Fran Stygar @fstygar
When students have felt that the Wittenberg bubble has gotten too cramped, the study abroad programs have always been around to titillate young adults with the promise of adventure and education in a new country. But is a lack of interest causing some of these programs to shut down?
JoAnne Bennet, director of international education, seemed surprised at the rumor. “No program for this summer has been cancelled,” she said. “But there was some discussion of whether all programs will have sufficient enrollment. Last year, a summer trip to England was cancelled for that very reason.
Professor Robin Inboden, who had originally planned the study, says, “All the sites we were visiting are expensive, and with the formula for credits per time spent on-site, the length of the trip just made it too expensive. We’re pretty sure that’s why not enough students signed up.” But that hasn’t stopped any of the current programs from being planned. According to Bennet, there is a record number of summer study programs being offered to students this year. These include trips to Germany, Cuba, Poland, Tokyo, and China.
“Our hope is that students will apply in the next two weeks for all the programs to go,” said Bennet. “There are some great ones.”
When presented with the rumor, Witt students who had been on past summer study trips were quick to defend them. “I don’t think I ever thought of not going,” said senior Beth Roys. Last year she was part of the study in Australia and had absolutely nothing negative to say about it.
Junior Allidia Jenkins felt the same way about her trip to Poland. “This trip changed my life and I highly recommend it to everyone,” Jenkins said. “It wasn’t until I got home from Poland that I truly understood the effect that it had on me but now that I understand it, I would go back in a heart-beat.”
If enough people apply by the Feb. 14 deadline, every single one of the summer study programs will be happening. Therefore, it is up to the students to decide if they die like last year’s trip to England, or live to gift people like Roys and Jenkins with memories that will last a lifetime.