Study abroad program continues despite recent tragedy

By Jacquelyn V. Gonzalez

East Los Angeles College and the European Studies Association (ESA) is continuing to offer students the opportunity to study abroad in Paris, regardless of the tragedy that recently struck the famed city.

Participating students will study the French language while residing in the 6th Arrondissement in Paris, located at the heart of the city and just seven minutes away from the right bank of Central Paris, one of the areas affected in the recent terrorist attacks. However, according to Dr. Lynn Vogel-Zuiderweg of the French Department, students can rest assured that their place of residence will be safe and secure.

“The neighborhood that we live in for the program is very safe.  In addition, there is, and will continue to be, increased security throughout the city,” Vogel-Zuiderweg said.

According to Professor Rebecca Ebin of the French Department, the one month duration of the program will allow students to see the city as Parisians and not just as tourists.

 The cost of the trip will depend on which of two program students participate in.

 Students who choose the Survival French Program (SFP) will pay a total of $3,400, plus airfare.

 Participating  students will be instructed in their dorms by American professors working under the ESA.

 The Institut Catholique de Paris (ICP) is a more intensive program, with instruction given at a private university near the dorms, the program is offered at a higher price charging $4,250, plus airfare.

 During this program, students will attend French classes throughout the mornings and will have the opportunity to meet students from around the world.

 Necessities such as breakfast and dinner are included in the price of each program, along with perks such as admission to all museums and monuments, several day trips, a weekend trip, several four-course meals, multiple evening activities such as the opera, and a month long bus pass.

 Students are welcome to use their financial aid to help pay for the program of their choice. In addition, there are several scholarships available. One of them is the Gilman Scholarship. Other scholarship information can be found in the Financial Aid Office.

 Students who are already enrolled in the program can apply to a private scholarship and other ESA scholarships.

 The only requirement for this study abroad program is that students be at least 17 years of age.

 All levels of French are offered in both programs and a total of 3 units language credit can be earned under SFP while five units can be earned under ICP.

 All credits are in correspondence with those afforded at ELAC and are therefore valid in the United States.

 According to Dr. Vogel-Zuiderweg, there are many ways in which students can benefit from studying abroad.

 “Studying abroad can often be a life-changing experience in that students are exposed to a new culture,” Zuiderweg said.

 “Understanding a different culture is essential to an understanding of our world.  Learning how to function on a day-to-day basis in a new country fosters not just an understanding of the ways of that country, but also encourages an intellectual curiosity,” she said.

 Participants are scheduled to depart on June 30 and will return home on July 31.

 Applications can be submitted starting November 15 and may continue to be submitted until all spaces are filled.

 Space is limited, and Valley College will also be participating. For this reason, Elans are encouraged to apply as soon as possible.

 For further details, the French Department will be hosting meetings on Tuesday, Dec. 1 at 12:20 p.m. in C2-106 and Wednesday, Dec. 2 at 5:45 p.m. in F7-211.

“There are really no words to describe the horrific attacks that took place in Paris last Friday.  It is a senseless tragedy that is difficult to comprehend.  We all stand with Paris and the French people in the aftermath of these tragic events,” said Dr. Vogel-Zuiderweg.


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