Jaspers Studying Abroad While Staying COVID Safe


By Alexandrea Velez, Contributor

Manhattan College provides numerous opportunities to study abroad, and despite the pandemic, some Jaspers have had the chance to participate. 

MC offers 14 different countries to study in, but creates personalized programs for any student that wants to go somewhere they do not offer. From Europe to South America, there are programs available for all students. 

According to the directors of the program, there are two types of programs available for students, short-term and long-term studying abroad. The short term is available as a summer or winter intersession. For the summer of 2022, all nine programs will be back up and running with very limited Covid protocols as things progress. The winter sessions only last ten days or up to two weeks, due to the break being shorter. But the summer programs will last between two to four weeks. 

Laurice Dabain, a junior at MC, is an accounting major who decided to do a short-term study abroad program in Paris, France. She decided to participate for a short term to take advantage of her free time in the winter intersession. 

“It has always been a dream of mine to experience Parisian culture. Dreams of traveling the world have always filled my mind. From the moment I stepped out of the airport in France, I knew this would be an experience that I would speak of for my lifetime,” said Dabain. 

During her time in Paris, she was able to take a religion class. In the curriculum, they read “An Interrupted Life and Letters from Westerbork”, visited Holocaust museums, cathedrals and the school where Saint John Baptist de La Salle was educated. This experience gave her a more personal feel to the curriculum and gave her a greater appreciation for the coursework given. 

“Studying abroad has made my dream become reality,” Dabain said. “I never thought I would experience sitting in front of the Eiffel Tower under twinkling New Year’s lights, yet I was able to do so thanks to the Study Abroad program at Manhattan College”. 

Overall, there is typically always a religion course offered in the summer or winter since all Manhattan College students need to take those courses. 

The other availability would be long-term study abroad programs, which will last a whole semester. Students are allowed to take anywhere from 12 to 15 credits to stay on track for graduation.

According to MC’s Office of Study Abroad, long-term study abroad also allows students to go to any exchange partner schools, which are colleges that are partnered with MC that send their students here and we send students to travel there. These are the most common places such as Madrid, Spain; Barcelona, Spain and Paris.

For the 2022-2023 school year the Czech Republic and the Philippines were added to the curriculum. 

As another type of school available in the Lasallian networks, students can study at any of the 50 Lasallian international schools in the world. The majority of the schools are in South America, but some are scattered across Asia and parts of Europe. 

The final type of studying abroad would be to go through a third-party provider. In this instance, this would be because there is a specific location that MC does not provide as an option.

Kristina Zagreda, a junior and marketing major with a minor in digital arts, is spending this semester in Barcelona, Spain. Zagreda chose to study abroad for a full semester to indulge herself in the Spanish culture, and to meet new people. 

“I chose to study abroad in Barcelona, Spain because the schools here had more classes available to choose from. I have never been to Barcelona and I wanted to explore the beautiful city,” said Zagreda. 

When studying abroad, certain locations have specific classes you must take, which is why the study abroad program recommends planning a semester or two before. Barcelona was a less strict location, which makes it such a hot spot.

Her application process took a little longer than most due to waiting on replies, but they were very helpful every step of the way, especially with obtaining a visa. 

“Studying abroad is just such a life-changing opportunity,” Alexandra DeStefano, the Assistant Director of Study Abroad at MC, told the Quadrangle. “It’s such an important experience to learn about a new culture, learn about how other people learn different subjects, and get a different world perspective.”

For any future updates on studying abroad contact visit the Study Abroad Information Center located on the first floor of Thomas Hall.