Rise in short-term study abroad options

When William Penn University was advertising the Rwanda and Tanzania spring break 2012 trip as “studying abroad” – some people were confused. Questions such as “how can you study abroad if you are there only for one week?” often arose.

However, through the associated course that was taught by President Fields and myself prior to the trip, the experience truly was an educational one. Students wrote papers and read books ahead of time. They had to educate themselves on what it would be like traveling within third-world countries. They blogged during the experience and wrote a reflection paper afterwards that will help others understand what the trip taught the first group of students.

Many other academic institutions are offering spring break or summer study abroad programs – to help those students who cannot or do not want to miss a semester still be able to go and explore the world. For example, Saint Mary’s College in Notre Dame, Indiana, offers two spring break trips and two summer trips each academic year.

Iowa State University is another example of an institution that is testing new study abroad programs in a shorter duration. Their newest program, offered during summer of 2013, will be a three-week trip to Sri Lanka for about $3500 (including flights, transportation, lodging, food, academic credit, etc.). (To learn more about this opportunity, click here: http://www.iowastatedaily.com/news/article_c81d933e-0eb0-11e2-a8e3-0019bb2963f4.html)

William Penn University will continue to “test” study abroad options through creating short-term trips that meet student and administrative needs. After learning about the level of interest and success of trips, our university will consider adapting the short-term programs into continuously offered semester-long options. The next short-term study abroad program that William Penn University will offer will occur in spring break of 2014 – so keep an eye out for this type of travel which is rising in number of trips offered by William Penn University and other academic institutions.