Center for Global Engagement strives to make its mark

Orlando senior Sarah Berlinsky snapped this photo in Prague while studying abroad. Photo courtesy of Sarah Berlinsky

By Savannah Cooper | Staff Writer

While scrolling through Instagram timelines during summer months, you’ll more than likely see pictures highlighting the natural beauty overseas with captions further illustrating such thoughts.

Baylor’s Center for Global Engagement, located on the first floor of Hankamer Academic Building, wants students to get more out of their travels abroad than just lifelong memories with pictures to match, instead they want to help curate budding leaders with international experience.

Director of Study Abroad in the Center for Global Engagement, Bo White said he wants students to realize that their office helps further education rather than just a leisure activity.

“When you talk to us we’re going to take a serious look at the curriculum, we want this to integrate well into the major and be something that fits well with the student’s course of study,” White said.

Vice Provost of Global Education, Dr. Jeffrey Hamilton said he wants students to realize that studying abroad doesn’t have to be a separate experience.

“Study abroad shouldn’t be a separate part of your education experience, it should be organic,” Hamilton said.

Baylor’s study abroad programs spread across six continents and 47 countries with new programs, like Baylor in Peru, added every year. There isn’t just one cookie cutter program with options; geared toward a major, exchanging students, full immersion by living with a native family and more. Outside of London, Paris and Florence trips, Baylor offers the chance for students to stay in South Africa, Tokyo and Santiago and Chile just to name a few.

In like manner, students can decide what length of time they want to be aboard with a few weeks over the summer to an entire semester or even a full academic year.

Interested students looking for information and how to start this process should stop by the Study Abroad 101 informational meeting that occur every Monday and Tuesday from 4-5 p.m. in Hankamer room 264. Attendance to the meeting doesn’t require registration, just bring yourself, your Baylor ID and be ready to explore the big world around us.

After attending the interest meeting, students will then have the chance to meet with an advisor who will sit down with them and discuss their academic plan, abroad options and most importantly, finances.

Working with studying abroad, Hamilton said he often sees students dissuaded by the sticker price of such trips, but don’t realize that it’s affordable.

“Many think that it costs you two ways, it’s going to cost you more money and it’s going to cost you more time, and you won’t graduate on time, that’s absolutely not true,” Hamilton said.

For those who are concerned about safety, the Center sends someone from their office annually to check on the cost of living, safety, health and security issues before sending any bears to that country. They also align their protocols with Baylor’s campus and provide a 24/7 emergency phone number that will get you directly to a Baylor representative while abroad.

For those still on the fence, Hamilton wants you to come to the office and discuss what opportunities you can take advantage of.

“We think there are a lot of students who are interested, but never come talk to us, who assume they can’t do it,” Hamilton said.

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