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Students From Modesto, Merced Picked To Study In Spain, Chile

Students From Modesto, Merced Picked To Study In Spain, Chile

TURLOCK — Two California State University, Stanislaus students have been selected to participate in the California State University Study Abroad International Program for the 2004-2005 academic year, earning credit toward their CSU Stanislaus degrees while studying in Spain and Chile.

Benjamin P. Ho, a Spanish major from Modesto, is studying at the University of Granada, Spain. Joseph A. Starkweather, a Spanish major from Merced, is studying at the Pontificia Universidad Católica, in Santiago, Chile.

Ho and Starkweather went through a rigorous application process. They were interviewed by a panel at CSU Stanislaus with the final selection determined by the CSU Chancellor’s office.

“Selection is based on academic excellence, depth of preparation, and appropriateness of academic program and career goals to the overseas program,” said Hildy Heath, CSU Stanislaus coordinator of education abroad.

The CSU International Programs (IP) is a system-wide study abroad program that provides students with international academic opportunities in the framework of California State University degree program. IP is affiliated with over 50 distinguished universities and other institutions of higher education in 17 countries.

“I was interested in participating in IP because I saw great opportunity to improve my language ability and learn about another culture,” Ho said. “My long term goals include doing graduate work in Spanish with the hopes of teaching at the college, JC, or high school level.”

“I’ve always wanted to live in another country for a while, to experience a new people, a different way of life,” Starkweather said. “Study abroad is beyond worth it.”

There are currently several other CSU students participating in the Study Abroad Program. Mary Casey, Kevin Close, Esther Diaz, Evan Fryer, Anna Harris, and Samar Jubayli are studying in Ireland, the Czech Republic, Chile, England, Australia, and France.

The study abroad program is the vehicle that offers our students access to international experience. When they return, what they have learned benefits the university and the community, Heath said.

“I would recommend studying abroad to every student at CSU Stanislaus, and in fact I wish everyone could experience what I am experiencing right now,” Ho said. “There’s so much you can’t learn from a book or class, and living abroad can fill in a lot of those gaps.”

IP’s guiding principle is that students should be “immersed” in the academic and living environment of their host counties. All instruction is offered by recognized host universities or by distinguished host country faculty.