vistawide.com, only 4 percent of U.S. undergraduates ever study abroad.

The world is becoming more globalized and employers like to see that their potential employees are ambitious and have already had experience traveling and adapting to other cultures.

This would put people who have completed a study abroad program at a significant advantage over other would-be employees.

To sign up or get more information, stop by room 100 in the A.G. Paul Quadrangle, under the clock tower. 

You can also call Jan Schall at 951-222-8340, or her assistant Bill Despres at 951-222-8438. You can also email Schall at Jan.Schall@rcc.edu.

“Signing up was as easy as walking into the study abroad office and saying, ‘I want to go,'” said Maresh.

She added that traveling abroad was definitely the best decision she ever made. Everyone should broaden their minds by taking an opportunity to not just see another culture, but live in it, taste it and breathe it.

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