Campus: CSU Sonoma -- December 17, 2001
Dramatic Increase In SSU Students At Foreign Universities
Students at Sonoma State University are getting a chance in greater
numbers than ever to live in a foreign country, not as a tourist, but
as a scholar. That is because they are eradicating the mistaken impression
that study abroad programs are only for the very rich or the extraordinarily
Sonoma State has seen a dramatic increase of 86% in students studying
abroad this year as compared to last year, from 35 to 65 students. "We
have also been the highest sending CSU campus per capita since approximately
'94 or '95," says Jan Beaulyn, Associate Director for International
Services on campus.
The majority of students in the 2001-2002 academic year are studying through
the CSU International Program in Spain and the United Kingdom. Other popular
destinations include Mexico, Sweden, and Italy.
Students who participate in the international program at SSU study their
major from an entirely new perspective in a country of their choice, says
Beaulyn. Additionally, they study their own culture from the point of
view of their host country, she says.
The courses they take are often courses they would never encounter in
the U.S. In most cases, students return after their year abroad, fluent
in a second language and, Beaulyn says, participating in a program like
this sets students apart from the crowd on a resume or in a graduate school
"Students come back to the U.S. with a more developed sense of themselves
and their interactions in the world," she says. In fact, the International
Program was created to help students develop intercultural communication
skills and international understanding.
In order to cultivate interest in the program, organizers at Sonoma State,
inform freshman of the program so that students can begin planning their
year abroad early.
"Once students see the academic requirements and the actual costs
they are always heartened and encouraged to join the competition,"
In addition, organizers hold recruitment, application and interview workshops,
which take some of the fear and intimidation out of the application process
and assure that each student gets plenty of one-on-one attention, she noted.