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The Great Escape: Study Abroad

It’s cold. While great for skiers and snowmen, the weather blows for most of us. It is about this time of year that I start looking at sweet study-abroad locales. Here are a few PSU summer abroad programs that got me thinking about blue, sunny skies.

It might seem somewhat like a no-brainer, but Spain is kick-ass place to consider studying. European, warm, ridiculous nightlife, beautiful women (and well-dressed men). Ok, I guess it is not a great place for studying, but let’s count that as a plus. Also, as Barcelona is rather far north, so it is an excellent staging ground for a Euro-tour. (If staying in Spain is more your game, check out Madrid or Granada)

Moving further east into the Mediterranean, the boot-country Italy is similar to Spain in the good-for-you-bad-for-your-GPA department. Stick to a place like Siena: you’ll avoid the touristy mobs and still be able to see  major sights on day-trips. Though the Siena program is more suitable for people who are peaking now (read: liberal arts majors), science and engineering majors should not despair.

It could be that Singapore is more your game. With courses available in engineering and the sciences, Singapore is a better fit for those with less wiggle room in their schedules. Also, a trip to Asia is way more adventurous than a stint in Europe, though the level of culture shock is surely a great deal higher. That aside, Singapore has tons of English-speakers which makes it a great place both to study and ‘not-study’ abroad.

Just to round things out, I often find that South America gets left out in many study abroad conversations, and I have no clue why. Who wouldn’t want to spend a semester in Sao Paulo, for instance? A vibrant city with warm weather and sandy beaches is a rarity, throw in the fact that Brazil is fast-becoming an economic superpower, and it is safe to say that there are many things to see and do in Sao Paulo. Dust off that high school..uh.. Portuguese and get going next spring.

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