Elizabeth Lemus visited Roussillon, France while studying in Aix-en-Provence.
SSU's International Services reports that for the sixth year in a row, the University has ranked the highest per capita of all 23 CSU campuses in submitting applications to CSU International Programs. SSU had 73 students applying for the 2014-15 academic year.
This also ranks SSU second highest state-wide in number of applications submitted, following San Francisco State University which has 110 applications.
"For eight years, I dreamed about coming abroad... Compared to the long wait, the application process was easy. Although it was some of the most stressful and nerve racking months of my life, being accepted to study abroad made it all worth it," said Cheyenne Haney, SSU student currently studying in Madrid, Spain.
"I'm passionate about international education because of the exceptional and visible benefits it provides our students. The best part of this job is seeing how students developed during their time abroad and hearing that I contributed to the best experience of their life," Hope Emry Ortiz, International & Exchange Programs Advisor.
For SSU students, the most popular locations were Spain (14), France (12), and Germany (11). SSU also saw a spike in applications for typically underrepresented locations, such as Mexico (6) and Korea (6). The grand total for all applications received within the CSU system was 718.
International Services is now assisting students to submit late applications for countries that can accommodate new student applications by the March 15 deadline.
A preliminary list of these locations includes: Ghana, Mexico, Israel, Italy, Spain, Taiwan, and Paris, France. Additionally, students can apply to the southern hemisphere countries, (Australia and South Africa,) for which the priority deadline to apply is April 15.
The first step to studying abroad is to attend an information meeting which are held multiple times each week throughout the spring semester in International Services offices in Salazar 1070. International Services can also be found on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/SSUCenterforInternationalEducation/
"Studying abroad has taught me discipline. I wouldn't change anything about it because it has made me so much stronger and a better person in the end. It's an amazing experience that I think everyone should try and experience," says JaQuay Butler, an SSU student currently studying in Jaén, Spain.
International education is rapidly growing in popularity for the abundant benefits the experience can offer students. Some of these benefits include preparation for the internationalization of many career fields as well as exploring academic and career options from an international perspective.
Additionally, students are given the opportunity to take coursework unavailable at SSU, work with others from different countries and cultural backgrounds, as well as step out of their comfort zones to learn about who they are as a person.
"I've lost sight of comfort zone. It forced me to face my fears in ways I never thought I would have to. 'Germany is my home'," says Drew Nichols, who is currently studying abroad in Tübingen, Germany.
SSU's study abroad programs are steadily growing in popularity due to the supportive community environment created through the participation of program alumni, international and NSE exchange students, as well as the dedication and passion of all staff and student assistants.