Mesa offers study abroad opportunites

Mesa offers study abroad opportunites

Travel abroad and study in Florence.

Brittany Wiczek

Imagine watching the tango being preformed in the streets of Buenos Aries, climbing the stone steps of an ancient Mayan temple in the heart of Mexico, or reading Francesco Petrarca in Florence on a park bench that’s older than our country. These experiences stay with you for a lifetime and can be had when studying abroad through the San Diego Mesa College International education department.

The International Education Department, located in the A building, is focusing its attention on getting the word out regarding the many exciting, upcoming study abroad opportunities available to Mesa College students.

Although most of this year the administration left the position of International Education Coordinator unfilled, Hossna Sadat recently signed on and she’s ready to offer assistance to students interested in global education.

“We’ve updated our website. All of the existing links are up to date and our information is the most recent,” said Sadat. “We also have a bulletin in the G building where we’ve been hanging flyers and announcements on upcoming study abroad opportunities.”

Study abroad programs are available for students every semester. Summer programs are also available and are usually short-term. Semester-long participants spend roughly 12 weeks in countries like the United Kingdom, Italy, Costa Rica, Australia, and France and are usually required to enroll in at least 12 units of offered coursework.

While each semester-long program will offer an array of different classes, the curriculum generally includes an emphasis on the country in which the student will be staying. The language, art and cultural aspects are taught not only in a classroom, but also through emersion and first hand experience. It is this type of learning that makes the study abroad experience incomparable. “Students become globally aware, expand their world view, and gain perspective and knowledge,” said Sadat.

Sadat also added insight into the benefits that studying abroad provides to community college students.

“Studying abroad is the optimal way of learning what you want to do in life,” she said. “Students enhance their academic learning, employment perspectives, and career opportunities.”

The International Education Department is also addressing some of the financial issues students might face when making the decision to study abroad.

The International Education website contains links to many various scholarship, grant, and loan sites, as well as alternative ways of financing your study abroad education. Government grants such as Cal Grant or Pell Grant can be applied toward study abroad expenses as well as Board of Governors Grants to cover tuition costs. Contacting the financial aid department is advised to be sure that all necessary paperwork is submitted and in order.

Sadat suggests applying for the Gilman Scholarship and the Full-bright Fellowship, both of which are available to community college students and are linked on the International Education website.

The requirements for attending various study abroad programs differ, but eligibility for most programs include at least a 2.0-2.5 GPA, completion of 12 college-level units at the end of the semester prior to departure, and a student conduct review that can be completed by an ASG representative.

Currently, a few of the study abroad programs available to Mesa Students are Fall of 08 in Buenos Aries, Argentina and Summer 08 in Cuernevaca, Mexico, both of which are hosted by San Diego City College, and Spring 09 in Florence, Italy hosted by Southwestern College.

Brochures and enrollment forms are available on the website and by contacting either Hossna Sadat or Marion Froehlich, the International Education Coordinator for San Diego City College.

Saint Augustine once said, “The World is a book, and those who do not travel read only a page.” The International Educational Department encourages students to step outside their boundaries and experience all that this world has to teach and all the wonders that they have yet to encounter.

The web address for the International Education website is, and you can also contact Hossan Sadat in her office at 619 388-2801.