Many students look forward to studying abroad during their time at the University of Georgia. Though Athens is a fantastic college town, UGA’s study abroad opportunities allow students to travel to other parts of the world and gain insight into different countries’ cultures, history and institutions. This year, UGA will offer over 100 programs to interested students across a wide array of topics and fields, including several new and exciting programs, according to The Red & Black.
UGA’s continued commitment to its study abroad program encourages students to take a diverse curriculum and promotes the university’s goal of developing globally-minded students.
The university’s investment in expanding its study abroad programs demonstrates a desire to give students a range of options. As detailed in The Red & Black, those interested in studying abroad will have new programs from which to choose. In particular, the “American Sign Language in France” program should push students out of their comfort zones. While learning sign language, students must also grapple with living, if only briefly, in a foreign country with a different language. In addition to teaching history and introducing students to new people, the visits to local areas of significance for deaf communities may allow participants to practice French, American Sign Language and French Sign Language at the same time.
Experiences like the “American Sign Language in France” that take students out of their comfort zones are vital to the university because they force students to quickly adjust to a new environment with a different set of expectations. College should be a chance for students to explore new areas and interests, and seeing topics from different perspectives is a key piece to this exploration. When coming to college, students can meet people from across the state and country, elucidating different cultures and points of view. Studying abroad takes this further, transplanting students into another country and giving them direct knowledge of an otherwise unfamiliar culture.
The international perspective granted to students by studying abroad is crucial to the university’s mission. According to its website, UGA seeks to prepare students “and the state for full participation in the global society of the twenty-first century” and “to foster the understanding of and respect for cultural differences.” Students who participate in study abroad programs will better understand how other countries operate and have a greater appreciation for how the U.S. fits into the broader global community, thus fulfilling an essential element of the university's mission.
The study abroad program plays an important role in helping the university create well-rounded and thoughtful students. With its updated offerings, UGA has ensured students will continue to receive a high-quality and enriching experience no matter what they are interested in.