Many students choose to take classes over the summer, but some take their summer schedules to a whole new level — or at least a whole new continent. This summer, 15 faculty-led study abroad programs will cover five continents, giving Western students the opportunity of a lifetime. Dozens of these students will visit, Africa, Peru, Italy, Greece, Mexico, Costa Rica and more.


Marlene Harlan, director of Summer Programs and Marketing for Western’s Extended Education program, said it is a great educational opportunity for students.


“It gives students an opportunity to study abroad and learn – not only with a faculty member but with other students,” she said.
She said many parents like this option for study abroad because they feel it is safe and secure for a student to travel in a group and with a faculty member, rather than on their own.


The faculty-led study abroad programs offer practical experience and allows students to immerse into a culture by making a difference in the community they are in, she said.


The programs are part of Summer Session, meaning that students enroll in them the way they would any summer course. However, there is an application process. Students must be accepted to the program to get an override and register for the courses.


Anyone can apply as long as they meet the prerequisites defined by the department running the program. Many of the programs have no prerequisites.


To apply, students must contact the professor or department the course is in. Contact information is listed on the website for Extended Education.


Some of the programs have been going for several years and are continuing service-learning projects that have already been started, such as the community development project program in Ithaca, Greece, Harlan said.


Students who participate will earn Western credit for the course, Harlan said.


Students do not have to enroll at a university abroad and transfer the credit, the way they would if they were part of an independent study abroad program.


The programs are paid for the same way any other class is, she said. The traveling costs are built into the class fees. There is a $500 non-refundable deposit to secure a place once a student has been accepted into the program, she said.


This deposit will be counted toward the total cost of the program. Total cost of the programs ranges between $3,700 and $7,000, depending on where the program is held, the cost of travel and other factors, she said.


All program deadlines are different, but most of them are in March or April, Harlan said.


However, these are priority deadlines only, and students will be accepted still if there is space available, Harlan said.
All departments will accept applications until the classes are full, she said.


If a deadline has passed, students are still encouraged to apply.


For specific deadlines, students should speak with the office of Extended Education or to the individual departments that are running the program.