Students can earn class credits in other countries


Students have the opportunity to take their studies abroad to Florence, Italy and London, England. (Photo illustration by Tracy Holmes)

Imani Smith

American River College’s study abroad program is now accepting applications for the 2019 spring semester trip to Florence, Italy.

According to those who have participated in the program, studying abroad can be highly rewarding for college students looking to earn class credits while gaining new experiences.

Rachel Mouser, a student at ARC whose major is undecided, says she has considered studying abroad.

“I know that the study abroad program here is really set up and overall I’m not worried about not being taken care of,”  Mouser said.

Students can choose to study in Florence for a full spring semester or London, England for four weeks in the summer of 2019.

Mark Stewart, a psychology professor at ARC and leader of the London trip in summer  2019, urges students to consider studying abroad.

“Without fail, these programs enrich the lives of those who participate, culturally, socially, and intellectually far beyond what occurs in a traditional classroom,” Stewart said.

In order to participate in the program, students must be 18 years old with at least 12 units of college courses completed, and a minimum overall grade point average of 2.25. Students must also have a current United States passport.

Students can receive information on what countries are available to travel to, what courses they would be taking during the programs and assistance with figuring out the pricing of the trip, in the Fine and Applied Arts offices, room 560.

Bernice Foster, assistant to the director of the study abroad program, can help students get started on their application process and figure out which program will best suit their academic plan.

“All the classes that we offer are transferable so it can help you further your advancement to get your degree,” Foster said.

ARC’s study abroad program is partnered with the American Institute for Foreign Students. According to Foster, AIFS has helped students further their academic careers in foreign countries like Italy, England, Spain, Russia and more. AIFS also provides a number of scholarships for both summer and semester programs.

“Our AIFS partner is amazing with sort of hand holding students,” Foster said. “It’s probably the safest, most all encompassing study abroad program that I’ve run into.”

AIFS employees are with students from the moment they land in a new country, to the moment they depart. According to their website, AIFS prides themselves on making sure students are safe and well taken care of.

Students considering studying in London next summer should also take advantage of the currently lower price. After the United Kingdom withdrew from the European Union in 2016, the pound fell dramatically in value, so the four week program is now $406 less than it was last year.

There are information sessions regarding studying abroad coming up. Since AIFS is partnered with all Los Rios community colleges, the meetings will be held at Sacramento City College on Oct. 4 at 12 p.m.

The deadline to apply to study in Florence next spring is Nov. 9, 2018. Students who are interested in taking advantage of this opportunity can visit the Fine and Applied Arts office and begin the registration process.