Cost and diversity issues in study abroad at Georgia Southern

Olivia Craft

Update: As of Nov. 19, this article has been extensively corrected, and some details have been clarified surrounding the senator’s statements regarding study abroad.

STATESBORO —Senator Zakiya Daniel addressed study abroad concerns to the Student Government Association’s board at their meeting in the Russell Union ballroom on Wednesday.

Senator Daniel, who represents the College of Behavioral and Social Sciences, said that there are three main issues that she is concerned about with study abroad. The cost of study abroad and scholarship accessibility, lack of major diversity and destination diversity were her main concerns.

Senator Daniel said that she had received an email from one of her professors saying that the Provost is putting a hold on all non-Eureopean study abroad opportunities.

“Considering our huge initiative as a school is diversity and inclusion, we have a whole broad spectrum of international students from different countries,” Daniel said. “I feel like it is a little unfair to exclude their countries as opportunities for study abroad, especially because the students themselves are here and can be great assets to teaching and learning about different cultures.”

According to Jennifer Wise, director of communications at GS, these statements are not accurate.

I have checked with Provost Carl Reiber and this is not true,” Wise said in an email response. “We always strive to provide opportunities for our students.”

Daniel has been on three study abroad trips and even with her major being international studies and French with a minor in africana studies, she faced certain limitations as to where she could study internationally. 

“There is a lack of diversity when it comes to students with different majors, such as engineering and science and mathematics.” Daniel said. “A lot of other different departments do not have opportunities to study abroad.”

Students in biological sciences have the opportunity to study abroad for two weeks in Ecuador. Students studying engineering have the opportunity to study abroad for two weeks in Germany. The math and physics department offers summer trips to Romania.

The cost of study abroad was another concern of Daniel’s. Costs are extremely high and Daniel noticed that there is a lack of scholarships available on Georgia Southern’s website.

“Thats a big concern considering students may not have access to those scholarships or qualify for them,” Daniel said. “It is especially difficult if there are not enough offered.”

In an attempt to fix these issues, SGA and the College of Behavioral and Social Sciences will be holding a panel or will have a survey next semester to give students the chance to express their concerns in regards to the study abroad program, according to Senator Daniel.  

Olivia Craft, The George-Anne Contributor,