By Dennys Paulino
Saying you’ll travel the world, doesn’t get you anywhere without a plan of action. Overwhelming as it may seem, there is a way to experience completely new environments, people, food and cultures. CUNY offers a way that is closer than you think, as a matter of fact if you’re a CUNY student, you have all the resources you need to travel the world waiting for you to take advantage of them. Amazingly enough according to the Travel Registry of CUNY, if you meet all eligibility requirements for the world opening EPermit, a system that lets you take classes from another CUNY campus, you may apply for any study abroad program in any, yes any, CUNY college.
Living inside another country can be daunting at first, yet no great story came from playing it safe. Studying inside the CUNY system there is a luxury to be had in pursuing knowledge in New York City. Studying in this city means being surrounded by many different cultures. Yet nothing compares to experiencing different cultures first hand through travel. In “The Fairytale of My Life: An Autobiography” by Danish author Hans Christian Andersen, he mentions: “To move, to breathe, to fly, to float/To gain all while you give/To roam the roads of lands remote/To travel is to live.” We move to learn, to experience, to flourish; there should not be anything holding us back from our desire to live our best life. Finances themselves are a barricade, yet don’t seem as daunting when scholarships get involved. Scholarships are plentiful for CUNY students, and can be based on such things like cultural backgrounds, arts, literature, media and many other areas. For more information on scholarships, speak with an advisor, and look for study abroad programs on your college website! Wanting to travel is the first step in expanding your horizons, the second is putting the pieces together with the help of CUNY to make it a reality.
The study abroad courses vary on which semester is offering the course you should decide to apply for. Ever take Spanish, yet never got the hang of it? Study Abroad Spain is being hosted by BMCC in Oviedo, Asturias, Spain, with a course in Hispanic Heritage. In this program you would not only be exposed to new works of literature, but be engulfed by the culture that surrounds your daily activities. Eating new foods, visiting new locations and best of all meeting new and exciting people. If you qualify for EPermit, any CUNY campus you attend lets you apply. Deadlines vary on which semester the course is being applied, so check each deadline for the program you have applied for on the travel registry website; time is always ticking.
In addition to BMCC’s program in Spain, Queens College is hosting the study abroad program Technology, Industry and Culture in 21st Century Japan, which focuses on lectures on the topics of Japanese robotics, environmental and life sciences, computer science and engineering. In this program you won’t only speak about the advances in technology happening in Japan, but experience them first hand. Studying abroad also helps you complete your curriculum! When speaking with an advisor about study abroad programs, it is ideal to choose a course that fits the purpose of your chosen major; so not only will you live through experiences that will carry with you for life, but also complete your curriculum at the same time. Specifying your search is also something that can be done throughout the travel registry on CUNY; programs can be looked for by categories such as country of interest and/or field of study, fitting any need. Going to the travel registry link for CUNY would give you critical information on how to prepare for traveling abroad. Information that includes airfare, travel insurance, program fee and others such as a minimum budget for meal cost. Each program has their specific cost and requirements that must be met prior to applying. The travel registry for CUNY is your key to a wealth of knowledge.
Expanding your knowledge while traveling is something CUNY can help you with. On the CUNY study abroad site there are student stories about their experiences with their specific program. One of those students, Alexis Rizzica from CSI, who studied in Florence, Italy, states, “This, so far, has undoubtedly been the best experience of my life… I never want to come home!” This student story along with many others detail how the impact such a decision to study abroad has had an empowering push for success in their lives, pushing their knowledge of their studies forward. Having all these options to study abroad can be confusing, but you are not alone in your journey to study abroad. CUNY will help provide information on how the process works. Understanding how another person lives is crucial for self-development and growth; through the study abroad program in CUNY you have the option to pursue knowledge in another country. Advisors are there to assist; prepare yourself, you have a trip to plan.