FMU to combine study abroad programs with Coastal Carolina

Lillian Miller, Sports Writer

Francis Marion University and Coastal Carolina University are expected to come to an agreement that will expand study abroad opportunities for students this month.

Dr. Jon Tuttle, Professor of English and Coordinator of International Studies, is one of the people in charge of the agreement.

“This will be a great opportunity for students,” Tuttle said. “The courses will transfer, and students have more options of where they can study abroad.”

FMU and CCU have decided that they will combine their study abroad programs in order to offer more opportunities to students.

FMU has partnerships with six different countries in which students can study abroad and get life experience as well as classes in their major in a new environment while paying FMU tuition.

CCU has a similar program but with different countries. In the partnership, all countries will be offered to students from both schools. The only catch will be FMU students will pay CCU tuition.

Stefan Gojic, a sophomore majoring in business, supports FMU in partnership with CCU.

“I think it is a great thing,” Gojic said. “It will help many students travel to other parts of the world and help broaden students’ horizons. “

FMU’s study abroad locations are England, Canada, France, Germany, Ireland and Mexico, which are available for semester study. CCU has six semester locations as well in Ecuador, England, Germany, Japan, Australia and France. CCU’s Germany program has separate tracks for Undergraduates, Graduates and International Business students.  They also have a very wide range of opportunities for Spring Break and summers abroad.

A student can spend Spring Break in France or Spain, or Maymester in Ecuador, the Bahamas, Cuba, travel through Asia or Europe, go to Jamaica, China, Greece, Italy or Costa Rica. They have an option where you can take a cruise through the Bahamas and get class credit as well.

To study abroad, FMU student must have at least a 2.75 GPA and submit an application. The application consists of an essay in which students have to tell why studying abroad would benefit their college career. A student must also have a teacher recommendation.

At CCU the GPA requirement is a minimum of a 2.5, but some have their own requirements.

Another bonus is most federal and state loans, grants, and scholarships, such as Life and Palmetto Fellows,can be used on all study abroad programs.

Ashlyn Hodge, a junior majoring in physics, sees the agreement as a good thing.

“They are two different opportunities,” Hodge said. “It is a good way for the two universities to cooperate and it gives both schools’ students a way to expand and go to places.”

Dr. Mark Blackwell, Associate Professor of Religious Studies, is in charge of the exchange between FMU and De Montford University in England.

“This merger should greatly increase educational and cultural experiences for the students and faculties of all the exchange partners,” Blackwell said. “I look forward to working with CCU faculty and students, as well as the new exchange partners. It should be a great deal of fun.”