The world is at your fingertips — study abroad!

BOSTON — The world is at your fingertips and it’s time to reach out and grab it. Studying abroad will tighten your grip on today’s world; educationally, culturally, and socially.

Suffolk University’s Center for International Education offers roughly 25 study abroad programs in over 55 countries around the world. Students have the option of studying in the fall, spring, or summer semesters. Regardless of the season or country selected, an expansive educational and rich cultural experience is guaranteed.

globe.JPGLocations range from as close as the Americas to as far as Asia, Australia, and New Zealand. Head across the seas to Europe where you can study in nearly any of their vibrant countries: Denmark, England, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, Ireland, Sweden, and many more.

The variety of locations coincides with the array of studies to choose from. Nearly all areas of studies offered at Suffolk can be found in multiple study abroad destinations. Housing options include homestays with native families, student apartments, and residence halls. Each location offers different and unique educational and cultural experiences for the student.

There are no limits to where Suffolk students can study, but that does not mean they are alone in the world. Suffolk University has hand-selected each school and performed thorough research to determine its academic credibility. In addition, all of the programs have been individually designed in collaboration with Suffolk University to ensure the best educational experience possible. The close communication between the schools ensures that credits are transferable.

“You know you’re getting a good education,” said Cristina Balboni, former study abroad student and current employee of Suffolk University’s Center for International Education.

Employees such as Balboni, who have experienced the programs first hand, lend valuable information to interested students.

“Studying abroad is a good experience for anyone,” said Balboni. It allows students to become more globally and culturally aware.

Studying in another country allows students to immerse themselves in another country’s culture and lifestyle and leave with a deeper understanding and appreciation for it. The competitiveness of the growing job market and the integration of the United States has made knowing a second language a valuable asset.

“The best way to learn a language is to be completely engulfed in it,” said Patricia Ayer, a Suffolk University student attending the Madrid campus in the fall.

Studying abroad is a multifaceted opportunity that is capable of changing student’s outlooks on life and the world.

“Experiencing different lifestyles and values will give me added knowledge to use throughout my life, as well as better interaction skills,” said Daniel Rytky, Suffolk student attending the Madrid campus in the fall.

Slight downfalls do exist, even though Rytky claims he can’t think of any. The problems exist in the financial accessibility of studying abroad. Although, it is cheaper to study at Suffolk University’s Madrid campus than in Boston, most other locations tend to have a steeper price tag. Due to the diminishing value of the dollar against the euro, students studying abroad find the price of living and traveling on the pricier side. The Institute of International Education, a non-profit organization specializing in the exchange of people and knowledge throughout the world, is taking actions to make studying abroad more financially accessible to U.S students. They have developed the Freeman Asia program, which offers scholarships to students studying in East Asia. The program aims to increase U.S. students’ interest in East Asia by providing them with the information and financial assistance they need.

“Only 20% of American citizens own passports and less than that are familiar with traveling procedures,” Balboni said.

Traveling abroad is the perfect opportunity for young Americans to follow their curiosity, feed their hunger to learn, and exercise their right to see and understand the world.

“Only when you travel abroad can you be grateful for the things you have here,” Balboni said.

For additional information about studying abroad or the Freeman Asia program contact Suffolk University’s Center for International Education at 617-573-8072.

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