Illinois Valley Community College has five students who are studying abroad in Spain and Austria this summer.
IVCC professor and study abroad coordinator Amanda Cook Fesperman has worked diligently to increase both interest and numbers.
Nursing student Paola Martinez is traveling to Seville, Spain, residing with four other roommates. Fluent in Spanish, Martinez said, “I’m excited to learn more about the language and the culture of Spain. When I graduate from IVCC, I would like to become a traveling nurse. This opportunity will help to strengthen my Spanish and allow me to communicate and translate better for native speakers.”
With a $500 scholarship from the Illinois Consortium of International Studies and Programs for the trip, Martinez also will travel to Cordoba and Morocco.
Keina Arteaga and Rosie Rocha, both elementary education majors, plan on traveling together to Seville, Spain, and staying with a host family for four weeks. They will travel to Cordoba and spend a night in Morocco to experience the culture in northern Africa.
Both students expressed the importance of understanding the background of their future students hoping this trip will broaden their understanding.
Artega and Rocha are the recipients of the competitive U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Education and Cultural Affairs Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship Program for a limited number of students receiving the Federal Pell Grant.
This scholarship was named after the late congressman from New York. With his support, the program was established by the International Academic Opportunity Act of 2000 to foster mutual understanding between students in the U.S. and students in other countries to promote positive relations.
The Institute of International Education has administered the program since its inception in 2001.
IVCC adult student Lynn Keyt is spending two weeks in Salzburg, Austria, studying German culture and music appreciation. Keyt plans on getting out to explore and absorb the culture.
“I am very excited for the experience. I think the opportunity for exposure to other parts of the world is an important part of learning. As a business major, being able to see how other cultures manage their marketing and customer relations operations will give me greater insight into international marketing,” Keyt said.
Social science major Riker Fesperman, the fifth IVCC student participant, is heading overseas to Salzburg, Austria, for more than two weeks to study German, Austrian culture and history. Fesperman is excited to immerse himself in the German language.
“I love traveling and being abroad; they are wonderful experiences,” Fesperman said.
“The study abroad programs are affordable. Students can spend up to five weeks in the summer earning college credit in Austria, Costa Rica, England, France, Ireland or Spain for about the same cost as a one-week vacation,” Cook Fesperman said in a news release.
Students also can travel to other destinations including Italy, South Korea and Africa.
For information about studying abroad, call Cook Fesperman at 815-224-0203.