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Top Reasons To Study Abroad In Africa

As you may already know, Augie provides many destinations to study abroad each year. Spring Term 2015, they are offering a trip to Africa (an awesome place and happens to be the program to which I’ve been accepted). The application is STILL OPEN and will be open until further notice.  Hopefully, even more students students will apply and enroll. Many are overlooking this AMAZING opportunity for whatever reason(s). In those emails, they don’t add too many words because then it may seem overwhelming.   Here, I will explore the top reasons why you should apply to Africa Term.

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Live in Africa for a whole term!

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Live in Ghana: one of the friendliest and welcoming countries in Africa.

Live in a house, not a hut!

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There won’t be any huts or camping out. Let’s defuse the stereotype! There will be actual houses. Perhaps that what’s making people hesitant to apply? Here you will be living with a family and a fellow Augie student.

Fulfill PA, PH, PP perspectives and G Suffix + Learning Community (Internship!)

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There are three 3-credit courses offered in Africa, which are all taught by Augie professors. You can take either 2 or all 3 of the courses provided below.

Art 342: Studio Art of Africa (PA, G). Taught by Dr. Rowen Schussheim-Anderson

History 375: West Africa Past & Present (PP).  Taught by Dr. Todd Cleveland

Music 342: Music & Culture of West Africa (PH, G).  Taught by Dr. John Pfautz

The internship you get depends on your major. The professors at Augie will be making their best efforts to get you an internship that fits.   This service learning internship will earn you 2 credits at Augie and is an awesome thing to add to your resume!

Open To Any Augustana Student Who…

…is currently a first-year, sophomore, or junior of any major!

The Following majors/minors are recommended, but is definitely not NOT LIMITED TO: Africana Studies, Anthropology, Art, Art History, Communication Sciences & Disorders, Communication Studies, Environmental Management, Environmental Studies, Geography, Geology, Graphic Design, History, Landscape Architecture, Music, Music Ed, Secondary ED, and Women & Gender Studies (Source: Augustana College International Programs, Dec. 2013)

Cost less than a spring term on campus

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The tentative cost of this trip is $15,500 (includes insurance, tuition, ground transportation, airfare, lodging, meals while in homestays, and excursions). With Augie Choice, this program costs less than a Spring Term on campus! AUGIE CHOICE IS OPEN TO CURRENT FIRST-YEARS, SOPHOMORES, AND JUNIORS, TOO!

Many Free Meals!

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Unlike some study abroad programs, most of the meals are included in the cost! Your host family will be providing you will their own heart-warming and belly-filling cuisine. This includes all breakfasts and dinners.

Side Trips

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Take a safari. Visit historical sites like the slave castles.  Go to the beaches of the Atlantic Ocean Visit national parks and more!

English is the official language

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Don’t be afraid to make a mistake ordering your food and don’t be worried about saying anything offensive; English is the official language! All the preparation you need will be during Winter Term in ISS 302: Seminar on African Culture. This one credit course will provide you will all types of helpful info: from the best way to carry money, to African customs to communication with family at home… it covers it all!

Nature!

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Elephants, moneys, etc.! There aren’t many opportunities like this. Be surrounded by nature and feel more connected to Earth. For me, this is something spiritually rejuvenating. While it’s still feeling like winter in Rock Island, it is feeling great in Africa. Your friends will be jealous. Ha. :p

Cultural Exchange and Bonding

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Experience the many parts of the culture hands on. The arts and music won’t be limited to the classroom. There will be music, dance, history, arts, crafts and more. The family you stay with will make you feel like part of their family and there’s nothing like learning from the source him/herself. African people are known to be some of the warmest and most interesting people in the world. Exchange your culture with theirs. Get mutual understanding and feel the warmth.

The Personal Experience

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You will leave understanding both the tragedies and many accomplishments of the African people. You can live a better person and will more culture competence. This will have you happy, but sad to leave people you have connected with. Understanding a culture that may be completely opposite from your own takes commitment. Patience can be gained and with that comes strength.  If you can connect with them, you can connect with anyone.

Other Perks

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This is a great conversation starter and wouldn’t look too shabby on your resume. Plus, one of the most difficult interview questions is “What is the biggest challenge you faced and how did you go about it”. The perfect answer could be about the one time in Africa when you may have had culture shock… or something of that nature. That one answer could earn you a job.

A typical day in Africa

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Ghana: Wake up and eat a delicious breakfast while chatting at the table with your new family. Depending on your work schedule, you may be on your way to your internship. Maybe you’ll be working with children in a classroom, maybe you’ll be evaluating patients in a clinic, or perhaps you’ll be collecting water from Lake Volta. Afterwards you might be on your way to lunch with a fellow Augie student, then classes and dinner in the evening. On the weekends, there will be side trips with professors and other students.

 

Applying is easy as 1, 2, 3!

 

Go to www.augustana.edu/plus/ to apply NOW!

 

1.      Complete a brief section that’s asking for info like your name, languages you’ve taken, and your campus involvement.

2.     Complete a one page personal statement about your academic goals and how this trips fits and what not.

3.      Complete a budget narrative and submit!!!! Don’t forget to submit you $300 deposit to the Business office. If accepted, the deposit goes towards the program. If not, it will be refunded to you fully. 

Note: If you’re looking to apply for Augie Choice, there are three short answers to complete afterwards. Then you’re all done.

Remember: you’re chances of getting accepted are pretty likely since there are some spots left. Don’t wait until the last minute and miss out!

For more information, visit http://www.augustana.edu/academics/international-programs/trimester-abroad-programs/ghana-and-tanzania or contact Dr. Pfautz (Music), Dr. Cleveland (History) or Dr. Schussheim-Anderson (Art)

P.S. Though both Ghana & Tanzania are part of the program, I chose to only focus on Ghana. Depending on how many more people apply, that can determine whether we go to both or not. If we only go to Ghana, it will still be 10 weeks and the internship will be 10 weeks instead of 6 as well! If we do Ghana & Tanzania, there will be 6 weeks spent in Ghana and 4 in Tanzania (The internships are in Ghana only).

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