Study abroad program reopens for fall


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The Los Rios Community District reopens the Los Rios Study Abroad program. The deadlines to apply are April 15 for the priority application, May 13 for the general application and June 15 for the late application.

The Los Rios Community College District has reopened the Los Rios Study Abroad program after pausing the program for two years due to COVID-19.
LRCCD’s partnership with the American Institute For Foreign Study offers students the opportunity to study abroad in London, England this fall from Sept. 8 to Dec. 9.
“Students need to be vaccinated, at least 18 years old, have a GPA of 2.25 or higher and have completed at least 12 college units,” said Folsom Lake College Biology Professor Fran Keller.
Students are required to take a British life and culture course along with three other courses to reach a minimum of 12 units, said Keller. .
Keller stated that these courses are transferable to a California State University.
“My goal is to use textbooks or get access to textbooks that you don’t have to pack or that are free,” Keller said.
Keller mentioned that financial cost is one of the main reasons that keep people from studying abroad, but assured students that there are options for paying, including financial aid grants.
“There’s options for paying, associated with financial aid grants,” Keller said.
Keller said students should make sure to fill out their Free Application for Federal Student Aid and or, speak to the financial aid representative that is devoted to the Study Abroad program.
Keller addressed students’ concerns with the war in Ukraine.
“If something does happen, it’s not like what’s happening in Ukraine where students can’t get out,” Keller said. “There’s the U.S. Embassy, downtown London, so we should be able to have immediate protocols for evacuation if that is the case.”
In March 2020 when the pandemic hit, there were protocols to get students who were in Florence, Italy, back to the United States, Keller said.
The next study abroad trip will be to Florence, Italy, according to the American River College Study Abroad website.
FLC Sociology Professor Diane Carlson said she was in Italy when the pandemic happened and also added she’s not worried about COVID.
“I actually got to visit and go see the program just a couple of weeks ago,” Carlson said.
She said she saw how much better Italy is doing at keeping people safe.
“You couldn’t really do anything in public or go into a public building without seeing everyone masked,” Carlson said.
Carlson also said studying abroad exposes individuals to unfamiliar settings, where they don’t know what the norms are.
“That can be unsettling, but it can also be really empowering to know that you can go and figure things out,” Carlson said. “You can learn what other people do.”
The Italy trip will be in Spring 2023, according to ARC’s Study Abroad website. Carlson said applications should be opening soon.

Kale Braden, who is the director of Study Abroad for Los Rios, said studying abroad opens up new doors and is a remarkable opportunity for students because everything is “distilled down” to experiential learning.
“We have international business classes which talk about London as a financial center and talk about what it means to have Brexit,” Braden said. “Then you go to your next class and you might have a biology class that’s dealing with evolution, where you’re going to go to the Charles Darwin Museum and see some of the samples and photos.”
Braden also said being in another culture and seeing the world in a different way is a valuable experience overall.
He mentioned an additional benefit he sees is students seeing connections in their educational journey as they study abroad.
“I talked to a student who was like ‘yeah, I was getting ready to drop out of college and now my plan is to go back and get a doctorate degree in this,’” Braden said.
Having studied abroad for a year, Braden said that single year was more important than the 11 years he spent in college.
In terms of future trips, Braden stated that there’s a rotation of three locations. The program alternates between London and Barcelona in the fall and visits Florence in the spring.
He added that one of the long-term goals for this program is to “build-out.”
“We’ve had some conversations about doing some more breaking out of the European white model of study abroad,” Braden said.
Braden described examples of CRC construction management students going to South Africa to help build buildings, or nursing students going to Costa Rica to volunteer in hospitals.
“I think in the long term, certainly we have an interest in diversifying the offerings we have and getting us to other places in addition to just going to Europe,” Braden said.
Keller said the priority application deadline for the London trip is April 15, the general application deadline is May 13 and the late application deadline is June 15.
For more information about studying abroad visit this website.