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The Student News Site of Loyola University Maryland

The Greyhound

Loyola’s variety of study abroad programs inspire students


“Go forth and set the world on fire.”

Loyola’s Office of International Programs lives out St. Ignatius’ words through their lineup of study abroad opportunities. Loyola currently has programs, exchanges, and affiliations in every continent except Antarctica. Students can choose from dozens of diverse locations across the globe to immerse themselves in a new culture for a summer, a semester, or a full year.

Loyola sends 64 percent of the junior class abroad each year, and now members of the sophomore class are preparing their study abroad applications for the upcoming deadline with hopes that they can land their first choice program.

“I’m looking forward to what it will be like to be completely out of my comfort zone,” Austin O’Shea ’20 said. “I think if I didn’t go abroad, I would definitely regret it for the rest of my life.”

Bailey Demaso ’18 is the Study Abroad Ambassador for the Athens, Greece, program. She said she became an ambassador so that she could encourage other students to experience all that Loyola’s programs have to offer.

“The programs themselves include incredible excursions. They send you to some of the top universities in the world, and Loyola makes sure you are supported and safe throughout your entire stay abroad,” Demaso said. “Loyola’s programs absolutely encompass the care of the whole person.”

Dr. André Pierre Colombat has been at Loyola for 30 years and has served as the Dean of International Programs for the past 15 years. As the dean of the program, Colombat has doubled the number of programs offered to students, added summer programs, and started programs in places that are less-traveled, like Dubai, Ghana, Chile and South Africa.

“Study abroad is a great opportunity to shine and show the skills that you have beyond traditional education,” he said.

Colombat said that it is important for Jesuit students to go abroad and experience a new culture, even if we are blinded by what we have seen on television or on the news.

“I think the media, especially media for young people, give this very superficial image of what being abroad is like. Unfortunately, what we see in the media is mostly that superficiality of international life,” he said. “We are trying to fight that superficiality.”

Although safety is an issue for many students who are considering going abroad because of recent terrorist attacks and natural disasters, Colombat said that often times safety in our own country is more of a concern. He said that Loyola has close relationships with each program abroad, and the university always stays well-informed of global safety concerns.

“We are always concerned about safety, but we would not send students anywhere if we thought they were not safe,” he said.

Loyola is constantly looking to continue its legacy of successful study abroad experiences for their students with new opportunities and locations, including a new program in Budapest, Hungary, for 2018.

Now, they are about to complete a two-year lab with the American Council on Education to submit a proposal to boost international education at Loyola. Colombat said the lab is working to provide new means of learning, research, internships, and leadership opportunities for Loyola students abroad.

Although Loyola’s programs offer experiences that cannot be found in Baltimore, Colombat stressed that studying abroad is not a vacation.

“I tell students it’s not a trip, it’s not a vacation. They’re going to live in a real country with real people. There will be ups and there will be downs. There will be challenging times and there will be exhilarating times,” Colombat said.

Colombat said that studying abroad is often the students’ first time being the foreigner with a funny accent.

“It makes them think about who they are, and their place in the world. One cliche I hear all the time is that it is a life-changing experience. And, its kind of true,” Colombat said. “It is life-changing, but often in ways the students do not expect.”

Colombat encourages students looking for more information to visit the Office of International Programs, or visit their website here.

Study Abroad applications for the 2018-2019 year are due Nov. 29.

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Loyola’s variety of study abroad programs inspire students