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ETSU begins new international partnerships to increase study abroad opportunities

Contributed • Jun 4, 2018 at 11:51 AM

Students at East Tennessee State University now have more opportunities to study abroad thanks to new partnerships with universities in Canada, New Zealand and Spain.

International Programs at ETSU increased its number of bilateral exchange programs to 13 countries with the addition of Ottawa University in Canada and the University of Cordoba in Spain.

Through the bilateral exchange, students pay tuition, room and board at ETSU while attending a partnering international university. Per the exchange agreement, students from partnering schools may also attend ETSU.

“Studying abroad is a transformative experience,” said Maria Costa, director of International Programs at ETSU. “It helps you develop global skills that make you more marketable for a job, prepares you to recognize diverse perspectives and explore new ways to solve problems and communicate with others.”

ETSU has also established a new affiliation agreement with Wakaito University in New Zealand and renewed an agreement with the University of the Sunshine Coast in Australia.

The affiliation agreements allow students to pay tuition directly to the host institutions at a reduced out-of-state rate.

When studying abroad at a partnering institution, students have the choice of spending a semester or a year there as long as they meet eligibility requirements and find classes that fit their program of study. Costa says it’s important that students bring transfer credits back to ETSU.

ETSU International Programs staff introduce study abroad opportunities to parents and students during orientation. The third year of students’ undergraduate studies is a common time to study abroad, but planning begins much sooner.

“The biggest key to studying abroad is giving yourself enough time to plan, a year or longer,” Costa said. “We try to connect with students and parents about the importance of going abroad and putting yourself in uncomfortable situations.

“I have witnessed so many students who had never left the region and after studying abroad have an entirely different perspective.”

A study abroad advisor is available to help students find the best time to study abroad and choose the location, school and courses. ETSU offers scholarships for study abroad participants and students may be eligible to use existing financial aid, depending on the arrangement.

“If there’s a will and time, there’s a way,” Costa said. “Some students assume this opportunity is not available to them or think it’s impossible to pay for. If you plan ahead, you can do it.”

Costa says most students study abroad during the summer, but more are electing to spend a semester or longer at one of ETSU’s partnering bilateral exchange institutions in order to fully immerse themselves in a new country. Japan and Ireland are two of the most popular destinations.

International Programs requires all study abroad participants to purchase health insurance, including emergency evacuation in the event of a natural disaster, civil unrest or other emergency. They also monitor travel warnings issued by the U.S. State Department.

For more information about study abroad opportunities at ETSU, visit http://studyabroad.etsu.edu or call 423-439-7737. 

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