Opportunity of a lifetime for students

Sean Tongson

Students have the opportunity for a once in a lifetime experience to enjoy a semester in London, England this upcoming fall.

The ‘Study Abroad’ program, managed by the Contra Costa Community College District in partnership with the Northern California Study Abroad Consortium (NCSAC), is providing the opportunity for students to study overseas this fall in London, England. The consortium includes community colleges from Santa Rosa, San Mateo and Sacramento. Four different instructors will accompany students on this trip.

“Study abroad can be a life changing experience,” said English Instructor JoAnn Hobbs. “It is a chance to experience another culture as more of a resident than someone traveling through. In the span of three months, students will learn about England, but also themselves as they meet new people and venture outside of our American culture bubble.”

Students and instructors will be able to utilize the city as their own classroom, making the most of the sites and the landmarks to turn it into an unforgettable educational experience.

“One of the courses I will be teaching is Shakespeare and His World,” said Hobbs. “While reading plays from Shakespeare, students will be able to visit the Globe Theatre and take an excursion to Shakespeare’s birthplace and see a production of one of his plays.”

Other courses being taught by Hobbs are a Survey of Late English Literature and Literature of the Drama. Students will also take a British Life and Culture class which introduces students to topics such as British history, government, architecture and pop culture. In addition, Psychology, Communication, and Anthropology will also be offered. All of these courses are UC and CSU transferable.

The Study Abroad Program began in 1986. At the time, it was strictly a DVC program that primarily only toured London, England. When the CCCCD District took over the program in 1993 district, the program branched out and started touring other places such as London, Paris, Florence, Spain, and China. Since its inception, over 1,000 students have had the opportunity to study abroad.

“The places we go are where students want to go,” said Director of International Education Aleks Ilich. “We’ve done Mexico and Costa Rica. We are always looking, but it depends on where we can generate the most interest.”

In total, three ‘Study Abroad’ programs have been scheduled for 2013. In addition to London this fall, a semester in Guatemala is planned for summer, students have until April 12 to make their payments for that particular trip. Trips to Florence, Italy occur annually every spring semester, and a trip to Paris, France has been scheduled for Fall 2014.

According to the schedule, students will depart to London on Thursday, September 5. Students will remain until Friday December 6. Students will get a mid-semester break from Monday October 21 through Friday October 25.

“Every student comes back from a study abroad trip with a different experience,” said Director of Communications Tim Leong. “Generally, students come back with greater language skills because they are immersed in the language and culture and they get to practice every day.”

If students are interested in studying in London, they must complete their applications by the priority registration deadline of April 19. The cost of the program, including Study Abroad Fees, courses, and housing, is roughly $8,000.

“We advertise it as a once in a lifetime opportunity for students,” added Ilich. “It is also much less expensive than a semester at a university.”

For more information on the Study Abroad Program, students may contact studyabroad@dvc.edu, or can call (925) 685-1230 ext. 2735.