When it comes to opportunities, Quinnipiac University is full of them.
There are chances to join the many student organizations, Greek life and intramurals. One of these many opportunities comes in the form of the Office of Multicultural and Global Education, which is responsible for sending hundreds of Quinnipiac students abroad every semester.
The Office of Multicultural and Global Education (OMGE) sends out frequent e-mails encouraging students who are interested in studying abroad to attend one of its many information sessions. These sessions are meant to inform interested students about the whole process, and to talk about the many different abroad locations.
“I think that every student should take the chance and go abroad,” said assistant director for Education Abroad Programs Mark Tortora. “It is just one of those experiences that every student can benefit from and really learn a lot about themselves and about another culture.”
The first step in the study abroad process is attending one of the information sessions.
“We always send out several e-mails at the beginning of each semester encouraging students to attend one of the sessions,” Tortora said. “It is absolutely important that any student interested in going abroad come to a session because we talk about all the steps, like how to apply, how much it costs, academic requirements…they are really things students need to know.”
The information session uses a PowerPoint presentation to inform students about the entire study abroad process. Though it may seem like a lot of information to take in, Tortora believes that it is important for the students to have an overall good idea about the whole process.
“It seems like a lot at first, but I know that Mark and the rest of the staff at the abroad office are there to answer any questions I have,” said Tegan Kurzynowski, a junior health science studies major who is planning to study abroad in Cork, Ireland next semester.
“I’m just really excited, I’ve talked to people who have studied abroad before and they say it’s the best time of their life,” Kurzynowski said.
The policies of OMGE require students to meet with their academic adviser or dean to approve any courses that they will be taking while abroad. Students also must maintain a cumulative grade-point average of 3.0 at the time that they apply. Any student that falls between a GPA of 2.70 and 2.99 must submit a special GPA waiver request form, and any student under a GPA of 2.70 is ineligible to go abroad.
Students also must be in good disciplinary standing with the university. If a student has any conduct sanctions, they must fill out a conduct clearance waiver form. Students also must remain a full-time student (12-16 credits) while they are abroad. This is all covered within the information session.
“Once students attend an information session, then they have to create an account on the Quinnipiac Study Abroad portal, which is where they fill out the Quinnipiac abroad application and all other forms regarding health insurance, course and conduct forms, and travel information,” said director for Global Education Andrea Hogan.
The Quinnipiac Study Abroad portal can be accessed through the OMGE’s website on MyQ. On the portal, students have the ability to look at all the different programs Quinnipiac offers, and can apply directly to the program on the site. It also contains many useful travel tips and reviews of different programs from former study abroad students.
“The only direct program we have right now is currently with the University of Cork in Ireland, so students interested in other approved programs also have to apply directly into that program. So, essentially students have to fill out two separate applications: one for us, and another for the other university that has the program they are interested in,” said Hogan.
Right now, Quinnipiac has many programs all over the world, ranging from Ireland, England, Spain, and Italy to China, Japan, Australia, and even South Africa. Students have the ability to chose a semester long program, or a shorter program that usually runs in January or during the summer.
“The information session really helped out with getting a general idea about everything abroad,” said Kurzynowski. “Though it is a bit stressful with all the paperwork, the OMGE is really helpful and it will be so worth it in the end.”
The OMGE is currently accepting applications for students interested in studying abroad in the spring semester. The deadline is Oct. 15.