Abroad options expand

Katie Paysinger

News editor

The International Programs Office recently  established two new destinations for students to study abroad: Australia and New Zealand.

The programs were created to promote a global learning atmosphere and to expand study abroad opportunities to those who don’t wish to pursue a foreign language.

In Australia, students can study at James Cook University at the Cairns or Townsville campuses or Deakin University at the Melbourne, Warrnambool or Geelong campuses. New Zealand offers options at the University of Otago, University of Waikato and University of Canterbury.

Both programs are available fall and spring semesters starting in the 2009-2010 academic year.

Applications have been turned in to IPO, and students will find out if they were accepted in November. Director of International Programs Shaik Ismail said there were eight or nine applications for the new programs.

“Since I’ve come here, six years ago, I have found that the Linfield [abroad] programs were geared to language majors and minors,” he said. “The goal [with these new locations] is to make programs where language is not a factor.”

The idea of adding programs in Australia and New Zealand has been in the works for some time, Ismail said. The college noticed more than 20 students studying in the area in recent years through other institutions  and saw a need to implement such programs at Linfield.

After visiting several universities in Australia, Ismail and Professor of Philosophy Marvin Henberg decided that the various universities they chose were just what students needed.

IPO wants students to take advantage of these opportunities, especially students in majors that typically don’t go abroad, such as science and math.

“The college has invested a great deal of funds in these programs,” Ismail said. “A lot of research went into them, and we really think these institutions are the best for our caliber of students.”

Senior Chris Renfro, a business marketing major,  studied at James Cook University in Cairns, Australia,  last fall through Arcadia University.

“I think it’s great that Linfield is now offering these programs,” Renfro said. “One reason I went there is because they speak English, and I was able to go and not worry about a language barrier.”

Renfro said it was somewhat distracting trying to study in the middle of the tropical rainforest with a beach 15 minutes away, but he made do. He also said he understands the advantages for those wishing to study the sciences in Australia.

“If you were taking a biology course there it would be great because you’re right in the middle of it,” he said. “The wildlife is everywhere.”

Senior Cameron Bays also studied abroad in Australia last spring. Bays, a mass communication and intercultural communications double major, studied at the University of Wollongong, about 90 minutes from Sydney.

“I am really excited Linfield is now offering students experiences in that region of the world,” she said. “A lot of people assume that because they speak the same language it is exactly the same as the United States, but it is completely different and diverse.”

The programs have a 3.0 minimum GPA requirement, and all courses are taught in English.

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