Trip Axed After Lack of Interest

Gabriella Lengyel, Social Media Manager

The Italy Literature and Film course offered by the English department ran every summer since 2012, but officials will now run the program every other summer instead of annually.

The program is a three credit, 30 day course in Florence, Italy run by English professor Dr. Scott Blanchard.

“It is carried out on the campus of Santa Reparata International School of Art, where there are computer resources, classrooms and a social center,” Blanchard said. “Students buy and prepare their own food and have classes four days per week, leaving them ample time to travel.”

An average of 21 students have gone on the trip in the past two years. Each year the number of students diminishes.

“The trip must generate enough funds to pay for its leader’s air fare and apartment rental,” he said.

The overhead charge had to be increased by $100 per student. This rearrangement of accommodations forced the leader to pay for his or her own food. Previously, the leader received a food allowance.

“A certain number of students have to be registered to go, and it has to be merited for the trip to take place,” Carolyn Yencharis Corcoran, Assistant Director of Insalaco Center for Career Development said.

Other study abroad programs are offered through Misericordia departments. For example, the business department is offering the opportunity to study abroad for a semester at the Swiss School of Management in Rome. It is open to students with business-related majors.

“It’s a new venture. We have not had any students do this yet.”

The occupational therapy department holds a study abroad program to travel to health care facilities in Honduras during spring break.

A course titled “Health Care in Ghana” was created cooperatively with the University of South Dakota.

“It is run through the USC and it focuses on what the health care system is like in Ghana,” Corcoran said. “All of these trips are Mercy mission-based programs.”

There are options for students looking to study abroad that do not require semester-long experiences. MU works with two program providers, Global Links Learning Abroad and Arcadia University, which are known for providing experiences in most any country students might choose.

The affiliations enable students’ grades to transfer to MU.

“Several universities are available to fit the goals and desires for each student’s ideal experience,” Corcoran said.

Some students, however, cannot take semester-long study abroad experiences even if they want to.

“The health care majors can’t possibly take off a full semester. The curriculum doesn’t allow that. The short term study abroad programs are really great as a substitute,” Corcoran said.

Financial issues might also get in the way of a semester-long trip especially if students choose a trip through Global Links Learning Abroad or Arcadia University. If students take a study abroad trip through MU, like the business department, their financial aid still applies. Corcoran used the example of the McCauley Scholarship which many students receive.

“I really hope in the future these programs expand and the student interest expands as well,” she said. “I would love to see students have a well-rounded study abroad experience to have both a service and an academic major experience.”

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