Learning from a different point of view

Professors Gerhard Peters, John Fincher, and Jeff Schmidt pose with students attending the current session in Salamanca. This is the 17th year that Citrus has offered a Study Abroad program in Salamanca. (Courtesy of Lynn Jamison)

By Cameron Wisdom | Staff Writer

The Study Abroad program offered at Citrus College provides a unique learning environment and potentially life-changing experience for participants eager to broaden their horizons and receive an education in an unfamiliar yet intriguing setting.

Several of the locales visited are world-renowned for their contributions to the arts, sciences, and society as a whole on the global stage. Upcoming programs are slated for London, Florence Italy, and Salamanca Spain.

The programs offered coincide along with Citrus College’s academic calendar with the spring and fall programs available to students of all ages who have completed at least 12 units of college degree applicable credit with a 2.5 GPA or higher. The summer and winter session programs are open to students who have graduated high school but may or may not have completed any college units upon enrollment.

The courses are generally CSU/UC transferrable and meet general education requirements.

“We try to offer classes where we can use the country and the city as part of the course offerings and get the students out of the classroom to help the classes come alive” said Lynn Jamison, coordinator for the Study Abroad program at Citrus.

Citrus College is the lead institution in a larger group of regional colleges known as the Southern California Foothills Consortium for Study Abroad, the cooperative venture has partnered with the American Institute for Foreign Study to allow students to make normal progress towards their undergraduate degrees while utilizing foreign resources and cross-cultural experiences.

The partnership with AIFS has allowed the Study Abroad program to offer sessions at more affordable rates for prospective students.

“Our program is probably one of the most affordable programs available due to the partnership with the American Institute for Foreign Study, so we get very good prices” Jamison said.

Jamison conceded that while the cost may still seem expensive, when it is compared to study abroad programs offered at the university level many prospective students find it to be more accessible and cost-efficient.

Financial aid is available for eligible students who wish to register for a semester abroad, and several scholarships can be applied for to offset costs such as the AIFS Ambassador Scholarship and the Benjamin Gilman Scholarship.

The AIFS scholarship awards $1,000 to six participants per session and the Gilman Scholarship has an average award of $4000-$5000.

Rafael Delfin is a former Citrus College Student who now attends the University of Arizona in pursuit of a degree in Business Management Information Systems. Delfin attended a semester in Salamanca, Spain and sat in on courses instructed by Citrus College Prof. of Psychology Kenneth Guttman Ph.D.

“I wanted to travel and this was a great opportunity to travel and go to school at the same time” Delfin said.

Delfin noted that he was able to experience everyday life in Spain while improving his Spanish, and observed that the locals loved American music.

Kenneth Guttman, Ph. D. has previously instructed sessions in Salamanca, Florence,  and London and will return to London to teach during the fall 2014 session.

Guttman admitted that one of his most memorable was experiences was conceiving and participating in the optional trip throughout Morocco along with a student for a previous session in Salamanca. He added that students are encouraged to think big, and provide input on the itineraries so that they can potentially fulfill personal ambitions abroad.

“Students get to learn about societies and cultures they normally only hear about, they get to live it, see it, and realize that people are still people no matter where they are in the world” Guttman said.

Prospective students can get further information or speak with a coordinator  in TC room 128 during office hours.