Cristina Gonzalez/Staff Writer
Each year, the FIU Office of Study Abroad allows over a thousand FIU students to travel to countries throughout the world. Students who choose to study abroad have the opportunity to immerse themselves in a global experience while earning college credits.
With Spring Break around the corner, over a hundred students will be participating in eight faculty-led study abroad trips, according to FIU’s Office of Study Abroad.
The College of Business is conducting two trips during the break. One group will be flying to Berlin, Prague and Budapest, while the other will be traveling to Morocco and Paris. Both of these programs were designed to give students an international marketing perspective, according to the College of Business website.
The Department of Communication at the College of Communication and Architecture will also be hosting a group traveling abroad. These students will spend a week venturing the city of Budapest and the historical region of Transylvania.
Since Budapest has one of the fastest growing economies in Europe and a turbulent history of conflict, it’s the ideal area to teach both international communication and conflict resolution, according to Gabriella Portela, program manager for the Department of Communication.
“We wanted to go to a place that is rapidly growing; a place that has big communication firms and lots of tourism so that our students can be immersed in that, ” she said. “We wanted to choose a place [Budapest] that we can talk about culture, business and conflict. We also wanted to give students the contrast of the second fastest growing economy to a city [Transylvania] that hasn’t changed since the 16th century.”
The cultural and educational experience students gain from studying abroad is not only a once in a lifetime opportunity but it’s also necessary, especially for those aspiring to be professional communicators, according to Portela.
“With communication you definitely need to learn how the world communicates. If you want to be a good communicator, you have to understand how communication works throughout the world,” she said.
Portela shared that studying abroad will not only give her students a chance to take in new customs and international perspectives but it will also help them once they begin their future careers.
“If you understand different cultures and how they communicate then that’ll be better for you when you’re creating marketing strategies and campaigns; you’ll be able to work in a culture that has different backgrounds. The idea of traveling the world and meeting others, seeing how others live and how they communicate, that’s only going to help you become a better communicator,” said Portela.
While visiting Budapest and Transylvania, some of the activities planned include cultural walking tours, visiting four different public relation firms and exploring Dracula’s castle.
Whether you’re studying abroad for a semester or for one week, students like Alexis Rivera, a junior majoring in public relations, advertising and applied communications, feel that studying abroad is an opportunity everyone should take advantage of.
“I went to Thailand last Spring Break. My experience was amazing and eye-opening. It made me more culturally aware; I learned a lot about the culture of Thailand and their customs,” said Rivera. “The fact that I was able to visit my dream location while earning college credits was an even better reason to participate. I liked the idea of learning about a topic or a place and being able to actually visit in person.”
If you’re interested in studying abroad, visit globalaffairs.fiu.edu/study-abroad/ to find a program, or follow the FIU study abroad Instagram @fiustudyabroad and Twitter @FIU_StudyAbroad to stay updated on different information sessions and open programs.