Barriers to students traveling abroad are minimal. Safety is the major concern. Difficulties surface when students traveling abroad do not anticipate how to handle situations prior to departing. One's attitude and flexibility are the most significant constraints, for if one is rigid and negative in day-to-day activities, it becomes more obvious when you are tired. Students must have high energy levels as well as be able to carry their own luggage up and down stairs and on and off trains, which can be very tiresome, particularly after a night on a train. Problems in relationships at home, illnesses, accidents, financial difficulties are relatively minor but do happen. Prior planning can avert these difficulties when abroad for most students.
Language is rarely a barrier in most European countries, as many Europeans like to practice speaking English. Many Europeans have five to seven years of preparation in English. Certainly knowledge of a foreign language is preferred, but is not necessary. In addition, there are several activities that are universal: music, dance, art, sports, and spiritual activities. The more enlightened about these areas, the easier it is to be conversant across cultures.
Students and faculty alike are fortunate at ECU to receive assistance from the Rivers Award for International travel as well as financial assistance. Participants in this course may apply for the Thomas W. Rivers Awards for Study Abroad. Applications for the Rivers scholarships are available online (Summer and Semester/Year-long Applications). In addition, federal financial aid may be available to eligible students. A Kirkpatrick Scholarship is also available.
Students may earn monies at part-time jobs. Other ways students get monies to travel abroad are through gifts for Christmas, graduation and birthdays. Civic groups make donations as do church affiliated groups. Students can also inquire at the Financial Aid Office.
Vaccinations for Travel Abroad
The following websites will give you needed information for traveling abroad and the vacinnation requirements:
http://wwwn.cdc.gov/travel/contentVaccinations.aspx and www.who.int/ith/en/. You will want to visit these two sites in making your plans to travel abroad.
All students are required to verify that they have received the recommended vacinnations prior to traveling on an international study abroad. The Brody School of Medicine, health departments and your private physician can provide these for you.
Additional information can be found at the Office of International Affairs webpage.