Courtesy of Maureen Crawford
Many students return from studying abroad and claim it is a life-changing experience, and research shows that more and more students are choosing to study abroad.
However, studying abroad is often perceived as inaccessible. Students with rigorous degree programs, especially those hoping to graduate in four years, believe studying abroad will put them behind, and studying abroad is seen as a large expense.
For students in the College of Sciences and College of Engineering who want to study abroad but are concerned about the cost or getting behind, a semester at SDSU Georgia promises a fantastic cultural and educational experience, while remaining affordable and practical.
SDSU Georgia is located in Tbilisi, the capital of the Republic of Georgia and a cultural hub.
As a satellite campus of San Diego State, SDSU Georgia offers the same major and GE courses taught at SDSU California. The courses offered range from COMM-103 to CHEM-432.
“When I heard about the SDSU Georgia program, I was thrilled because I would be able to study abroad and still graduate in four years,” biochemistry senior Samantha Crawford, who studied at SDSU Georgia for a year, said.
All courses are taught in English by SDSU professors from the U.S. and the Republic of Georgia.
The average class size is 20 people, making it easier to build close relationships with fellow students and professors.
What makes SDSU Georgia different from other study abroad programs is that it ensures that classes carry over, students can still graduate on time, and financial aid can be applied.
Plus, books are free in Georgia, and each student that participates in the exchange will receive a $500 scholarship.
“For students, it is a challenge to find courses (from other programs) that will all transfer,” Dr. Nancy Marlin, former SDSU Provost who oversees the SDSU Georgia/California exchange, said. “These are SDSU courses, so there is no problem of delaying graduation or trying to get the courses to count.”
Besides being the most practical in regards to academics, SDSU Georgia offers an amazing cultural experience.
“Students come back from Georgia raving about the fruits and vegetables, not to mention the bread, “ Maureen Crawford, the International Coordinator for the College of Sciences said.
SDSU Georgia’s location in Tbilisi makes it very easy for students to explore the capital city, on foot or with the help of public transportation.
“Everything is so conveniently close in the city,” Samantha Crawford said, “Some of my favorite things to do were going to cafes, exploring Georgia, clubbing, hiking, wine tasting and hanging out with my local Georgian friends.”
In the past 6 to 12 students from SDSU California have participated in the exchange, allowing for participants to build close relationships and a tight-knit community.
“I still talk and hang out with most of the people that I went with and am very close friends with some of them,” Samantha Crawford said.
The College of Sciences and College of Engineering are hoping to increase participation this year while maintaining the close, family dynamic the programs provides to students.
Applications for the Spring 2019 semester at SDSU Georgia are now open and the deadline to apply is Nov. 1.
For more information about the program, there will be an informational meeting Oct. 18 from 12:30 p.m. to 3 p.m. in the Dean’s conference room in GMCS-603.
At the event, there will be Georgian food, Georgian students as well as SDSU students who have studied in Georgia. Also, there will be study abroad advising staff on hand to answer questions.