Students Get Ready To Study Abroad

Many students at Sacred Heart University are planning to study abroad for the spring semester as others are planning to participate in the two-week winter programs.  Dingle, Ireland, and Luxembourg are three of the popular locations that students can choose from.    

“I chose Dingle because my family has a long background in Ireland, and I wanted to learn more about the culture,’’ said senior Valerie Wilkens.

  Many students said they are ready to adapt to a new culture and learn during their time away from their families.

“I am overwhelmingly excited to meet new people and have experiences I would never otherwise have the opportunity to know. The scenery is beautiful, and I will learn so much from the local people of Dingle,’’ said sophomore Jenna Bargisen. 

   Senior Associate Director of Global Affairs, Renee Cassidy Pang, believes this is a great opportunity for students to experiment with learning in a different environment. 

“Students are able to focus on a unique topic, learn from local faculty in the host country and connect with people from around the world. It’s also an opportunity for personal growth as students step outside of their comfort zones and navigate life overseas. Students that participate in international programs also gain valuable experience that sets them apart from other jobs/internship candidates,’’ said Pang. 

        Due to the impact of Covid-19 around the world, SHU had to cancel trips abroad. 

 ‘’We suspended our international programming in March of 2020 and focused our international efforts here on campus,’’ said Pang.

  This fall, the abroad program was reopened again for students that are fully vaccinated, including John Cabot University, a partner university in Rome, Italy.

     “For the winter and spring sessions, nearly 250 SHU students are scheduled to study abroad at our global campuses in Dingle, Ireland and Luxembourg as well as at some of our partner institutions across Europe. Of course, as student health and safety during study abroad is of paramount importance to us, we continue to closely monitor Covid-19 related data for these sites,’’ said Pang. 

    Senior Katie Oshana had a wonderful time going abroad two years ago in Luxembourg but enjoyed her time in Dingle as well.

   “It was a great option for a two week abroad program, and I also have family that resided in Ireland, so it was great to see where our heritage came from. I did not want to commit to a full semester, but I knew I wanted to go abroad. Two weeks was a good amount of time because we had a full class but also so many opportunities to experience on our own and with the program,’’ said Oshana.

There are also a large variety of classes that students can take, including nursing classes.

    “I am studying abroad in Dingle Ireland in the Spring semester. I am taking my nursing classes of Health Assessment and Pathophysiology. I am going with friends, but I am also looking forward to meeting new people,’’ said sophomore Maddie Montanari.

Many students who’ve studied abroad have had positive feedback on the program.

“I think that having the chance to study abroad was one of the biggest pulls for me to come to Sacred Heart in the first place. Their program was so informative and easily accessible that it would be hard to turn down such an opportunity,’’ said junior Zachery Gaiero.

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