Deadlines approaching for May term study abroad opportunities

by Logan Roberts

Simpson College students have nine options of international travel courses to take during May Term 2013, seven of which have never been offered before.

“If a particular course on this list really excites you and interests you I would apply now because you don’t know whether it will be offered again in the future,” International Education Coordinator Jay Wilkinson said.

For the three weeks of May Term, groups will be studying a variety of topics and traveling to several different regions, including: Asia, the Middle East, the Caribbean, Central America, South America and Europe.

The Office of International Education is currently working out the kinks in an online application process and Wilkinson hopes it will be up and running for this year’s applicants.

“Hopefully it will be a paperless process and there will be a link on the study abroad website for students to apply,” Wilkinson said.

October 2nd is the priority deadline for students to apply for May Term 2013 international courses and Wilkinson expects to have more students apply this year than last year. Students will receive notification if they’ve been selected on October 9th.

“It may be possible to apply for a travel course after that deadline but there are some courses each year that receive more applications than they can accommodate,” Wilkinson said.

On Oct. 9, the website will updated to show courses that are still accepting applications, Wilkinson said.

By this deadline, students need to pick the course they would really like to participate in, as they cannot apply for more than one. They must then submit a signed application form, a copy of their degree audit, a personal statement explaining why they believe the course will enhance their educational experience, a passport or copy of their passport application and a $200 non-refundable deposit.

Application deadlines are also coming up quickly for students very interested in international studies who want to spend a whole semester in a different county.

“Being in a location for a longer period of time gives you more opportunity to get to know culture, get to know the people and make stronger relationships there,” Wilkinson said.

The Simpson Experience Abroad program sponsors semester long programs which rotate every other year in Argentina, Australia, England, Germany, French Polynesia and Thailand.

Prep courses are required before studying abroad for this long, so applications are processed about a year in advance. October 31st is the application deadline for next fall’s semester in London, England. Applications to spend spring 2014 abroad in Argentina or Tahiti will be due in mid-March.

Costs for all international May Term and study abroad experiences vary on the course, but Wilkinson says different types of financial assistance are available.

“Students definitely shouldn’t just rule it out and think they can’t afford it; they should look into it and see what other possibilities there might be,” Wilkinson said.

For more information on any international education opportunities, students can visit