SAIT Study Abroad makes international study affordable

SAIT study abroad programs give returning students the opportunity to travel abroad in the summer to countries such as Australia and Singapore at an affordable price.

“These programs can be life-changing,” said Laura Lavigne, project coordinator for educational relationships and Study Abroad at SAIT.

Lavigne said that students having to live on their own and having to adapt to different cultures overseas is a transforming experience.

Lavigne said that having an intercultural group experience is extremely valuable in today’s workplace.

She added that studying abroad is also a good addition to a resumé and an interesting topic to discuss during an interview with an employer.

She also said the SAIT Study Abroad programs offered by SAIT are a great way for students to gain confidence and independence while experiencing and learning their industry in another country.

The process of booking the flights and accommodation are handled by SAIT.

One of the main reasons why SAIT Study Abroad programs can be competitive is that every student participating in the Global Education Network (GEN) program is given a bursary that is used for flight and accommodation costs, making the total cost of travel for students extremely affordable.

Students must go through an application process which includes a completed application package with references and an interview. Applications for the GEN program are now open to students. The application deadlines for travel to Melbourne and Singapore are Feb. 26, 2018 and April 6, 2018 respectively.

Kimiko Nishikawa, a second-year student in the SAIT Radio, Television and Broadcast News Program, travelled to Singapore last summer through the GEN program.

“I’ve made friends on that trip that I’ll never forget,” said Nishikawa.

She said it was important to go into the trip with an open mind. Nishikawa said she went out with some of the local students to try a goat bone marrow stew, something she had never had before.

She said she found it delicious. During the exchange, Nishikawa said she wanted to not only learn from the students and the teachers at the partnering institute, but to also share the similarities and differences she learned from her own program.

“You’re not just there to take, you’re there to return,” said Nishikawa.

“It’s really important that students understand the value of the program and have put some thought into why they want to participate in this kind of school-sponsored program,” said Lavigne.

Character-wise, Lavigne said students should be team players, flexible and adapt-able and most importantly be good ambassadors for SAIT.

Students can apply by filling out an application package on SAIT’s website and emailing it directly to the Study Abroad email.

Before travelling abroad, all selected students must attend a pre-departure orientation which covers topics such as insurance, the risks involved with travelling, in-country information such as laws and cultural awareness, and how to manage culture shock.

Lavigne encourages interested students or those with questions to attend any information sessions on studying abroad and to also come down to the study abroad office, which is open from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. It is located in MC218 on the second floor of the Stan Grad building on SAIT campus.

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