Villanova University making study abroad a possibility
Learn what to consider if you want to be part of the student abroad program.
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Villanova University was founded by the Order of Saint Augustine (OSA) in 1842 in Villanova, a suburb of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Today, it remains a co-educational Roman Catholic Institution upholding its commitment to the Augustinian ideals.
As part of its academic offerings, the institution has the Office of Education Abroad (OEA) to provide students with opportunities to intern, network, and pursue studies in foreign countries through a comprehensive vetting process.
AL DIA had the pleasure of interviewing Liz Campanella, Director of Education Abroad programs as she shared how the study abroad programs work —academic discovery, personal growth, cultural intelligence and career development are some of the ways Villanova’s study abroad programs prepare students.
“All Villanova students are eligible to participate in study abroad,” said Campanella. “We are able to find a program that will meet a student’s academic needs and personal goals as long as they start planning early with us. We are pretty successful in getting our students accepted into the programs they’re interested in participating.”
Ideally, students interested in participating in study abroad should start preparing at least nine to ten months before they plan to go abroad.
Campanella mentions the OEA “loves working with first year students because they are just figuring things out—we can talk to them about the options that are available and what might make the most sense for them early, rather than a week before deadline.”
How it works
Study abroad programs can be short-term or long-term. Villanova offers programs for master’s students, which is more limited than undergraduate study abroad programs.
“The majority of our students that participate in study abroad are our undergraduate students,” Campanella reiterates.
The MBA office does offer their own short-term international programming and the Law school also offers their own longer term international programming.
An important component in the study abroad process is funding— the student will be paying Villanova tuition while abroad, but they don’t pay Villanova room and board, instead they would pay room and board to their host country.
“Depending on the cost of living, where they’re going—it could be more expensive or less expensive than being at Villanova,” explained Campanella.
Villanova does offer scholarships for Study Abroad and International Experiences. Campanella does advise students to apply for external scholarships that can help defray the cost of those non-tuition related expenses.
According to NAFSA reports, the majority of U.S. study abroad takes place in Europe with 44% of students studying in just five countries: Spain, Italy, the United Kingdom, France, and Ireland.
The OEA also offers the Global Key Ambassador organization, comprise of returned study abroad students that will help navigate future participants through the study abroad process and share personal experiences—students are surveyed upon their return to assess their overall experience abroad.
Arts and Business majors are more involved in study abroad programs because of their flexible curriculum. However, “we have seen great success in sending engineers and science students abroad as well,” added Campanella.
The higher education institution offers a plethora of semester programs like Business and Culture in the Italian Context, French Language and Culture in Lille, Irish Studies in Galway, Nursing Year in Manchester, Spanish Language and Culture in Cádiz, and internships.
Some programs do offer internships opportunities as part of the academic experience, most are unpaid but would be for credit.
“Students don’t need to find their own internships prior to going abroad,” Campanella explained. “We work with overseas partners that would help students source international internships overseas.”
For a list of Villanova’s Summer programs click here.
Villanova takes the safety of its students as a top priority. It has a list of online resources for students while abroad, and ensures active monitoring of host locations where students are studying.
The University has established strong country partners that are able to monitor the rising situations in the country and inform of rapidly changing circumstances.
“They can keep us abreast of trends and things that we need to be talking to our students about,” Campanella explained. “Covid numbers are certainly one of many factors—we’re monitoring and being aware of.”
Villanova works with the International SOS, which provides Villanova students with 24 hour overseas emergency assistance services. Additionally, students are given a handbook with safety guidelines and precautions to follow while abroad.