Study abroad made easier
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
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
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
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 www.uh.edu/academics/intlstu.
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