Students prepare study abroad applications

This photo was taken June 2016 of the Liberty Bridge, that connects Buda and Pest, during the Baylor in Budapest study abroad program. Baylor students have the opportunity to study in more than 40 countries with more than 100 programs. Participants of these programs have gained renewed insight into other cultures. Photo credit: Gavin Pugh

Baylor offers more than 100 study abroad programs covering more than 40 different countries, according to Waco senior Lindsey McLemore, a peer adviser in the Center for Global Engagement. The programs consist of exchange affiliate programs, group programs and faculty lead programs. The Bears Abroad website has a complete list as well as the requirements for each.

Applications open a year in advances and deadlines are the semester before each trip’s start date, McLemore said. Students typically begin to apply months in advance. They are required to meet the GPA requirement for the program, which differs between the study abroad opportunities, as well as finish an essay portion of the application. The application is online and requires a valid passport and up-to-date immunizations for certain countries.

San Diego, Calif., sophomore Olivia Mcyntire is currently in the application process for the Baylor in Paris program and said she wishes the application process were different.

“I wish that there was more help with it or that it was explained better. I am more of a paper application person, so if it was all on paper, it would’ve kept me accountable to make sure that I read everything,” Mcyntire said.

In order to participate in a study abroad program, the applicant must attend an information session and meet with a study abroad adviser.All students who apply and are accepted to the study abroad program of their choice are able to apply for the Glennis McCrary Goodrich Scholarship, which can cover up to $3,000 for summer programs and $5,000 for semester programs, according to the Bears Abroad webpage. Eligibility for the scholarship requires at least a 3.0 GPA, U.S. citizenship and completion of the FAFSA. Students who are eligible also cannot have previously received the Goodrich scholarship for another study abroad program.

For Houston junior Shelby Velasquez, the Goodrich scholarship gave her the opportunity to study abroad in Scotland.

“The scholarship paid for my round-trip flight to St. Andrews and then some. So that really helped because the flight abroad was the most expensive thing about studying abroad,” Velasquez said.

There are also other scholarships such as the Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship, Foundation for Global Scholars and BUTEX Scholarship. A list of study abroad scholarships can be found on the Bears Abroad site.

Alamosa, Colo., junior Kendra Garcia studied abroad in London through the Baylor in Great Britain program over the summer and not only completed college requirements while studying abroad, but also said the trip changed her perspective on life, cultures and how she views the United States.

“I enjoyed studying abroad because I enjoyed seeing different cultures. It also made me appreciate the United States a lot more. I never realized how lucky we were to have easy access to water, bathrooms and how safe we are here. We are truly blessed,” Garcia said.