Around the World with the UCSD Guardian

Students interested in studying abroad can rest assured that they are in good company. According to the Office of Student Research and Information, 1,100 UCSD students studied abroad in 53 different countries during the 2012-13 academic year alone. Specifically, students have the opportunity of going abroad through the Global Seminars, Education Abroad (UCEAP), Opportunities Abroad, departmentally hosted programs through the University and other independent programs. UCSD’s Programs Abroad Office (pao.ucsd.edu) offers a step-by-step guide to planning a trip abroad, as well as more information about each specific program. In this issue, our writers give you a glimpse into the sights, sounds and cultures of some of the most popular study abroad destinations. Bon voyage!

UCSD students have the opportunity of studying abroad through a multitude of programs, such as the UC Education Abroad Program (UCEAP). More information can be found on the Programs Abroad Office website, pao.ucsd.edu. Illustration by Annie Liu.
UCSD students have the opportunity of studying abroad through a multitude of programs, such as the UC Education Abroad Program (UCEAP). More information can be found on the Programs Abroad Office website, pao.ucsd.edu. Illustration by Annie Liu.
Spain
Written by Chanelle Wang

We all know that you haven’t been practicing the Spanish that you spent four years learning in high school. Why put all that time to waste? Study abroad in Spain, and you’ll have the wonderful opportunity not only to relearn the language you have long forgotten, but also to embrace the beauty of the country.Spend the weekdays studying in the courtyard of the Alhambra, a castle located in the city of Granada, and spend the weekends partying in Ibiza, an island just off the coast of Spain. For those who hold naps dear to their hearts, find solace in “la siesta” from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m., during which every shop, restaurant and school shuts down to allow their workers to rest during the hottest part of the day in the comfort of their own homes. Later, test your physical abilities and agility by successfully running with the bulls without a scratch in San Fermin at the annual Running of the Bulls festival.

Pack your tank tops, shorts and bathing suits for the summer, but don’t forget to bring a few jackets as it does get cold during the winter. Spain boasts a rich culture and has breathtaking views that everyone is sure to enjoy after a long day of academics.

Singapore
Written by Vincent Pham

Aside from English being one of the official languages, the convenience and inexpensiveness of transportation throughout the country and the plethora of hawker centres — open-air food courts — with an even greater amount of food to eat inside, Singapore will wholly satisfy any student keen on studying abroad. Under UCEAP, students intending to study abroad will be applying to the National University of Singapore, not only a well-esteemed university for Singaporeans but one of the top universities worldwide in several fields including engineering, technology and life sciences. The chance for renowned education is coupled with the rare opportunity to study in an economic hub of Southeast Asia, as the costs of budget airlines through countries such as Myanmar, Thailand and Vietnam will keep your wallet happy and satisfy your wanderlust. If I were you, I’d dive into temptation and bite into the Singaporean “apple.”

Australia
Written by Tina Butoiu

When considering where to study abroad, aim high and think down under. Australia offers a jolly fun beach experience.

Some of the majors the UCEAP caters to in Australia include communication, political science and marine biology. Students can study in a university in Brisbane, Canberra, Melbourne, Perth, Sydney, Wollongong or the University of Queensland on the coast.

If you enjoy water activities at La Jolla Shores, you will surely be amazed snorkeling at Australia’s Great Barrier Reef and surfing at Sydney’s Bondi Beach. Furthermore, Australia’s boundless wildlife and natural preserves nurture the adventurous soul with plenty of outback adventures all around the country. If you are into the urban side of life, fear not, Sydney’s stunning skyline and jazz clubs surely will not disappoint.

Cambridge, England
Written by Yiulin Liu

Would you like to gain a whole-package experience in the world-renowned University of Cambridge? The Pembroke King’s Programme is your chance. This eight-week summer program is hosted in two of the 31 colleges of Cambridge, Pembroke and King’s College, right in the heart of the beautiful and prosperous Cambridge City. Don’t worry too much about packing before the trip — they have malls no less fancy than our very own UTC.

After being accepted to Pembroke King’s Programme, you are free to select three courses from a pool of 50 topics covering almost any field you can imagine. Courses are “‘Cambridge’ in style, content and standard.” The Formal Halls might also interest you: five formal dinners throughout the two months where everybody dresses up, sits in the Harry Potter-style dining hall and gets ready to be provided with great cuisine and wine by the suited-up servers. Since the program goes through the UCEAP, credits and your GPA will be transferred back to UCSD without much of an administrative struggle.

Besides the dining halls that serve great food, the have-it-all Cambridge City will certainly light up your hopes of British cuisine with its stellar restaurants, bars and eateries.

Berlin, Germany
Written Olga Golubkova

As people who go to school in California, UCSD students are truly aware that nothing contributes to the educational process as much as studying in a diverse, open-minded community. It is safe to say that Berlin is one of the few places where cultural diversity and the vibrant environment of a European capital allows you to get out of your comfort zone and develop as a person.

Offering five study abroad programs in Berlin, UCEAP provides students with a unique opportunity to take classes in one of the two biggest universities of the German capital — Free University of Berlin or Humboldt University. Language courses are not mandatory, but taking a German language class will allow you to experience life as a true Berliner (and we are not talking about the famous jelly doughnuts).

UCEAP academics, together with Berlin out-of-class activities, can change your perspective on a huge variety of topics, from 20th century European history to the world history of street art. And of course, after a month, semester or year in Berlin, the local club scene will change your understanding of what it means to “party hard.”

The only sad part of studying abroad in bustling Berlin is moving back to small town La Jolla. But who says you can’t go back?

Japan
Written by Teiko Yakobson

From the bustling subway stations of Tokyo to the antique Kyoto streets where kimono-clad geisha can still be seen floating amongst civilians, Japan will breathe culture into every moment of your experience. If a bowl of authentic ramen catered to perfection is worth having to leave your shoes at the door, then consider sending yourself to this exciting country.

UCEAP is the way to go if you want the certainty of courses transferring and the certainty that financial aid will apply. While programs are centered on Japanese culture, science majors can also apply to Osaka University, Tohoku University and Tokyo University, where you’ll lend a hand on cutting-edge research (no Japanese language skill required).

Japan cycles dramatically through all four seasons, which means you can expect hot, humid summers and cold, snowy winters. There’s also two rainy seasons, but take comfort in knowing that every store will be selling umbrellas at that time!

The good news about the supposed “language barrier” is that nearly all Japanese people understand English; the bad news is that not everyone has the courage to speak it to you. Those who do, however, will be enthusiastic about meeting and having a chance to practice their English with you — and will be glad to tour you around wherever you like in return.

Costa Rica

Written by Soo Yun Park

Located between the Pacific Ocean and the Caribbean Sea, Costa Rica is a beautiful country with mountains as tall as 2,000 feet and countless beaches. Because the country has a climate so similar to UCSD’s, the students who choose to study in Costa Rica will have the perks of feeling at home and the opportunity to get a tan in an exotic land.

Because Costa Rica abolished its military in 1948, its government was able to concentrate its funds towards education and health programs, making Costa Rica a very attractive country for study abroad programs. While learning Spanish in a country surrounded by natural beauty, students can also study in one of the richest wildlife reservations in the world — future scientists will receive hands-on training for research in the many rainforests and labs located in Costa Rica.

When students want to take a break, they can visit one of the many mountains in Costa Rica, such as those in Arenal Volcano National Park. You can choose from many outdoor activities, such as whitewater rafting, canoeing, waterfall repelling and hiking, which can take visitors to a lake in which they can swim and enjoy the scenery. Costa Rica is one of the most visited tourist destinations and can offer much to UCSD students studying there.

India
Written by Meryl Press

If you enjoy a diversification of ethnic food, religion and a multitude of culture, then participating in a study abroad program in India is the right place for you! India is known for being very colorful and culturally complex: intermixing a population of rural, traditional and agrarian people. It houses one-sixth of the world’s population, with over a billion people that live in the subcontinent and has one of the fastest growing economies of the world. UCSD offers study abroad in several cities in India, including Hyderabad, Pune, Mumbai, New Delhi, Jaipur and Kumaun. The program is open to majors in communication, anthropology, gender studies, history, Hindi, philosophy and business. If you are involved in one of these majors and are considering studying abroad, then India might be the perfect place for your international experience!

France
Written by Sam Shapiro

Eighty-seven years ago, F. Scott Fitzgerald said that “the American in Paris is the best American.” The true beauty of Paris — a city that seems forever trapped in a magnificent sepia Instagram filter — is that an observation made almost a century ago holds up as if it were made yesterday, a fitting tribute to perhaps the only city that truly stretches as far as the eye can see.

For French speakers, there is no better way to find true cultural immersion than by studying at the UC Center in Paris. Not as fluent in the language? There are several programs for beginners, including a few that allow the quarter abroad to be split between London and Paris.

Looking for that French experience but wary of the big city life? No problem. Exchange programs at the University of Bordeaux or the University of Lyon allow for a more traditional campus experience, as long as you feel comfortable braving the chilly winter. Whether you’re just an average Jacques looking for a fun few months or a souffle connoisseur with an appetite for knowledge, there’s sure to be a program for you.

Bologna, Italy
Written by Shelby Newallis

Located between the Pacific Ocean and the Caribbean Sea, Costa Rica is a beautiful country with mountains as tall as 2,000 feet and countless beaches. Because the country has a climate so similar to UCSD’s, the students who choose to study in Costa Rica will have the perks of feeling at home and the opportunity to get a tan in an exotic land.

Because Costa Rica abolished its military in 1948, its government was able to concentrate its funds towards education and health programs, making Costa Rica a very attractive country for study abroad programs. While learning Spanish in a country surrounded by natural beauty, students can also study in one of the richest wildlife reservations in the world — future scientists will receive hands-on training for research in the many rainforests and labs located in Costa Rica.

When students want to take a break, they can visit one of the many mountains in Costa Rica, such as those in Arenal Volcano National Park. You can choose from many outdoor activities, such as whitewater rafting, canoeing, waterfall repelling and hiking, which can take visitors to a lake in which they can swim and enjoy the scenery. Costa Rica is one of the most visited tourist destinations and can offer much to UCSD students studying there.

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