by Caroline Cleary–
Studying abroad at Virginia Tech is a privilege that many students take advantage of. With more than 70 different programs to choose from, students have the opportunity to gain a Virginia Tech education from all over the world. Whether students are looking to leave for a whole semester or just two weeks, Virginia Tech can offer them exactly what they want. Virginia Tech offers programs during all four seasons, the summer and winter months being week long programs.
Studying abroad offers an interesting perspective into a subject studied at school. Being exposed to a different culture opens students eyes to a new way of thinking. Students are forced to grow as individuals as well as scholars by understanding the differences between the logic, values and people where they live.
According to a CNN interview with Michelle Obama she views studying abroad as having real value. She stated, “Especially for U.S. students, it’s very hard to stay in your comfort zone when you’re living in another country. When you’re struggling with a language, new foods, learning directions, being forced to make friends and do things that you wouldn’t normally do, that’s going to set you up for a lifetime of value… It’s going to make you a better human being.”
One popular study abroad location for Virginia Tech students is Switzerland. Pamplin Business School, as well as Virginia Tech’s College of Architecture and Urban Studies, offers programs in Riva San Vitale. Many students also choose to participate in one of Tech’s most popular programs where you receive an international marketing minor in Lugano, Switzerland.
Virginia Tech marketing major, Maggie Price studied in Lugano this past spring. “It was the most amazing experience I’ve ever had as a Virginia Tech Student. I learned so much about myself, traveled all throughout Europe and made lifelong friends. If you are considering studying abroad I would definitely go for it, best decision I’ve ever made.”
Many students choose to study in the spring so they can still cheer on the Hokies at Lane stadium. However, Price says missing football weekends won’t even cross students minds when they’re abroad. Milestones are missed but the experiences gained do not compare.
Applications for summer and fall programs are currently available. Check out the Global Education Office’s website or visit them in person at 526 Prices Fork Road to get more information. The Global Education Office also employs peer advisors to help curious students choose the right program for them.
Ryan Dovel, a senior who studied in Riva San Vitale during the fall of 2016 currently works as a peer advisor. “I love my job. My experience abroad was so amazing and it’s awesome to be able to guide other students who are interested in traveling as well.”