Plattsburgh State is being recognized for its achievements for reaching the 2020 goal to increase the diversity of American students who go abroad to study.

The Institute of International Education, IIE, is an organization involved in managing aspects of international education activity.

“SUNY Plattsburgh committed to increasing our numbers of outbound students internationally by 25 percent over the next five years,” said Study Aborad Adviser Ingrid Almaguer.

The 2015-2016 academic year saw 200 PSUC students study abroad.

The goal was met through faculty led programs, more aggressive campaigning efforts, additional scholarship opportunities and the formation of the study abroad faculty advisory board, according to Almaguer.

Global Education Office mentor and magazine and multimedia journalism major Jessica Blondell said she has actively been involved in PSUC’s goal to send more students abroad by being a student representative for faculty and exchange student study abroad meetings.

She said she also created academic advising sheets for every department on campus. This gives faculty and staff some idea of what classes their students can take, how it will help them and how to help them abroad and at home if interested in going abroad.

Blondell said her experience with studying abroad at the University of Chester in Chester, England during spring 2015 revealed a whole new world to her.

“Before studying abroad, I had never taken a public bus or taxi,” she said.

Blondell said her experience allowed her to meet new people.

Samantha Spellman, who studied abroad in spring 2016 in Australia, said some students worry about the costly expenses, but promises it’s a myth.

“Scholarships are actually quite easy to get. Not many people take the time to write an essay.”

She also said she took out a loan, and financial aid helps too.

“For all the costs though it was totally worth it,” she said.

She also learned how to plan an entire trip by herself and got new ideas and perspectives from different people.
Many students worry about the expenses of travelling abroad.

Blondell and Spellman both said they would recommend study abroad to college students. Blondell said it was helpful because she learned new subjects that had to do with her major, as well as many new things about herself in the process.

Spellman said that she felt more like an adult once she got there and realized it was her who got a visa, got the tickets for the plane.

Students can study abroad through the SUNY program that links all the SUNY colleges together. If there is a place you would like to go that PSUC doesn’t offer, other SUNY schools may have the program that is desired and through this connection students can fill out the online application, and while still enrolled at PSUC, get the abroad study program and perks of another SUNY school.

According to the Institute of International Education, students who study abroad have better grades, graduates from college with higher grades and have less stress than those who don’t.

Spellman said there are many different programs. She said that if students are worried or not sure they want to go for so long or so far, there are abroad programs that go for a few weeks and some that are even in the United States. Instead of going overseas, students have the option to choose U.S. schools from different states.

“It gives information that we can’t always gain sitting in a classroom here at Plattsburgh,” Blondell said.

Email Kiana Myers at cp@cardinalpointsonline.com

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