At Villa Aurora in Italy, the campus setting is very different from Southern.
“As soon as you walk off campus, you’re met with the busyness of the city. It definitely feels quite a bit different from Collegedale,” senior nursing student Caleb Miller said of his experience abroad this past summer.
This is just one aspect of what students experience when they study abroad: different cities, foreign countries, different cultures and more.
The Adventist Colleges Abroad (ACA) program allows students at most North American Adventist universities, as well as schools in Australia, Canada and Puerto Rico, to study abroad. There are currently over 200 students abroad under the North American division of ACA.
This program allows undergraduate students to earn academic credit in a year program or a summer session. Before applying, there are a few requirements that need to be met. One of them is having an intermediate language proficiency in the language of the country where the school is located.
Some of the year-long programs that Southern offers are in France, Spain, Brazil, Italy and Austria. A summer session is also available in Taiwan and Jerusalem, according to the official ACA website.
The summer sessions usually offer nine credit hours, and the academic year programs offer 12-16, similar to a full-time semester at Southern. The price for a year-long program ranges from about $16,000 to about $19,000, depending on the location.
Despite the differences, students express that three of the available schools, Newbold (UK), Villa Aurora (Italy) and Escuela Superior de Español (Spain), have characteristics similar to Southern. Miller said that parts of Villa Aurora reminded him of Southern.
“The biggest similarity was the spiritual emphasis as well as the warmth of the people. …It reminded me of Southern in that aspect,” Miller said.
Sophomore business management major Jake Miller, who is currently at Newbold, noticed the similarity to Southern in the faculty.
“The professors at both schools care about you a lot. …They’ll take time out of their day to talk over lunch with you,” he said.
These schools, however, still have various differences from Southern. According to Jake Miller, the standards at Newbold are very different.
“It’s really lax here [at Newbold], like with curfew. …The academic system is totally different… For some of my classes, the only assignment I have is a big paper at the end of the semester,” said Jake Miller.
“Southern is safer and way more open…The school [in Spain] is smaller with a lot less people who are just closer together,” said Rebecca Andrade, a junior nursing major studying at Escuela Superior de Español.
According to all three, being in a different country can be very challenging as there are many things one takes for granted.
“I really missed air conditioning. The last night I stayed [in Italy], it was 103 degrees in my bedroom with one small window,” Caleb Miller said. “You’d just be laying in bed soaking in sweat.”
Andrade also pointed out that there is not a lot of space in Spain as three people have to fit into a two-person dorm room.
Besides housing facilities, some students also expressed that one of the things that has been hard to adapt to has been the food abroad.
“[I miss] the proximity of like Taco Bell and Chick-fil-a…” Jake Miller said.
He went on to say, “Everyone should go abroad for at least a semester.”
Students who are interested in applying can visit acastudyabroad.com for more information.