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the Echo

October 19, 2011

Page 5

FEATURES Study abroad event opens doors and opportunities S

cott Turner Staff Writer

CLU’s Study Abroad Center held a “Stop Over� seminar on Oct. 14 for freshmen interested in the prospect of studying abroad. The event, at Overton Hall, gave CLU freshmen an opportunity to learn about study abroad programs while getting a first hand account from other students who studied abroad. California Lutheran University’s Study Abroad Programs Specialist Kelly Tiller hopes events like these will get freshmen to plan early to figure out how studying abroad fits into their four-year college plan. “I hope the ‘Stop Over’ I used to hate event sparks traveling, but their interest after my trip in studying I love going a b r o a d , � everythwere Tiller said. “It now� is extremely beneficial Alisha Monroe when students Student plan early, and the more time students have to explore their options, the better.� The event was packed with freshmen ready to learn about studying abroad. It started with a brief introduction to studying abroad before seniors Alisha


Photo by Marina Hedroj- Staff Photographer

Tickets Please: Study Abroad Programs Specialist Kelly Tiller (left) assists hopeful freshman during the study abroad information session. Monroe, who went to London and Branden Shows, who went to Lisbon, shared their experiences abroad with the freshmen. For Monroe, studying abroad was a fulfilling experience that changed her outlook on traveling. “I think everyone should study abroad,� she said. “I used to hate traveling, but after my trip, I love going everywhere now.� Shows urged students to take

the opportunity. “If you miss it you will never get a chance to experience studying abroad as a college student,� Shows said. “It is never too late to start planning your trip.� For Shows his experiences broadened his cultural palette. He feels he is a much more diverse person since his return to the United States and to CLU. “It’s hard to explain, there was some reverse culture shock,�

he said. “I am a diverse person, but until you break out of your cultural bubble it’s hard to make a claim for how diverse really you are.� After Monroe and Shows shared their stories, freshmen were invited to ask questions about cost and traveling itself. The forum for students to ask questions proved to be valuable, especially for Barcelona-bound freshman Dana Henjum who

had his questions answered at the seminar. “I had no idea how the foster program worked so that was kind of up in the air,� Henjum said. “I learned about different options and programs so it worked out.� One sentiment shared by many of the freshman was their fear of studying abroad in a country where the native language might be an unfamiliar hurdle. According to Tiller, there is nothing to fear as cultural immersion of the host country will make it easier to get around language barriers. “The great thing about our study abroad programs at CLU is that many of them do not require proficiency in the native language and there are many courses offered in English,� Tiller said. “However, those students who study the language while abroad are able to immerse themselves much easier into local culture.� According to Tiller, who studied abroad herself, students would be remiss to pass up the opportunity to study abroad. “It is one of the most unique and fulfilling opportunities a student can have. It is possible for all  majors and all budgets,� Tiller said. “There is no better time than now to go and fortunately at CLU there is a program for everyone.�

CLU club gives students a forum on global issues H

eather LeFevre Staff Writer

“Chai & Chat�, formerly known as “Deep Diversity Dialogue,� is making changes to give CLU students the opportunity to discuss global issues. The group changed its name this year to cater to the needs of California Lutheran University students who wanted to participate in these discussions. “Chai & Chat� meets weekly in Samuelson Chapel Lounge on campus all semester. The hour-long discussion allows graduate and undergraduate students, mostly composed of international students looking for a forum, to address international issues including diversity, discrimination, religion, politics and social justice. They meet from 3 to 4 p.m. every Tuesday. Topics of discussion are determined entirely by the students. The first meeting will allow the participants to settle on issues they wish to talk about. CLU's Assistant Director of Multicultural Programs and International Student Services Linda Boberg provides staff support for “Chai & Chat.�

Boberg has been assistant director for three years. She worked in Campus Ministry for four years before taking this position, assisting international students at CLU on social matters, immigration needs and programming. "We've changed the name, the place we're holding it and the time because so many international graduate students requested that there be a forum to discuss international or global issues and grad students are not on campus in the morning," Boberg said. “ D e e p People Diversity have the opportunity D i a l o g u e � to learn and previously met in the morning, to share making it their own i n c onv e n i e nt perspective.� for graduate students at Dr. Juanita Hall CLU who Club Facilitator wanted to participate in the discussions, according to Boberg. Boberg said the group is hoping for eight to 10 members. At present, four students have signed up for “Chai & Chat.� Members are invited to apply online on the Multicultural


Program’s website. "The goal is just to let students talk about global issues they are passionate about in a safe, confidential setting," Boberg said. Patty Dang is also a facilitator for “Chai & Chat.� Dang is a graduate student at CLU majoring in counseling and guidance. In addition to cofacilitators Boberg and Dang, Dr. Juanita Hall is chiefly

responsible for the student-led group. Hall, senior director of CLU’s Multicultural Programs and International Student Services, said “Chai & Chat� has many effects on the students. "People have the opportunity to learn and to share their own perspective," Hall said. The growing desire for graduate students, principally international students, to

participate in discussions such as “Deep Diversity Dialogue� in past years initiated the changes made to form “Chai & Chat.� "We are still in the recruitment stage of the program," Hall said. For further information about “Chai & Chat,� contact the Multicultural and International Programs office or apply online at either www.surveymonkey. com/s/DWYSL5T or the link off the Multicultural website.

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the Echo, Oct. 19  

Vol. 58, Number 5

the Echo, Oct. 19  

Vol. 58, Number 5