Opportunity is here, study abroad – Prospectus

Parkland's campus-wide student newspaper since 1968

This spring, students will soar to Spain, and with eight other countries to choose from, will you stay or go somewhere new in 2022. 
How many Disney Channel movies have been dedicated to travel? Cheetah Girls 2, they go to Barcelona, The Lizzie McGuire Movie, she goes to Rome, and The Proud Family Movie, they go to Peanut Island. As kids, we were exposed to the idea that travel equals adventure. Ask anyone what their grand aspirations in life are, a majority of them will say, “To travel more, and see the world.” Well, Parkland College holds the same Disney values on travel. With their help, you can be a Cheetah Girl too, and you don’t even need the Cheetah Girl budget. 
Jody Littleton is the study abroad coordinator at Parkland and is ever so ecstatic to be able to help students see the world. When she was an undergraduate, she never took the opportunities afforded by her university and regretted it. To supplement her regret, she has become an expert traveler, using the tools at her disposal to travel abroad to places such as Ireland, France, and Italy. Contact her at jlittleton@parkland.edu for more information to see that it’s not such a small world after all. 
So, where will we be traveling and how? Parkland can offer so many different packaged experiences by being a part of the Illinois Consortium for International Studies and Programs, their website is ICISP.org. This is a combined effort of many different Illinois Colleges to get their students abroad with partners like Heartland Community College. They help set up all the study programs available to us: Austria, Costa Rica, England, France, Ireland, Spain, China, Parkland also added Japan and Italy to their mix. Thanks to them we can see a whole new world. 
Living a whole semester alone in a different country might seem like the perfect situation to some people, but what if you don’t know how to plan or don’t want to be out for that long? It’s ok, there are smaller and easier offers as well. Parkland has two different options that span from two to four weeks each. To stay relaxed, you can go to Costa Rica this summer from May 25 to June 25. Costa Rica is first off, drop-dead gorgeous; it is what you think of when you think of a jungle paradise. Throughout your four weeks there, a whole itinerary is already chalked full of wonderful experiences. You’ll never be alone either, you will be staying with a host family that will take care of you and help ease you into your new environment and with your Spanish homework. With the total cost being around $3,399, this study abroad brings the bare necessities of life at a reasonable price. 
If two weeks sounds too much still, we’ve got something perfect for you. This summer there is going to be a two-week sustainability boot camp in four different regions of the magical country of France, for only $2400. In Lyon, you can learn about urban sustainability. In Grenoble, go hiking and learn about mountains in a changing world. In the fabulous Paris take up micro-architect and create sustainable designs to save animals. Finally, in tasty Dijon learn about sustainable food and what wines it pairs with. This beautiful experience on how to take down the beast of climate change will make four-year colleges want you to transfer to them. 
All of this costs money and it’s not a small amount. There are ways to circumvent money so that you can follow this dream. Some scholarships can be awarded. These can be found on the Parkland and ICISP website to start. Find a sponsor who will finance you in the local rotary club or a go fund me page. Work two jobs or sell a kidney. If you want to do it, you will find a way. That is why this isn’t a dream, it’s real and with your hard work it will pay off so sweetly. Jody even told me of different, non-Parkland programs that are all-inclusive, with a stipend for you to study a different language in a new country for a whole year. You just have to take the time to look it up, apply to different scholarships, and save more money. There is a reason that studying abroad is such a good experience, to even get the ball rolling, it’ll make a student out of you. 
Are you interested in improving your skills, working in a team, or gaining experience? If so, join the Prospectus!
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The Prospectus’ digital archive is hosted at Parkland’s SPARK website. Special thanks to the Parkland Library for hosting the Prospectus’ archives.
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