ALLENTOWN, Pa. -- Cedar Crest College is taking its commitment to producing tomorrow's female leaders with a global perspective to the next level by offering every sophomore a guaranteed opportunity to study abroad beginning with the spring semester 2018.
Full-time sophomores with a minimum 2.5 grade point average who are in good judicial and financial standing with the school will have the opportunity to spend seven to 10 days abroad with other members of their class at no additional cost beyond standard tuition.
"This initiative is the first of its kind and truly reflects the values of the college. We are committed to leading at the highest levels all over the globe and we believe that leadership is service," said Cedar Crest CollegePresident Carmen Twillie Ambar. "We hope that students will use the experience to learn some things about themselves and learn some things about the world."
Students who enroll for the fall 2016 semester will be in the first class to embark on The Sophomore Expedition in spring 2018. On average there are 150 students in a class. The group trip will take place during spring break so no classroom time will be missed. President Carmen Twillie Ambar will announce the location of the trip during her fall 2016 convocation address.
"Very few institutions can offer a program like this in which a whole class of students travels abroad together, and we're proud to be able to provide this opportunity to our students," said Vice President of Student Affairs and Admission Mary-Alice Ozechoski. "Traveling and studying abroad is a transformative experience. President Ambar is committed to creating leaders for a global society and this is just one more way Cedar Crest is doing that."
"Our students come from diverse backgrounds with some of them being the first generation in their family to go to college," explained Provost Elizabeth Meade. "Some have never traveled away from home or even flown on a plane, and some couldn't afford to study abroad otherwise. Trips like this will help give them a new view of the world as well as a new view of themselves in that world. It can help build self-confidence and shape their future career plans. This trip will also allow the students to bond with one another, as well as with our faculty and staff, which is something that will last throughout the remainder of their college career at Cedar Crest."
The selected destination will provide students with experiences that have maximum impact and will include a service-learning component that is an important part of the overall leadership experience. They will have a city experience, visit cultural attractions, and experience everyday life in the chosen country. Cedar Crest faculty and staff will accompany the students on the entire trip. In preparation for the trip, students will take a class in cultural competency called The Sophomore Experience during the fall semester of their sophomore year. The class will also assist them in applying for passports and prepare them for travel abroad.
One potential outcome of the experience is that some students may decide to do an additional study abroad program prior to graduation. The college has seen an increase in the number of undergraduate students choosing to study abroad, with an average of 20-30 students electing to do so each year, for anywhere from one to four weeks in duration, along with semesters spent abroad.