Study Abroad Programs Provide Numerous Opportunities for BC Students
by Andrew Peters ’15
Study abroad is one of the many program opportunities available to Bridgewater College students to enrich their education. Studying abroad gives BC students valuable perspective on other cultures. In addition, students learn about how different the American culture is compared to the world. “You build resiliency as you are placed in different situations,” said Marsh. “In an academic year, only about 7% of Bridgewater students go abroad,” said Anne Marsh, coordinator of international education, “but we would like to have that number higher.”
BC offers three options for studying abroad, the Bridgewater preferred program, Interterm travel, and the affiliated program. Locations include such countries as Germany, Bulgaria, Thailand, United Arab Emirates, Argentina, Chile, England and France.
The Bridgewater preferred program is offered to juniors and seniors who hold a 3.0 grade point average. Students have a variety of locations from which to choose and are able to use the entirety of their financial aid for the semester. Included on the preferred program is the International Student Exchange Program (ISEP). Simply put, “a [BC] student goes out, and an [international] student comes to us,” said Marsh.
Cynea Figures-Mormon ’14 traveled to Ile de la Reunion off the coast of Madagascar in spring 2013 on the ISEP Exchange program. “Your perspective changes,” Figures-Mormon stated. “[I] was able to make it financially possible; BC always makes it possible.”
Zach Dickerson ’14 traveled to Finland last spring with the Bridgewater Preferred Program. He was nervous to start out with but said that while “most of the classes were in English, you meet people from all over the world.”
Interterm travel is a short term study abroad experience run by the College. Students travel for two to three weeks during January, with a BC professor and their peers. While there is an additional cost for these travel courses, the cost is reasonable, and anyone, including freshman and sophomores, can attend. Programs this January include London and Paris, Belize, Spain, India and the Middle East.
The final study abroad program is the affiliated program. For affiliated programs, students are charged Bridgewater’s standard tuition, fees, room and meals for the semester abroad just as they are for preferred programs, but their institutional financial aid is limited to $7,000.
In fall 2013, Bridgewater had 10 students studying abroad. Corley Tweedy ’14 studied in the United Arab Emirates. In an email correspondence, Tweedy wrote, “I know [my study abroad experience] has already changed me, and will change me further. I would just caution people that it is not as easy as it sometimes seems, but it is 100% worth it. You will make wonderful friends, and see things you could never imagine!”
For more information, visit the Center for International Education’s study abroad webpages.