By Zana Pommier
It’s happened: you’ve become one of the thousands of students who have absorbed so many textbooks that stale words with questionable origins are floating inside your head. Get ready to slam those books closed, jump on a plane and experience the “Medieval Age” because Eurospring applications are now available for spring 2015.
Eurospring is a study abroad program available every spring semester to students of at least sophomore standing with a minimum 2.5 GPA. A group of up to 20 students do preparatory coursework, take classes at Oxford University for five weeks, and spend three more traveling to several European countries. This year, Eurospring students will be travelling to Oxford, London, Paris, Prague, Rotenburg, Istanbul, and several Italian cities.
“I looked into studying in France, England, and Australia before choosing Eurospring due to the guaranteed credits, subject matter, and variety of activities,” said Elliot Young, a Eurospring 2014 participant.
Eurospring students will gain much more than the 15 credits offered to them. Studying abroad is not only desired by students, but attractive to potential employers. Since students have the opportunity to go to several countries in one trip, they’ll gain intercultural skills by directing themselves around foreign countries.
“Cultural sensitivity is very important in our increasingly global workforce,” said Janet Haak, the director of study abroad at MSUM. “By seeing so many different places and learning to conduct in those places Eurospring students come back with a different set of experiences under their belt.”
Although Eurospring students will still have to sit in classrooms, they’ll get the opportunity to do so at one of the most recognized universities in the world.
“The excitement and knowledge the professors at Oxford brought to the classroom made the lectures feel more like storytelling than the typical detail-writing, fact-memorizing experience that the classroom can sometimes become,” said Amy Hjelmstad, a Eurospring 2014 participant.
Learning during Eurospring goes far beyond the classroom. Students take field trips during their time at Oxford and also have time for personal adventures.
“We explored the cottage where Shakespeare and Anne Hathaway spent their lives in Stratford-upon-Avon, strolled the open fields of Stonehenge, viewed the shimmering pools of the Roman Baths, and walked aboard the historic HMS Victory in Portsmouth,” Hjelmstad said.
Eurospring provides even more than a resume-building, once in a lifetime European field trip. Students get the opportunity to fly across the world with a group of people who may become some of their closest friends.
“You really bond with a lot of the people you go with. As an example the other day we met up with a lot of our group for drinks and we do dinner parties every month,” Young said.
“Eurospring is a wonderful experience,” Hjelmstad agreed. “The cost may give you pause, but you can’t put a price on the experiences you will have or the friendships you will make. If not now, when?”
Eurospring applications need to be turned in by Nov. 7. Students who are interested in learning more about Eurospring should attend informational sessions where they can hear from former participants. Students can attend an information session on Monday, Sept. 15 at 5:00 pm in MA 174 or on Wednesday, Sept. 17 at noon in MA 174. If you cannot attend an information session, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.