This year, Academic Programs Abroad is offering students almost 30 programs around the world. All of the programs will be represented at the Study Abroad Fair in the LSU Student Union Cotillion Ballroom Wednesday, Oct. 7, from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m.
Study Abroad Fair brings global opportunities to students
“Come see where LSU can take you!”—Such is the slogan for Academic Programs Abroad, which is hosting a Study Abroad Fair Wednesday, Oct. 7.
Academic Programs Abroad took 2009 Spanish graduate Travis Phipps to Buenos Aires, Argentina. Phipps signed up for the LSU in Argentina program in 2008 expecting to improve his Spanish and sightsee.
“What I experienced that summer had an impact that extended past those six short weeks,” Phipps said.
In preparation for his trip overseas, Phipps said he did some research. He read travel books, looked over chapters in history books and browsed a few Web sites.
“I thought this would give me all I needed to know about Argentina,” he said. “But after I arrived, I realized that this was all false security. To understand life in Argentina, you need to live it, not simply read about it.”
Once Phipps arrived in Argentina, LSU had made arrangements for him to live with a local family. Phipps said his host family served as a support group, helping introduce him to their way of life.
“With their patience, I was able to avoid being completely consumed by culture shock,” said Phipps. “Argentine culture is so markedly different than that of the United States.”
Phipps said the biggest difference between the United States and Argentina is the pace of life. While Buenos Aires has a population of more than 13 million people, Phipps said citizens concentrate on the present instead of rushing toward the future.
Phipps said he had to get accustomed to eating lunch at 3:30 p.m. and dinner at 10:30 p.m.
“During meal times, food is only served as an excuse for conversation,” he said. “These occasions can last for hours, especially when a local tea, known as mate, is shared out of the same cup.
Phipps said although it was difficult, he opened himself up to new traditions. LSU in Argentina planned excursions for the students such as horseback riding on the Pampas, sledding down the Andes, and an underground tango show.
“Even though adjusting to these differences was frustrating at times,” he said, “the events and excursions organized by the LSU in Argentina program led me to eventually feel like somewhat more than an average tourist in Buenos Aires.”
Today, Phipps lives in Argentina working as an English teacher in a private language school in Buenos Aires. Phipps kept in touch with his host family after his summer ended and now lives with them.
This year, Academic Programs Abroad is offering students almost 30 programs around the world. A majority of the programs are hosted by LSU, which means the courses are planned by university professors and students get LSU course credit. Other programs are hosted by outside entities, which provide students with different opportunities and those credits can also apply toward an LSU degree.
Some of this year’s programs include Business in China, LSU in the French Alps, Art in Ireland, LSU at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, Swahili Safari and Marine Biology in Alaska.
All of the programs will be represented at the Study Abroad Fair in the LSU Student Union Cotillion Ballroom Wednesday, Oct. 7, from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. For more information about Academic Programs Abroad please visit www.lsu.edu/studyabroad.
Holly Ann Phillips | Editor | Office of Communications & University Relations