Academic Programs Abroad
In 1953, Lake Erie became the first college in the United States to institute a mandatory full term of courses to be taken abroad as a requirement for graduation. While this is no longer a requirement for our students, it is a legacy of which we are proud and an experience we still encourage all our students to take advantage of. Fast forward from the 1950s into the new century: Our world is becoming increasingly interconnected, with more and more of the most exciting and well-paying jobs requiring cultural awareness, fluency in foreign languages and the ability to thrive in another culture. Responding to the quickly evolving demands of work skills needed in the modern world, Lake Erie College offers innovative programs designed to introduce students into the global marketplace and, for those who choose such a career path, provide continued opportunities for preparation and growth. Today, you can “go global” in practically any field. What is your passion? Whichever of our four learning communities you participate in, including Business and Entrepreneurship, Arts, Culture and the Humanities, Service, Policy and the Law, or Science, Health and the Environment, from your sophomore year onwards Lake Erie College stands ready to support a semester-long experience or short-term study abroad to help you on your way towards meeting fascinating new people who share your passion, and to further your educational and professional goals.
Semester and Year-Long Programs
Spending a semester abroad is an intercultural experience that integrates cross-cultural enrichment with academic learning and unique study opportunities not often available in the United States. It is, therefore, very much a part of today’s total liberal arts education. The Academic Program Abroad (APA) may be used to satisfy one of the general education requirements (cultures and values goal), in conjunction with the IS 300/301 course series. The APA is usually taken during the second half of the sophomore or first half of the junior year, but may be taken at any time from the start of the sophomore year on. The student selects a study center appropriate to individual interest and needs. Often, the choice will depend upon courses available at the host school and/or available facility in a second language; however, interest in a particular internship program, a living experience or a special area of study may also influence the choice of destination. The program includes a semester of preparation for living in another culture prior to departure. While abroad, students work in various subject areas with native faculty, explore aspects of the culture through independent studies or an internship and keep a journal reflecting thoughts and experiences. Academic credit is awarded at the successful completion of all requirements.
Experiences Abroad are not necessarily more expensive than a semester on campus. Situations vary depending on the individual, but in most cases students pay tuition through Lake Erie College and are registered as a Lake Erie College student while abroad. Financial aid usually applies to the experience, and in most instances, the cost of study abroad is equivalent to or less than a semester of study on campus. All students planning to go abroad are STRONGLY encouraged to register for IS 300 Intercultural Relationships I as part of their preparation for travel. Students choosing not to take IS 300 must receive prior approval from the Coordinator of International Studies and their academic advisor. Students who do not take IS 300 and IS 301 will be ineligible for completing their cultures and values general education requirement solely by studying abroad. Additionally, students planning on studying in a country having a primary language other than English are STRONGLY encouraged to have at least 3 semesters of experience in the target language, or otherwise demonstrate similar fluency.
Short Term Programs
As part of the Go Global campaign, Lake Erie College offers short term study abroad programs of 10 days to approximately 4 weeks in length. These programs are taught and led by Lake Erie College faculty to various destinations, and are taken either during spring break or during the summer session immediately after spring graduation. These programs may consist of a semester of instruction on campus before or after the trip, intense accelerated classes while abroad, or a combination of both. These courses are offered to all full-time undergraduate students who meet the minimum requirements of a 2.5 cumulative GPA, are in good standing with the school, and who complete a study tour application for committee review and approval. Ideally they are structured around the learning communities so that in the course of a student’s time at Lake Erie, at least one trip in each area should take place. Credit for these trips usually ranges from 4-8 hours depending on the trip. Students applying to go on these tours may also apply for a one time subsidy to help pay for the cost of the trip. This is available beginning after the end of the fourth consecutive full-time semester attendance for students who start at Lake Erie College, or after one full year of attendance for students transferring to Lake Erie College. The amount of this subsidy varies depending on the cost of the trip and the number of enrollments in a given year. While students may participate in more than one trip, they may only receive one subsidy.
Although students are encouraged to take these trips as early as possible, graduating seniors who wish to participate in a trip taking place in the semester immediately following their graduation may do so IF the trip departs within 20 days of graduation and if they have successfully submitted an application and are otherwise eligible with regards to GPA and residency requirements. They may also still apply for the subsidy, assuming it has not been used previously. Credit earned in such cases will be post-baccalaureate in nature and will not count towards a degree.
Students must fulfill the appropriate on-campus course and/or meeting requirements in order to participate in the trip portion of the course, or must meet the required class schedule while overseas as the case may be, in order to earn credit for this trip. The trip portion of the experience itself is also academic in nature, and must be satisfactorily completed in order to earn a passing grade in the course(s). Students will be held to the standards of student codes of conduct while abroad. Anyone violating these codes will result in the student being sent home at their own cost. Students must also be in reasonably good health. Travel for any student with a pre-existing health condition must be approved by the student’s physician, and all participants are required to pass a physical.
Many short term programs also fulfill the Core Requirement Cultures and Values Goal - but not all. Students wishing to use a study tour for this requirement should verify that it satisfies the criteria before enrolling. For more information on requirements or to apply, please contact the Coordinator of International Programs at 440-375-7178.