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Taking Care of Business: Study Abroad for Business Students in France

by Sasha Hayes

Learn more about the Nice business program

You might be saying to yourself, what does France have to do with majoring in Business? My answer to you is an exciting study abroad program in Nice, France. Don't feel discouraged if you're not bilingual in French; the classes that you'll be taking are taught in English, and many of the natives of this Mediterranean city speak English.

Nice, situated on the Mediterranean and a summer vacation destination for many Europeans, is everything in its name - and more. This city boasts of palm trees, beautiful beaches, and exciting nightlife. Nice is also only 20 miles from Cannes, where the world-famous film festival is held every year.  

Colleen Monday, '14, a Marketing major in Oswego's Honors program, chose to study abroad in Nice, France, for her 2013 Spring semester. Colleen took some time out of her busy day to talk with me about her incredible experience abroad, and share a few candids, as well!  

[SH]  Where did you go, and why? What was most appealing to you about Nice?

[CM]  I spent Spring of 2013 in Nice, France. One of my primary reasons for attending SUNY Oswego was knowing that there would be the possibility to study abroad. I chose Nice because I am a bit of a Francophile - I have always been intrigued by their language and culture. The university I attended was entirely a business school, which allowed me, as a marketing major, to satisfy some of my course requirements while abroad.  

[SH]  In what ways was the Office of International Education & Programs particularly helpful to your planning and preparation?

[CM]  The Office of International Education gave me peace of mind! It was comforting to know that someone was there to answer your questions and aid you in understanding the process.  

[SH]  What was your favorite "local spot"?

[CM]  Emilie's Cookies was one of my favorite spots to meet with study groups or friends, because they make amazing baked goods and a Nutella hot chocolate that is like heaven in a cup. Also, there isn't one specific bakery, but each morning when you begin your walk to class and can smell baguettes from down the street, it reminds you of what an enchanting place you're living in.  

[SH]  What did a typical day/weekend look like when you were studying abroad?

[CM]  During the afternoons we would have two or three long classes, and weekends were spent either taking trains to neighboring villages or enjoying the Mediterranean.  

[SH] What would be your best advice for someone getting ready to study abroad?

[CM]  Make a budget. It's extremely difficult to anticipate how much you will spend abroad but it is crucial to know what you want to get out of the experience. Ask yourself "what experiences are the most important to me?" This may be leaning about the best cuisine, exploring as many countries as possible, buying a new wardrobe or taking fewer grand excursions. Whatever the case may be, make a budget and stick to it so that issues with money don't distract you from enjoying your time abroad.

Students in Nice

London Calling: Studying Abroad in London

by Sasha Hayes

The OIEP has [four] programs in London to choose from alone, for those seeking to study abroad in one of the world's most famous cities. With so many options, there's sure to be one that will work well for you!

London's close proximity to the rest of Europe also makes for a convenient location to study abroad in, as it is only a 2½ hour train ride to Paris, or a short plane ride to Amsterdam. However, with all of the various activities that are rich with culture in the United Kingdom, you might not feel terribly inclined to leave this nation: a weekend trip to the Scottish Highlands, or a stroll along the coast of Wales are activities at your fingertips.

Jeanne Marie Pungello, '14, studied abroad in London for the Spring semester of 2013. Jeanne, a busy student that is majoring in English with a Spanish minor (while being apart of Oswego's regarded Honors program) took some time to chat with me about her experiences abroad:  

[SH] Why did you choose London to study abroad in? What was most appealing about this location?

[JP]  As an English major and a slight anglophile, I've always been interested in London. It's a city that's both incredibly diverse and rich in history. It's a place that has a never-ending supply of fun facts and interesting things, and I was very eager to explore it.  

[SH]  What would be your best advice for someone getting ready to study abroad?

[JP]  Plan ahead. This is really hard for a lot of people, and you might read this and say, "eh, I'll be fine," but I promise that once you're over there you're going to be too wrapped up in the moment to plan out adventures every weekend. You should also look into hostels, flights, and destinations before you're too distracted. Also, make sure you keep track of your money. Exchange rates can be an adjustment and it's really easy to under-budget and over-spend - so be conscientious!  

[SH]  How did the Office of International Education & Programs help you in your planning and preparation?

[JP]  I decided a little bit late that I wanted to study abroad (like two weeks before the deadline), and I had no idea what I was doing for most of the application process. The staff in the Office of International Education were great about responding to all my frazzled emails, even once I was over there!  

[SH] What is your favorite custom that you've found?

[JP]  Ever since London I've been inclined to drown my French fries in vinegar. It's something that they do, and something that I came to love, and something that makes my parents and friends pause.  

[SH]  What were some of the best "local spots" that you came across, and why?

[JP]  I was placed in Ealing, which is a borough of London that is located on the city's perimeter, so if you ever go to Ealing you absolutely need to go to the bakery on Pitshanger Lane, The Shanakee, and Hare and Tortoise.

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Studying Abroad: Utilizing Other SUNY Programs

by Sasha Hayes
Amsterdam 2
learn more about other suny programs 

Have you ever had a friend at a different SUNY school that went on an amazing trip abroad for credits? Or do you know of a study abroad program at another SUNY school that sounds like it would be a perfect fit for you and your academic goals? If you've answered "yes" to either of those questions, then read on: you'll like what you see.

At Oswego State, the International Education Office will work with you and the other SUNY institution that you intend on studying abroad through. The OIEP (that's just a short way of saying Office of International Education & Programs) will help to make sure that the credits you'll be accruing while abroad will properly transfer, that you have all of the necessary materials (passport, visa, etc.) and much more!  

An example of how OIEP has been an integral part in a student's experience studying abroad through a different SUNY program, is Holly Granat, '14. Holly is an exemplary student, that wanted to study abroad, but was not able to do so during a "traditional" Fall/Spring semester. By picking a summer program through SUNY Brockport, Holly was able to meet many goals: graduate on time, study abroad, and make lifelong memories. 

Quick Questions & Answers with Holly and her experience:

[SH]  Where did you go, and why?

[HG]  I studied abroad through Brockport, because it was a 9-country summer program and fit perfectly in my plan to graduate on time. We visited England, The Netherlands, Germany, France, Spain, Italy, Belgium, Switzerland, and Austria. I wanted an overview of Western Europe and this trip was the perfect experience to encompass each country.  

[SH]  In what ways was the Office of International Education & Programs particularly helpful to your planning and preparation?

[HG]  The OIEP at Oswego helped me figure out how to transfer credits and make sure that this trip fit in my academic plan. They were very cooperative in helping transfer my credits, as well as communicating with SUNY Brockport to give me information on my program. Even though I did not study through Oswego itself, the SUNY system has a variety of study abroad programs [to choose from], of which SUNY Oswego is extremely helpful and instrumental in helping connect and support its students with these programs.  

[SH] What would be your best advice for someone getting ready to study abroad?

[HG]  My advice would be to do everything! Don't hold back because you think you'll be tired the next morning - take every experience you can. You can catch up on sleep, but who knows when you will be able to see the sights and meet the people you have the opportunity to when you study abroad.  

[SH]  What are some things you wish you knew, before you went?

[HG]  I wish I had known how serious it was to protect your credit cards. I knew it was important and I had an RFID safe wallet, but I took my credit card out for one night when going to a club and I had my information stolen and money taken off of my card. Definitely keep your credit card in an RFID safe wallet at all times when not in use!  To learn more about and where to find RFID safe wallets, bags, and other gear, please visit the following links:

Five Reasons to Study Abroad

by Sasha Hayes
Swiss Alps

Everyone experiences college differently, but almost everyone faces the same tasks: writing papers (sometimes to all hours of the night), making new friends, and new responsibilities. However, many students do not take advantage of the culturally rich and intellectually stimulating programs abroad that are available to them. Some of the reasons may include financial hurdles, language barriers, and the fear of the "unknown." Though these issues may be incumbent factors in a student's decision-making process of going abroad, they should not be deterring factors.

  Here are five good reasons why you should study abroad:

     1. Traveling to new places, experiencing different cultures, and being successful while doing so is an excellent facet when beginning your career. You may be asking yourself "what does studying abroad have to do with my future career?" The answer to that question is this: it shows that you are able to adapt to new and changing environments, and continue to be successful and gain knowledge and experience from these encounters. For an employer, this is incredibly valuable; it shows that you're flexible and can work with a great number of different people. Being able to work well with individuals from all walks of life is a crucial element to success in the workplace.

     2. Sometimes the "wealthiest" people are the most traveled people. Ever hear the quote by Saint Augustine "the world is a book, and those who do not travel read only a page"? If not, now you have! This is true on so many accounts - traveling allows you to grow, in ways that you may not have ever imagined. From small details to how a French grocery store is different from an American store, to the beauty of a foreign language, there are many ways in which culture is absorbed while studying abroad. When you leave for your adventure, you do not return as the same person: your metamorphosis into a more enriched individual has occurred. Your experiences in life help give you the "wealth" that cannot be taught in the classroom.

     3. Seize the moment. Time is of the essence. Though you will be able to travel the globe to your liking after college, the likelihood of being able to study in a foreign country isn't high. Take advantage of the opportunities available to you while they are! With so many options offered, there is a program of study that is sure to fit you and your criteria. If only four weeks during the summer is something you're looking for, to two semesters abroad, there are varying programs to coincide with your schedule.

     4. Studying abroad allows you to grow, and learn about yourself. Remember that bit about not returning as the same person? Well, it's absolutely true. Studying abroad helps you to grow and mature in ways that a "typical" American college campus doesn't provide. Learning the train schedules throughout Europe may present themselves to be challenging at first, for example, but it is challenges such as these that help to allow you to develop and hone essential problem-solving skills.

     5. The only way to get to know another culture is to get your hands dirty. You could go to the most punctilious Japanese restaurant in the country, and still not experience even a quarter of authentic Japanese culture. The best (and only) way to truly experience another culture is to immerse yourself in it. Utilizing the native tongue, tasting national dishes, and celebrating coveted holidays are some of the best ways to genuinely embrace a new and different culture. By doing so, you'll obtain an incredibly rich experience that will last for a lifetime.   Making the choice to study abroad is not an easy task; it shouldn't be taken lightly. However, it is also an adventure that you will be able to look back upon and see that studying abroad was a wise intellectual investment.