Study Away: Faculty-Led vs. Affiliate
I hope you all are having a fantastic second semester. It is sunny and 90 degrees here in Newcastle, Australia, and we just kicked off first semester and classes! Thus far, I have had the best possible experience here in Australia. I could not be more grateful for the choice I made to study down under.
Choosing where to study away while at Furman is all about fit. Luckily, Furman makes it so accessible and affordable to study away during your 4 years. There’s a variety of programs you can choose from that all differ in a way. I’m going to help you all navigate two options in particular: faculty-led and affiliate programs.
Faculty-Led study abroad programs are exactly what they sound like, a semester-long study away program led by a Furman faculty member. Along with a faculty member, students are also in a Furman cohort of up to 15-20 students! The faculty member is likely teaching all of the courses that students are taking, often related to the geographical location where the group is studying.
For example, I have many friends this semester abroad with a faculty-led program titled “Religion, Art, and Politics in Thessaloniki, Greece”. They are taking the following courses:
- Religion and Art in Christianity, Judaism, and Islam
- Encountering Texts on Travel Study
- Mediterranean Democratization
- Islam in European Politics
Not only are these courses fascinating, but they also satisfy 4 GER (General Education) requirements. So even if you aren’t a politics, art, or religion major, you could come to this program and get a ton of GER credits!
Other Faculty-Led Programs include the London Internship Program, Marine Biology and Ethnobiology of Belize, and Furman in Rennes, France just to name a few!
An Affiliate program is what I am participating in this semester in Australia. This is when Furman partners with an organization or program that sends students from all over the world to a certain location. My affiliate program is called TEAN (The Education Abroad Network). TEAN has made the transition very easy by providing us with many resources and even an orientation in Cairns, Australia, a popular vacation destination among the locals!
While I have not been with many Furman students, I have gotten to meet students from around the world who are all doing the affiliate program! I’m even living with several Australian students, allowing me to assimilate into the culture and understand it further. I get to take courses at the University of Newcastle, where I have an Australian Professor. Getting to experience an Australian education was something I was very excited about. The classes I am currently taking include the following:
- Introduction to Criminology
- Introduction to Australian Government
- Public Affairs
- Marine Biology
All of these courses are transferring over as GER or major requirements, so there is no disadvantage in studying at another university!
Even if you don’t want to go abroad for a whole semester, Furman offers May-X programs that are very popular! All in all, it comes down to what you want out of your study-away experience. However, if you ever have the opportunity, I absolutely recommend it!!
Best of luck with second semester and your college decision process!