Friday, October 5, 2001 Volume 67, Issue 32


Study abroad made easier through OISP

By Jacqueline Gil
Daily Cougar Staff

The Office of International Studies and Programs, an umbrella organization to coordinate study abroad programs, recently opened for
business in Room 501F of the University Center. It serves as a central location where faculty and students can go for guidance on issues
regarding studying abroad.

As one of its first orders of business, the office (with the UH chapter of Phi Beta Delta, an honor society for international scholars) will sponsor
a Study Abroad Fair from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Wednesday in the UC Arbor.

"The OISP's first goal is to protect both students and faculty when they go study or teach abroad," said office director Viviana

OISP is coordinating all study abroad programs this year by having documented guidelines, procedures and agreements between
universities, said Hernandez-Chesnut.

There are three types of programs offered through OISP. One is "affiliated studies." UH is member of two study abroad consortia, the
University Studies Abroad Consortium and the Council on International Educational Exchange, both of which offer programs all over the

Another type is "exchange studies," involving UH agreements with several international universities. The third type is faculty-led programs.
For these programs, students need to inquire with their individual departments and then register with OISP.

For more information about the three types of programs, visit the office's Web site at

Financial assistance and orientation materials are available for all programs registered through OISP. Students who register for a study
abroad program through the office will have the financial aid they receive through UH applied toward the programs. They can also apply for
an International Education Fee Scholarship of $500 to $1,000.

Hernandez-Chesnut said students who register through the office usually find it much less expensive than if they apply on their own.

"We would prefer that students take a full course load of 12 to 18 hours," she said.

Another assurance students have thanks to programs registered through OISP is that, if they change their minds about courses once they
arrive at the program, the grades they earn will still transfer to UH.

Studying abroad should not be a luxury, and students from all majors are encouraged to apply, Hernandez-Chesnut said. The office receives
$1 from every student registered at UH; the money goes to the international scholarship fund available to all students who apply and meet the

"(Students) can go and have an adventure in another state or country. It can change your life," Hernandez-Chesnut said. She herself has
studied in many different parts of South America through study abroad programs, she said.

"I love to travel and learn new cultures to understand why people do what they do," she said. "I am committed to do all I can. OISP is trying to
accomplish international understanding and cultural exchange."

The Study Abroad Fair is conducted every semester. There will be about 15 tables with information about different programs. There will also
be music from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. and drawings for backpacks, a $50 gift certificate and other items such as T-shirts donated by Council
Travel and the Office of University Relations.

"It is a great opportunity to get to know different cultures and to practice my English," said Gabriela DeLuna, an exchange student from
Monterrey, Mexico who works in the office.

"I also encourage (students) to take advantage because it is a great experience for my major and for my own person," DeLuna said.

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