Shamir Aleem | Staff Writer
Oct. 16, 2014
The Riverside Community College District Office of International Education is offering a study abroad program in Dublin, Ireland for the very first time during the spring semester of 2015.
According to Jan Schall, director of the International Education program at Riverside City College, affordability and safety for students were the major factors in the selection of Dublin as the spring 2015 study abroad destination.
“After 19 spring semesters at Oxford University we realized that London, England is a very expensive city for students to live in,” Schall said.
In efforts to relieve all aspiring study abroad students from the financial burden London imposes, the Office of International Education at RCC decided to try something new for the spring of 2010 and sent a group of students abroad to study in Beijing, China.
Schall admits that despite all of the positive recognition for being the first and only community college in the nation to send students abroad to study in China, It was very difficult to market the idea to students. Her biggest challenge was persuading the many parents who expressed their reservations and concerns of “communism and human rights violations.”
The marketing of the China program, although successful, proved to be too rigorous for Schall to consider repeating for the following semesters. The program spent another spring semester in Oxford before Schall was inspired to choose the latest study abroad destination.
Schall conducted research and after spending a week in Dublin, she was convinced that it is safe and inexpensive enough to be the spring 2015 study abroad destination.
“Students will be attending classes at a four year University in Dublin called Griffith College, where they will be offered courses in Theatre and Psychology taught by RCCD instructors,” Schall said.
Griffith College is about a 17 minute walk from the city center of Dublin.
“Students are also able to join the clubs and organizations at Griffith College,” Schall said.
The campus is approximately a 25 minute bus ride away from where students will be housed.
“Students are going to have a shared-homestay with breakfast and dinner provided daily,” Schall said.
Shared-homestay and daily breakfast and dinner meals are among some of the amenities covered in the cost of the program. Round trip airfare, two airport transfers and a walking tour are covered by the price. A welcome dinner, a farewell dinner and essential insurance coverage are also included in the total program cost of $8099.
Students will be financially responsible for their own lunches, passport fees, personal expenses and a refundable housing security deposit of $150.
Schall encourages students who are interested in studying abroad not to immediately think “oh my goodness, I can’t afford this.” The Study Abroad program at RCC is one quarter the cost of study abroad programs at UCs, according to Schall. Students may also be eligible to receive and combine various forms of financial aid assistance such as grants, scholarships and direct loans.
Schall prompts all students who are interested to act as early as possible. She firmly believes that the experience of studying abroad, will absolutely change people’s lives.
“Students have changed their majors and transferred to the University of Florence after studying abroad,” Schall said.
All students who study abroad “become sophisticated travelers and return with a more critical worldview and a greater appreciation for the things they have,” Schall said.