By Shannon Hernandez, Nov. 9, 2021

As travel restrictions lift and borders open back up, Southern California campuses, including Cal Poly Pomona, are resuming study abroad programs in 2022.

Students are taking the opportunity to study abroad, earn college credits and engage with other students with an international background. CPP’s Office of Study Abroad offers over 100 programs that students in any major can join and experience a new location all while earning credits for a degree.

Business student Isabella Ocampo is once again counting the days until she leaves for Milan in January 2022. She was set to leave during her junior year, but the pandemic delayed her trip.

“The biggest appeal in traveling abroad is the experience in a different country. Home is a bit too small and there’s so much to see in the world, so why not explore it especially when you’re young and it’s the best opportunity that you can have,” said Ocampo.

There are many different destinations with major options to choose from when looking for a school to study in. Students have the option to choose an exchange or internship program in a country of their choice. The program overview on the CPP website categorizes the different options and details what requirements are needed to study abroad.

“As a business major, I joined a business program in Milan where I will surround myself with very like-minded people, so having that experience with the same type of people and growing into your own self within a different type of independence in a new city is something I’m really looking forward to seeing,” said Ocampo.

Students will have the chance to choose from studying for a yearlong term, a semester, or during the winter/summer. Some of the destinations that students can travel to include Germany, South Korea, Taiwan, and Vancouver.

UC San Diego alumnus Jose Heredia traveled abroad to Paris in the summer of 2018 and 2019 and encouraged students to seize the opportunity even if it is scary.

“Studying abroad in that beautiful city was one of the best decisions I have ever made. It was so fun trying to navigate my way through the city and trying to order food in a different language was a fun experience,” said Heredia. “I spent five weeks abroad and got to visit different cities every weekend which were amazing adventures and memories that I will always carry with me.”

Students can receive help to travel abroad as financial aid can also be used to pay for tuition and there are scholarships available for students to use toward the program. According to the CPP website, the best way to plan to study abroad would be at least a year in advance to figure out which programs would be best for the student financially. Academic advisors are available for students who are interested in any study abroad questions. International Center Director Mathew Walters and Study Abroad and Exchange Programs Coordinator Kraig Walkup could not be reached before the deadline.

Brian Michel, an arts student at Cal State Long Beach, studied abroad in 2017, his second year in Madrid for an entire semester.

“I was afraid to travel abroad because I just turned 18 but I was also very excited to see the world at such an early age,” said Michel. “I will always remember how fun it was being in a different country, getting to try the different food, speaking with strangers and learning my way around after classes were over was something I looked forward to every day.”

For students that are interested in studying abroad, there are live seminars each week that provide information on how to begin the process and learn about all the various destinations that the program is a part of.

“Gaining international friends and networking is something I really look forward to because going abroad and living life in a unique way will make you grow as an individual and give you memories that will stay with you forever,” added Ocampo.

Feature image courtesy of Jose Heredia

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