May terms added to study abroad

By Jodi Guglielmi, A&E Editor

October 3, 2012

As many as 17 May terms will be offered to High Point University students starting in 2013. This is a large jump from the mere six courses that were offered in 2012.

Heidi Fischer, the director of study abroad at HPU said, “We hope that by adding more options and making it more appealing for students, we can really get a great turn out.”

There are two different types of May terms; the first program operates by taking a standard four-credit course throughout the entire spring semester, followed by two or three weeks of solid travel during the month of May or June.

The second kind of May term combines travel with course work. These courses do not begin until school is out. Departing in May or June, most range from two to three weeks of study abroad in length.

If a course is not linked with a student’s major, many of them can fulfill a global studies requirement. The study abroad office is eager to spark student’s interests and make the programs more desirable in hopes of increasing enrollment.

“The staff has worked hard to reach out to travel agencies to get lower, more affordable prices for students,” said Fischer.

Each May term course varies in price, but most range from around $4,000-$8,000. The location, activities and the number of students determine the price.

Last year, the smallest May term class had five students; this year the study abroad office has set a minimum enrollment of 10 students. This is the same rule that applies for classes on campus.

With all of the new additions there have been some clear favorites among students.

“The South Africa trip has proven to be an early favorite. I think students recognize what a unique experience it would be. Many people have been to Europe, but very few can say they have been to South Africa,” said Fischer. “We also expect a large turn out for the Italy chorus trip. We will be taking up to 40 students, and we anticipate getting very close to that number.”

Faculty has also played a large role in the new additions. “We had professors that had never taught a May term before come forward and express their interest in teaching,” said Fischer.

This not only means additional courses, but a larger variety of classes from different majors and minors. The interior design department, for example, will be offering their first ever May course. Other departments will be taking trips to places such as Italy, China, Guatemala and more.

“I was excited to see a business [course] offered as an option,” said Taylor Sheetz, a sophomore at HPU. “I definitely wanted to make sure that if I studied abroad it would directly benefit me. Having a class specific to my major assured me of this.”

Applying for a class that is linked to your major or minor could also help you be accepted into the May programs.

The study abroad office revamped the application and, contrary to previous years, students now must attend at least one interest session in order to apply. GPA, class status (if it corresponds with the student’s major/minor) and how well the questions are answered on the application all factor into the selection process.