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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


Students moving abroad to study


Courtesy of Meg Morita

Public health senior Meg Morita stands in front of Arenal Volcano during a study abroad trip to Costa Rica. 2015 is expected to see an increase in study abroad students, and the UA is adding 19 new programs.

The year of 2015 is expected to see an increase in the amount of students studying abroad, according to a study conducted by Savills, an international rental consultancy. The UA joins the trend with the addition of new study abroad programs.

There has been a larger number of students studying abroad because “having international study on a resume has proven to help students to secure jobs faster than those who have not studied abroad,” said Greg Kraynak, the CEO of Cellhire USA. 

Study abroad numbers have increased in 2012 and 2013 by 2.1 percent, Kraynak said.

The UA added 19 new study abroad programs for the summer of 2015. Some of the new locations include universities in the Netherlands, China, Brazil, Switzerland, Guatemala and Egypt.

The new programs “further align study abroad with the 100 percent engagement initiative,” said Harmony DeFazio, director of study abroad and student exchange. “For example, Global MedCats program in Costa Rica offers students clinical experience.”

According to DeFazio, profound opportunities for personal growth helped motivate 211 UA students to take part in study abroad programs just this semester.

About 70 students attend the Costa Rica program each year, and 150 students go to Italy, which are the two biggest programs, DeFazio added.

Meg Morita, a senior studying public health and minoring in Spanish, chose to study in Costa Rica to complete requirements for her Spanish minor.

Morita said that she was able to practice her Spanish when she got lost using public transport, which she said happened a few times.

“Even with a language barrier, I was able to learn a lot,” Morita said.

Mark Andrew Sanchez, a pre-visual communications junior, plans on studying abroad this summer in Mexico, where he will finish two art history requirements. Sanchez said he believes the program will help him learn about his culture.

The study abroad trend extends to those wishing to study at the UA from around the globe.

On a national scale, the U.S. received 886,052 international students in the past year, with 274,439 students originating from China, according to Open Doors, a reporting organization for study abroad and international students.

The UA has had an increase in the enrollment of international students. The number of international students at the university was 2,087 in 1996, said Joanne Lagasse-Long, International Student Services director, and expanded to 3,696 in 2014. 

The largest international groups at the UA in 2014 were Chinese, with 1,791 students, and Indian, with 347 students. On the opposite end of the spectrum, the least amount of students originate from Mexico, with 156 students and 30 students from Turkey.

Chui “Lucas” Zhu, a biology freshman from Chengdu, China, originally heard of the UA from his cousin residing in Tucson. He said he chose to study here because “the equipment is so advanced.” Zhu also said his experience at the UA has been positive, and he plans on staying for the next four years to finish his education.

For more information or advice on pursuing study abroad, the Native American Student Affairs and Study Abroad programs will be holding an information session and student panel on Wednesday from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. in Nugent Room 205.


Follow Terrie Brianna Morris on Twitter.

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