Category Archives: Study Abroad

Study Abroad Fair – Thursday, 26 September

VCU Education Abroad is excited to announce our annual Study Abroad Fall Fair 2019 will take place on Thursday, 26 September from 10AM-2:30PM!

Text Reads: Study Abroad Fall Fair. September 26, 2019. 10am - 2:30pm.  University Student Commons, Richmond Salons.  Learn about semester, summer, and short-term options.  Meet reps from key VCU resource offices and affiliate program providers.  Talk with study abroad staff, returnee students and faculty program leaders. 10 students will receive a $500 study abroad award.  VCU Education Abroad.
Text Reads: Study Abroad Fall Fair. September 26, 2019. 10am – 2:30pm. University Student Commons, Richmond Salons. Learn about semester, summer, and short-term options. Meet reps from key VCU resource offices and affiliate program providers. Talk with study abroad staff, returnee students and faculty program leaders. 10 students will receive a $500 study abroad award. VCU Education Abroad.

Ecosystem Field Studies Summer Courses – Still Accepting Applications

AMAZING SUMMER, 3-CREDIT, FIELD SCIENCE COURSES
with 

Ecosystem Field Studies 
 
An opportunity to apply your classroom & textbook learning

while immersed in a spectacular & transformative educational setting!
Caribbean Ecosystem Field Studies
* Study, snorkel & SCUBA dive on the Caribbean coral reef of Mexico *
    May 21 – June 10, 2019
Colorado Ecosystem Field Studies
* Study, camp, & hike in the Rocky Mountains of Colorado *
   July 26 – August 15, 2019
  • Gain valuable career skills in hands-on scientific field research
  • Earn 3 undergraduate academic transfer credits over summer-break
  • Join a diverse & exciting group of college students for an experiential
    learning experience of a lifetime!
For all course information visit the website:  

 
Open to students from all universities & majors |
Accredited by the University of Montana, Environmental Studies Program
ENST 391- for 3 undergraduate semester transfer credits
Direct questions to Professor Steve Johnson, EcoFS Director at steve@EcoFS.org

Gilman Scholarship Workshop

If you are a  Pell Grant recipient who is interested in studying or interning abroad, you should apply to the  Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship Program.

The Gilman Scholarship awards over 2,300 scholarships of up to $5,000 (plus up to an additional $3,000 for critical language study) to undergraduates who study or intern abroad for a summer, semester, or academic year.

VCU Education Abroad will be hosting a Gilman Scholarship Writing Workshop to help you craft your application.

Gilman Scholarship Writing Workshop
Monday, February 4th, 12 – 1:30 PM
SGA Chambers, Commons (formerly the Forum Room)

Why come to the Gilman Workshop?
We will help you craft an application that maximizes your chances of receiving Gilman funding, and continue VCU students’ track record of success in writing nationally-competitive Gilman applications.

Why apply to the Gilman Scholarship?
The purpose of the Gilman is to broaden the student population that studies and interns abroad, by supporting undergraduates who might not otherwise participate due to financial constraints. The program encourages students to choose non-traditional destinations, especially those outside of Western Europe, Australia and New Zealand. The Gilman Scholarship supports students who have been traditionally under-represented in education abroad, including (but not limited to) students with high financial need; community college or transfer students; students in fields such as technology, science, and engineering; students with diverse racial and/or ethnic backgrounds; and students with disabilities.

If you do not receive a Pell Grant but are interested in exploring scholarships and sources of funding for education abroad, please see  internal and external scholarship listings, and feel free to reach out to us for more information at  abroad@vcu.edu.

Baldacci Student Experiential Learning Endowed Fund

Baldacci Student Experiential Learning Endowed Fund

The Baldacci Student Experiential Learning Endowed Fund grants academically promising, and hardworking students of diverse areas of study and backgrounds with financial support so they can pursue internships, conferences, research, domestic or study abroad, and/or social entrepreneurship opportunities. Applicants must be undergraduate rising juniors or rising seniors, in good academic standing, and be majors in the College of Humanities and Sciences.

Requests can be made for, but are not limited to, research support, internship stipends, conference attendance, domestic or study abroad opportunities, and/or social entrepreneurial incubator support. Funds are awarded at the discretion of a Dean’s Office committee. Awards will not exceed $5,000. All Baldacci Student Experiential funds for the 2018-19 cycle should be spent by June 15, 2020.

Deadline
01/31/2019
Supplemental Questions
  1. Are you a community college transfer student?
  2. Upload a statement of no more than 500 words describing your experiential learning opportunity. In your description, include what type of activities you will participate in, your anticipated start date and length of participation, host organization/business, location and how the experience will support your educational and/or career goals. Provide a brochure or website if applicable.
  3. Provide the name and email of a VCU College of Humanities and Science faculty member who can provide a reference in support of your application. They may be contacted during review of your application. 
  4. Provide the name and email of the sponsor/mentor/supervisor of your experiential learning opportunity. They will be contacted to confirm your participation.
  5. Outline a budget for your internship experience (select all anticipated expenses that apply). As a reminder, awards will not exceed $5,000. All Baldacci Student Experiential funds for the 2018-19 cycle should be spent by June 15, 2020.
  6. Provide a narrative description of your budget including your need for funding and your ability to participate without funding. Include total amounts for each of the expenses you selected in the previous question and a total amount of all expenses.

Human Osteology Research Workshops and Field School in Transylvania (Romania)

Our osteology and bioarchaeology programs are designed to offer intensive, hands on experience with remarkably well preserved human osteological remains, focusing primarily on research skill acquisition. They provide a very effective transition between the controlled teaching environment of an osteology academic lab and real “life” burial assemblages. As such, our programs offer an essential and necessary skill set to anyone pursuing a career in physical anthropology, bioarchaeology, forensics or medicine:

Adult Osteology Research Laboratory Workshop: Late Medieval ”Crisis” Populations

Location: Odorheiu Secuiesc, Transylvania, Romania
Dates:
 June 2 – June 29, 2019
More information:  
https://www.archaeotek-archaeology.org/adult-osteology-laboratory
Contact e-mail: 
archaeology@archaeotek.org 
Project Director:
 Dr. Jonathan Bethard (Department of Anthropology, University of Southern Florida)
Credits: 
3-6 undergraduate/graduate credits available through USF (USF deadlines and tuition applies)non-credit positions available
Requirements: 
experience with basic human anatomy and morphology useful but not required

Juvenile Osteology Research Laboratory Workshop: Victims of Change – Bioarchaeology of Children

Location: Odorheiu Secuiesc, Transylvania, Romania
Dates:
 June 30 – July 27, 2019
More information:
 https://www.archaeotek-archaeology.org/juvenile-osteology-laboratory
Contact e-mail: 
archaeology@archaeotek.org 
Project Director:
 Dr. Jonathan Bethard (Department of Anthropology, University of Southern Florida)
Credits: 3-6 undergraduate/graduate credits available through USF (USF deadlines and tuition applies)non-credit positions available
Requirements: stand alone human osteology course is a prerequisite (such as the above Adult Osteology Laboratory Workshop or equivalent)

Ossuary Excavation and Commingled Remains Osteology Research Laboratory Workshop

Location: Odorheiu Secuiesc (laboratory) and Valeni / Patakfalva (excavation), Transylvania, Romania
Dates: Session 1: June 2 – June 29, 2019; Session 2: June 30 – July 27, 2019
More informationhttps://www.archaeotek-archaeology.org/commingled-remains
Contact e-mailarchaeology@archaeotek.org
Project Director: Frankie West and Dr. Katie Zejdlik-Passalacqua (Department of Anthropology, Western Carolina University)
Credits: 6 undergraduate credits available through WCU for session 1 (WCU deadlines and tuition applies);  3-6 undergraduate/graduate credits available through USF for session 2 (USF deadlines and tuition applies); non-credit positions available
Requirements: stand alone human osteology course is a prerequisite (such as the above Adult Osteology LAboratory Workshop or equivalent)

HISTORICAL CONTEXT : As the 15th century ends, the battle for Europe continues! The heroes (and their legend) that held back the Ottoman East have died: Vlad Dracula the Impaler in 1476; Saint Stephan the Great in 1504; Skanderberg in 1468. The fall of Constantinople in 1453 and the European defeat at the Battle of Mohacs in 1526 opened the way for the Ottoman expansion into Europe, all the way to the gates of Vienna. The Saxon fortresses and the Szekely armies managed to hold the Ottomans at bay as the Principality of Transylvania was born in 1570. Turkish pressure combined with the struggle between Catholicism and Protestantism has generated an extraordinary environment that impacted the local populations in a variety of ways, both physiologically and socio-culturally. The aim of our osteology and bioarchaeology projects is to evaluate how major global political events impact physically and physiologically the local Transylvanian medieval populations.

For bioarchaeology field work experience, our participants can further combine the above programs with our bioarchaeology field school: Medieval Cemetery Funerary Cemetery Excavation. (6 academic credits available through WCU for the first session and USF for the second session).

Our projects are designed as intensive hands-on laboratory experience programs and, as such, are open to both credit students and non-credit participants. For more information on this program, see attached brochures or visit www.archaeotek-archaeology.org

WINTER-BREAK, 3-CREDIT, FIELD SCIENCE COURSE with Ecosystem Field Studies

AMAZING WINTER-BREAK, 3-CREDIT, FIELD SCIENCE COURSE
with 

Ecosystem Field Studies 
 
An opportunity to apply your classroom & textbook learning  

while immersed in a spectacular & transformative marine educational setting!
Caribbean Ecosystem Field Studies
* Study, snorkel & SCUBA dive on the Caribbean coral reef of Mexico *
    December 27, 2018 – January 16, 2019
  • Gain valuable career skills in hands-on scientific field research
  • Earn 3 undergraduate academic transfer credits over winter-break
  • Join a diverse & exciting group of college students for a marine and coastal
    learning experience of a lifetime!
For all course information visit the website:  

 
Open to students from all universities & majors | Accredited by the University of Montana, Environmental Studies Program: ENST 391- for 3 undergraduate semester transfer credits
Direct questions to Professor & EcoFS Director, Steve Johnson at steve@EcoFS.org

Matthew Hurd: Braunschweig – Germany

Matthew Hurd: Braunschweig – Germany

What were the primary factors that influenced your decision to study abroad?

I never thought Id be the kind of person who would study abroad. In fact, I never thought I would leave Richmond. I was becoming competent in the German language by practicing religiously on Skype with Germans I had met through a language exchange website. These Germans were all STEM students (a pharmacist, a mathematician, a chemist and a computer programmer). By learning about their experiences in Germany, I quickly became inspired by how the country has become a world leader in STEM education. I wanted to experience firsthand how the country operated and why it was so successful, so I decided to make an appointment with the study abroad office (GEO).  The rest is history.

What program and destination did you choose?

What manifested from this decision to meet with GEO was something I never expected. I ended up studying abroad in Braunschweig, Germany for ten months.  Technische Universität Braunschweig is an engineering and science university with a focus on practical, applied learning.

What classes did you take while abroad and how would you compare them to taking courses on campus at VCU?

I transferred back second semester Biochemistry, Ecological Biochemistry, and Plant Biochemistry. I also completed a Molecular Genetics laboratory course. The most challenging part was the lab work. German biology students are rather advanced in lab and analytical skills as their education focuses on intensive, hands-on approaches. I had to interact and write my tests and lab reports in German. It was extremely challenging at first because my German lacked the vocabulary to express scientific ideas, but I overcame this with the help of my German peers. As a result, my competency in the language skyrocketed.

Bachelor students in Braunschweig have an intensive curriculum. Their first year consists of biology, biochemistry, organic and inorganic chemistry, plant and animal sciences, genetics and microbiology. This is all with a laboratory experience, too. They only have to do one or two electives for their whole degree! This is quite different from an American Bachelors education in which the focus is more on liberal arts and theory. I was way behind when I started, but I worked hard to gain these skills and competencies in the laboratory.

Additionally, I attended German language courses and lectures in fields such as genetics, geomicrobiology, physics for biologists, and environmental toxicology. I even studied Spanish and Swedish! I was happy to study here. I think the laboratory, analytic and practical education complimented VCUs theoretical approach. When I returned to VCU, I was able to take my new laboratory experience and use it in Dr. Wenheng Zhangs lab. 

What research did you participate in while abroad?

All biology students in Germany are required to do thesis work. In fact, the top German universities require such an experience for the acceptance into a Masters program, so many foreigners (like Americans) may be excluded. Thesis work entails much more than your own project. You are expected to work nine to five every day in the lab for three to five months.  Perhaps the most exciting part of my time in Germany was meeting a post-doc who invited me to do research for five months. Starting in May, I will work full-time in her lab assisting current research studies and undertaking my own research project. Her lab focuses on understanding and mapping specific pathways in the cell that are involved in the inflammatory response. Personally, I will research the cross-talk between Glucocorticoids and Interleukin-6 on the expression of a relatively unknown gene Redd1. Im extremely excited to improve my laboratory and research skills and to work in a collaborative environment. My advisor is a biochemist, more or less. We will be using molecular biology and biochemical approaches to answer our questions. Im thankful that I was able to take all the biochemistry and molecular biology and get the related lab experience for it in Braunschweig.

For you, what were the benefits of studying abroad?

I learned cross-cultural skills and experienced how another country operates, both culturally and academically.  I became even more proficient in German and had the chance to travel around Germany and other countries including Czech Republic, Denmark and Sweden.  I experienced first-hand why Germany is an economic and scientific leader of the world. I dont know what is in store for my future, but I know my study abroad and international research experience will help me in graduate school or professional work.  I hope everyone reading this ignores your study abroad anxieties and make an appointment with the GEO office to discuss your possibilities.  You never know what will happen.

What would you say to a student who is considering studying abroad?

For prospective study abroad students, I have advice for you based of my own experiences. My time in Germany wasnt a cakewalk. I did have many set-backs and challenges.

  • Start your research early. Due dates for scholarships and applications are usually way in advance.
  • Work closely with your GEO and biology department advisor. Your GEO advisor will help you find programs and funding opportunities and help you navigate the logistics. Before you go make sure your prospective coursework will transfer back. Understand how your experience will affect your intended graduation date and discuss getting prerequisites done for classes you may take abroad.
  • Find a way to make your experience abroad work FOR you! Although I had a semester left at VCU, I found work in Dr. Zhangs lab. I was able to use my laboratory experience in genetics to assist in her lab. People with international experience stand out academically and professionally as well-rounded and motivated individuals.

 

Marine Science career development opportunity in South Africa

Are you a recent graduate or a current student looking for an exciting learning opportunity? Cape RADD operates a marine field course which specializes in teaching SCUBA diving and free diving as approaches to data collection on the marine ecology of South Africa. We facilitate training courses for individuals or groups who want to learn more about the marine environment, conservation and research through hands on field experience and diver development. Cape RADD courses include training in multiple data collection and field operation techniques, theoretical workshops on analysis techniques and tools like R, GIS, and Coral Point Count.

As a Cape RADD student you will enrol in a fascinating and rewarding programme that will put you under the water for a hands on experience and valuable contribution to the marine research projects taking place at Cape RADD. Check us out on Facebook or Instagram to follow our story and see what our students are up to!

This programme is ideal for students, graduates, divers, conservationists or just those with an interest in marine biology looking to gain extra knowledge and field experience in the marine sciences, to develop new skills and show some real life experience on their CV.
Visit http://www.caperadd.com or email info@caperadd.com for more details.

Art + Science in India and Thailand

The ART+BIO Collaborative, an educational nonprofit based in Cambridge, MA, offers various Field Studies of Art+Nature. We integrate art and the life sciences via public engagement, education, and research. We value diversity and inclusion in the arts and sciences, and design novel travel programs for artists, scientists, students, educators, professionals and for anyone interested in integrating nature, art, and biology in the wild.
Please consider applying to Jungle Life and help spread the word about this incredible opportunity to anyone who may be interested.
Here are the details:
JUNGLE LIFE: Field Studies of Art+Nature in South India and Thailand
This program focuses on creative exploration of the unique and lush jungle environments of the Western Ghats of South India and the tropical island of Koh Lon, Thailand. Through hands-on observation, artistic interpretation, collaboration, and various biological and natural history methods, we will utilize the natural habitat as a STUDIO+LAB to explore and make informed art about tropical plants, animals, and nature. During the program, we will stay at various field sites and provide an immersive, project-based experience, focused on the unique beauty and dense wilderness of the jungle.
Dates: June 5-19, 2018
There are limited spaces available. Those interested are highly encouraged to apply today. Please click on the link for photos and more information.