Overseas wanderlust amidst the pandemic

An information session hosted by the International Programs (IP) at California State University, Monterey Bay (CSUMB) took place outside of the Otter Student Union on Oct. 6. Current international exchange students, along with former students who have studied abroad, and staff answered questions students might have about studying abroad.

Julio Castro, Education Abroad advisor, was able to confirm that exchanges will happen in-person. 

“Currently, we have four students abroad in Italy, Israel, South Korea and Germany,” Castro said. “Next semester, there will be even more students abroad.” 

Castro states where students can go depends on the country’s travel restrictions, but countries that are listed on the IP website are currently safe.

“If those were to suddenly change, we will offer the student an alternative location, postpone their exchange a semester or ask if they want to stay at CSUMB,” Castro said.

On the topic of how different exchange semesters are now compared to previous years, Castro mentioned safety protocols that students have to follow, in addition to changing entry requirements of countries. 

Host countries’ current COVID measures vary greatly.

“Students in South Korea are currently attending all their classes virtually,” Castro said, “while our students in Italy have everything in-person.”

Some of the countries students can currently choose from are South Korea, Japan, Taiwan, Ghana, Israel, Germany, France and Spain. Unfortunately, due to entry requirements, CSUMB is not able to offer exchanges to countries such as Australia and New Zealand.

Castro advises students who are interested in doing an exchange to contact them. 

“Come to our information sessions called Education Abroad 101,” Castro said. “We cover many topics such as information about exchange semesters, how to finance it, amongst many things. What many people don’t know is that there are many scholarships out there, and students receiving CSU financial aid can even use that to fund their study abroad.”

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