Inside the historical Thornton International House off West Woods Street are opportunities for Texas State students to explore faculty-led study abroad programs in about 28 cities around the world.
These programs are typically held over the course of one month at various times throughout the year and allow students to receive course credit hours in a variety of subjects. A new study abroad program proposed in the Department of History to Chester, England is pending approval by the university’s board of regents.
Bryan Mann, Study Abroad in Chester program director and senior history lecturer, said he and colleague Bryan Glass, history lecturer, are hoping to share their experiences in England with students.
“Both of us regarded this as a transformative experience,” Mann said.
Just 20 miles south of Liverpool, Chester is home to a Roman amphitheater and the oldest racetrack in Britain, dating to 1540, Mann said.
“It encompasses everything you’d want out of a city— breadth of history, significance and still physical remains on site. It seemed a natural fit,” Mann said.
Proposals for faculty-led study abroad programs sometimes begin years in advance. Mann said a feedback committee and the Texas State Board of Regents have to approve prospective programs, after reviewing the budget, faculty and course syllabi.
For those students who wish to not only live but study as the natives do, Texas State offers an International Exchange Program at various universities in 32 different countries.
Sephra Hochstein, healthcare administration senior, has been studying abroad in Valladolid, Spain since Aug. 23.
“I feel like I understand Spanish 100 percent better than before I came here,” Hochstein said. “I’m more comfortable making mistakes.”
According to officials with the Texas State Study Abroad Office, students can attend a partner university in other countries for one or two semesters and are not obligated to find a counterpart to exchange with or host an international student at their homes.
Beside the extended stay, there are differences between exchange and faculty-led study abroad programs regarding the professors designated to teach the courses as well as how financial aid, tuition and fees are accepted.
Semester-long exchange programs usually require the transfer of course credits, similar to those required for a U.S.
institution, where a transcript must be sent to the Texas State Office of Undergraduate Admissions. Prior to the program, tuition and fees are sent to Texas State, while room and board fees are typically paid to the host institution.
Hochstein said students from other American universities are enrolled at Universitas Castellae, a private educational center housed in a former bullring that specializes in teaching the Spanish language and culture to foreign students.
Some of these students live with host families, including Holstein and another Texas State student who lives with an “older couple” who only speak Spanish, she said.
Isis de la O, assistant director of the Texas State Study Abroad Office, recommended students interested in studying abroad first attend the Texas State on-campus study abroad fairs. The next fair takes place Oct. 31.