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The Student News Site of Sacramento City College

The Express

The Student News Site of Sacramento City College

The Express

Los Rios Colleges are now accepting students to study abroad
Graphic created by Neezy Jeffery / [email protected]

Traveling the world and earning units toward your degree is an eye-opening experience. Meeting new people and experiencing new cultures can be a reality. 


Students throughout the Los Rios Community College District can take advantage of the upcoming opportunity to study abroad in London, England for the fall 2024 semester. All Los Rios students will have to fully meet the requirements to be accepted in the abroad program, which includes being at least 18 years old, have completed 12 units of Los Rios credits and be in good academic standing with at least a 2.25 GPA. 


The priority deadline to register for the opportunity was April 19, with general applications open until June 5.


Professor Gregory Beyrer, who teaches history at Cosumnes River College and is the spokesperson for the Los Rios Study Abroad Program, spoke on the logistics of the abroad program to explain everything students will need to know after getting accepted into the program, which is run by the American Institute for Foreign Study. Los Rios has worked with AIFS since 1988. 


“There is a program fee that includes housing, medical insurance, the administrative fee from the [AIFS] and the homestay housing option,” Beyrer said, “The program fee does not include airfare, tuition and textbooks, personal expenses and most meals. There is also a shared residence option, shared with other consortium students, that has an extra fee. The program runs from September 5, U.S. departure, through December 6, London departure, with 12 weeks of instruction. There is a week-long mid-semester break.”


There are two housing options with AIFS, one being a homestay, where students have a private room hosted by a British family. The other is the shared residence, where they live with another student from the program.


This will be Beyrer’s first time traveling to the United Kingdom and also his first time teaching abroad. He said he is excited to experience something new and he has fun plans for him and the students to take advantage of the location while they learn European and American history.


“The benefits of studying abroad for students center around the independence, adaptability and intercultural competence they will practice while living and learning in another country,” Beyrer said. “In addition to the classes they are taking, which are UC and CSU-transferable, they will gain the experiences that come with living in another country and use those experiences to become stronger applicants for transfer and employment.”


AIFS staff provide an orientation for living and traveling in London, and support students throughout the program, according to Beyrer. Medical insurance is provided, and there is 24-hour emergency support. He continued to say students will also be in a community of learners and faculty to share the excitement and challenges of living in another country.


The Express recently spoke with Ellie Hokerson-Brun, a Communications major expecting to graduate next year, about her experience studying abroad in Barcelona, Spain, in the fall 2023 semester.


Photo courtesy of Ellie Hokerson-Brun.


What made you want to study abroad?                

Just looking for an experience to get myself out of my hometown.


How did you get introduced to the Study Abroad Program?

My mom is a faculty member at Los Rios. She was the one who told me about the program.


How were you selected?

Qualification is first come, first serve and you have to meet all the requirements. When the program is full they stop accepting.


Can you tell me your most memorable moment studying abroad?                                                

I will never forget the first night, getting to meet everybody and [going] out. We had big group dinners at the beginning and end of the trip; it was truly incredible.  


Did the program offer a translator for the students who did not understand Spanish?  

Barcelona and Europe in general speak English. It was taught in their schools; it is required to learn two languages. Primarily it’s English, so it depends on where you go. It’s definitely language barriers in some places.


Did you experience any hardships?

As far as academics, no. The program knows you’re in a new place and therefore for the experience, you’re not there to be cooped up studying for hours every week. … Hardships in general, I definitely struggled a little bit at first. It was kind of hard getting adapted. I struggled more with that then school.        


What are the requirements to study abroad?

You would need 12 units, three courses of your choice. Then it’s one required course, which is a life and culture class. That was twice a week for two hours. It’s a lecture with everyone in the program. 


Would you ever go back to Barcelona if you had the chance to?      

Yes, I would 100%.


Did you travel anywhere other than Barcelona while you were there?                                     

The really cool thing about studying abroad [is] every weekend they would encourage you to travel because it’s not expensive. The flight is about $50 to go from Barcelona to anywhere in Europe.             


Did you have a travel buddy for safety reasons?                                                            

The program itself only covers being in Barcelona so it depends. A lot of students travel with their roommates or groups of 10. … Another cool thing is solo travel. It’s a big learning experience. Everyone who did that enjoyed it.    


What is pretty much safe in the country?              

It’s generally safe in Europe, when you travel you just need to be smart and aware. Especially as a woman, do your research before you go.


Photo courtesy of Ellie Hokerson-Brun.


Three things you learned from studying abroad that stuck with you?   

One, the world is so big, there are so many people in it. When you live at home your whole life you are confined to this small bubble of what you know. But if you take the leap to get out of what you’re used to, there are so many people from different walks of life you can’t even imagine.

Two, the importance of relying on your community when you’re going through hard times. Everyone struggled at one point or another with something, whether it be health problems, home sickness or anything. We were really able to band together as a group of 90 students and a handful of faculty members. 

Three, honestly living in the moment. … Knowing that no two study abroad experience is going to look the same. Everyone has their own journey to go, and being mindful of that and not holding yourself to standards.

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Patricia Jones
Patricia Jones, Staff Writer
She loves breaking news stories and anything that grabs readers full attention. Growing up in Sacramento, Patricia didn’t get the privilege to see a lot of journalists that looked like her. This inspired her to go into the field of journalism, the best journalist she could possibly be.
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