Offer students more courses to take abroad

Thasin Kamal, Columnist

Studying abroad is a great way for students of all majors to broaden their horizons. It can help develop their understanding of different cultures and enhance their overall learning. However, many students may not be able to find a class they want to take abroad that also fits into their degree plan.

Different majors and departments within UT must work to increase the number of courses that are available abroad to their students.

Studying abroad is important for all students, but some departments at UT offer more options to their students than others. For instance, the international relations and global studies major offers more programs abroad than marine sciences does

Although certain majors are more centered around international studies and are inclined toward studying abroad, all students should have more or less the same amount of study abroad courses available to them. Students should have a wide variety of courses to choose from that relate to what they are studying.

Biology freshman Priyanka Warrier expressed that she would be less likely to study abroad if she could not find a major-related course that she genuinely wanted to take. 

“I think it would be toward my senior year or something, but maybe something that has to do with my major, so something (related to biology) that I can take abroad”, Warrier said. “I think they should add more classes that should be taught abroad … more STEM-based for STEM majors and stuff like that.”

Like Warrier, students studying within different colleges at UT feel that there should be a greater variety of courses that are taught abroad and more closely related to what they are studying.

Stephen Russell, department chair of human development and family sciences and director for the School of Human Ecology, expressed his belief that studying abroad can benefit all students, including those in STEM.

“Imagine if everyone who was involved in STEM careers in the United States had deep knowledge and experience somewhere outside the United States. I think it would make a huge difference,” Russell said. “I think it would transform STEM.” 

All types of study abroad programs at UT should be encouraged, but many students do not feel comfortable studying abroad for an entire semester, so some may consider a Maymester. For a Maymester, a group of UT students are taught abroad exclusively by a UT professor in a different country. However, to complete a Maymester, any course that you want to take must be available abroad.

The different departments at UT can increase the number of classes that are taught abroad by creating more Maymesters. That way, professors from UT can instruct students abroad, and there would not have to be any reliance on whether or not the course is being taught independently by the universities abroad.

Studying abroad is essential for all students, and students from every area of study should have approximately the same number of options and availability when it comes to choosing courses to take abroad. Studying abroad is a great opportunity for students to further expand their experiences, but it can prove difficult when their options are limited. 

Kamal is an international relations/global studies and economics sophomore from Irving, Texas.