London excursion supplements academic journey

Study abroad program targets European cities

By Xavier Johnson, Scene Editor

The opportunity for students to live and study in London to broaden their educational experience is available for the fall 2018 semester through the Northern California Study Abroad Consortium.

The program managed by the American Institute for Foreign Study holds annual study abroad program for four Northern California community college districts, including the Contra Costa Community College District.

The application deadline for the program is Wednesday, June 13. Students depart from the United States on Sept. 6 and return Dec. 7.

There are two stay options that affect the cost of the program.

The cost of the program with the homestay option is $8,595 and for the student apartment option is $9,995, both prices excluding tuition.

However, there are scholarships available for students apply to aid the cost through their respective school’s Financial Aid offices.

Diablo Valley College  Interim Dean of Applied and Fine Arts Toni Fannin said AIFS gives the consortium members advice on which cities are most likely to attract 100 total students from the four participating districts.

She said the top three study abroad destinations in the world are England, Italy and Spain.

For that reason the program alternates between Barcelona and London in the fall semesters and Florence every spring.

Barcelona was the study abroad location for last fall.

Journalism major Vanessa Flores said attending Barcelona changed her perspective on multiple levels. She said the trip was her first time visiting Europe.

“I was able to follow their politics and see how they talk about us. I was able to really see how the world views the United States. Sometimes you can’t understand that unless you’re a part of it,” Flores said.

Four instructors from DVC, Santa Rosa Junior College, American River College, and Cañada College will be teaching English, anthropology, history and business courses during the study abroad program.

Flores said the courses on Spanish culture she took taught her a lot about Spanish traditions, languages, holidays and the typical day-to-day life.

English professor Lisa Orta said the courses she’s teaching in London, Critical Thinking, Introduction to Literature and Drama and Performance as Literature are the same as the ones she teaches at DVC, with a few differences.

“My curriculum will be based on using London as an extension of our classroom. The reading materials, assignments, and field trips will all be related to our location,” Orta said.

“For many it will be their first experience living away from home, and in a densely populated city,” said Orta.

“In London we will be speaking English, but we will be living in a very different cultural and social setting.”