The Cooperative Center for Study Abroad (CCSA) is an exciting study abroad opportunity for Finlandia students with programs in the summer, fall and spring semesters. A consortium between a number of collaborating universities across the U.S., CCSA allows students from smaller universities to experience faculty-led study abroad by sharing resources and connections between schools.“Because [Finlandia University] is so small, it’s hard for us to pull enough students together to do a trip,” said Erin Barnett, Director of Academic Success and Student Life. “One Finlandia student can go, and meet all these other students and have a cool class experience, without having to find a whole consensus of students that want to do it here.” The CCSA program is a great opportunity for Finlandia students to experience other cultures, something Barnett has come to be familiar with, as she has worked with CCSA as an on-site faculty member, an assistant director and a director within the program.
“What makes CCSA different from any other study abroad program is that you have your on-site faculty, but you also have directors, assistant directors to deal with the day-to-day stuff,” Barnett explained, telling how having the other staff on-board to help with any hiccups (illness, customs and passport issues, etc.) makes the experience far smoother for students and faculty. With both staff and faculty on-site, “[the students are] getting a lot of freedom,” she said. “You have few hours a day in class, then you get to go explore the city. . . The purpose is to take students and have them learn on-site. If you’re learning history, you’re going to these historical places and observing it and being completely immersed in the culture.”
While CCSA offers opportunities in many locations across the world, one of the benefits of the program is that the countries that students can study in are English-speaking, “which makes it a little bit easier to transition,” said Barnett.
CCSA Storyteller Scholarship
In addition to other scholarships available through CCSA (see the full list on the CCSA Scholarship Page), the CCSA Storyteller Scholarship offers students an opportunity to earn up to $1,000 towards the program. “Basically, [students] either blog, or create videos or whatever while they’re there, and it creates marketing material for CCSA, but then they get money toward their experience.” For those looking at participating in a CCSA study abroad program this coming summer, the application for the Storyteller Scholarship is due February 24, 2017.
To see the details of the Storyteller Scholarship, go to ccsa.cc/scholarships/ccsa-storyteller.
Study Abroad this Summer
This summer semester, CCSA has programs available in London, Belize, Ireland, and Scotland, with a variety of course offerings. Finlandia’s Denise Vandeville, Dean of the College of Art and Design, will be leading a course in Belize in summer 2017. Three students have already enrolled. “They’re going to do snorkeling, and they’re going to sit on the beach and do watercolor, and they stay at a zoo part of the time… It’s a really cool experience for students,” said Barnett.
The other programs on offer are just as interesting. “London is probably the most popular program… I was in the director position this winter, and there’s this area of London called ‘Brick Lane,’ which is where all the Bangledeshi and Indian food is, and it’s also the area where Jack the Ripper had all his victims. It’s that area of town you don’t want students to go to by themselves. So I organized, on the Facebook page, a group, and we went to Brick Lane together.” Ireland and Scotland also have much to offer study abroad students, and any prospective travelers should not miss out on this phenomenal opportunity to partake in a guided, educational exploration of these wonderful locations.
To learn how you can get started on a CCSA study abroad experience visit the CCSA website’s Application Timeline. The sooner the better if you’re looking to go this summer!Tags: Cooperative Center for Study Abroad, Erin Barnett