Travel abroad opportunities at UHV open world of study

April 9, 2011 at 6:03 p.m.
Updated April 8, 2011 at 11:09 p.m.

Holly Verhasselt

Holly Verhasselt

University of Houston-Victoria faculty, staff and students who want to see the world can do so while earning credits toward a degree with a visit this summer to one of four countries.

Students will get to see another part of the world, visit business operations, take part in cultural activities and have fun with their international hosts during the study abroad experiences.

"This is a valuable part of study at a university," said Holly Verhasselt, the UHV assistant provost and overseer of the university's study abroad programs. "We are a global society and it benefits a student to take advantage of opportunities to learn how other cultures operate. To be a leader today requires knowledge of other cultures and language."

Verhasselt said the trips can be good growth experiences for students who may not have traveled internationally.

"These trips open our students' eyes to how people in other cultures operate, and students can get far more benefits than the traditional classroom setting offers," Verhasselt said. "It is also a chance to make friendships with people from other countries that can last a lifetime."

Chien-Ping Chen, a UHV associate professor of economics, said the study in Taiwan from July 14 to Aug. 2 is a chance for students to see a country that has become a global powerhouse in manufacturing and industry.

"Taipei, Taiwan is the hottest industrial city in Asia," Chen said. "We will tour operations in the LED lighting, hospital management and semiconductor manufacturing industries."

The UHV School of Business study abroad trip is run in conjunction with two Taiwanese institutions: National Chin-Yi University and Ming-Chi University. Students will earn three credits for the elective economics or managerial economics course toward their Bachelor of Business Management or Master of Business Administration degrees.

And the trip is an affordable way to earn credits, he added. The program fee of only $800 covers 17 days - all the food, tours, field trips and accommodations.

"We stay in a hotel or guest house as opposed to a dormitory," he said. "Part of our trip is subsidized by the local universities because they are eager to learn from us as well. They like to talk to our university students and see what life is like in the U.S."

U.S. students can learn why so many global companies choose to operate in Taiwan.

"It's not simply because of cheap labor," Chen said. "It is the culture and the work ethic. Students will learn about this part of the world and why people in China, Hong Kong and Taiwan are working so hard to better themselves and their country. That's why Apple, Hewlett-Packard and Dell have all chosen to do business there."

This is the third consecutive summer UHV faculty members have led study abroad trips to foreign countries.

The UHV School of Arts & Sciences also offers programs in England, Spain and Mexico for a variety of liberal arts study experiences.

An intensive language and culture program is held in Grenada, Spain, for periods of three, five or 12 weeks. This program focuses on geography, history, politics, religion, family and traditions.

Trips to Mexico for Spanish-language immersion and cultural study are open-ended trips, scheduled as needed, and can range from two to 12 weeks. Deadlines are two months before departure.

Megan Besancon, coordinator for the Arts & Sciences study abroad programs, said scholarships that cover 25 percent of the program, up to $1,000, are available. Traditional financial aid, including grants and loans, are also available to eligible students.



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