How to escape Saint John without dropping out

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As the leaves start to change, and the favourite study spots begin to smell like pumpkin spice lattes; our brains turn to the horrors to come, not halloween, the real horror known as winter. If you are like us at the Baron, escaping is essential, and we’ve sent our reporter to figure out how to get away from Saint John, or the nasty winters without dropping out.

As it turns out, there are more than a few ways to get out of town, or away from the harsh winters while still earning those shiny university credits that we all crave.

One option available to UNBSJ students is to study at another university in a foreign country while earning credits toward their degree. This is generally for one or two semesters and, with a long list of locations to go to, there is probably a destination to fit anyone’s fancy, even those freezing Scandinavian countries for those freaky winter lovers.

Another popular option is to go on a field trip for up to six weeks with a specific department at UNBSJ. The biology department, which runs a trip every spring to the Bahamas, is one of the many examples. In order to apply for the various getaways, contact the department specific to the trip in mind. There are also opportunities available through the government of Canada, where UNB can set you up with a working abroad experience.

If you don’t want to miss out on the regular school year festivities here in Saint John, UNB also has opportunities for studying during summer break. This is similar to study abroad but in a shortened one semester period that allows students to continue on with their regular degree path without missing the regular school year, a great option for athletes or those students employed with the school during the year.

If you can’t find a study abroad option that works for you or one UNB is not included in, there is also a letter of permission option which means that the institution or program that is not UNB based can be used for credit, with a written letter of permission by the school.

In order to help ease the process of travelling to a foreign country, UNB has a number of resources to help out. One of the main resources a potential student abroad has access to is a step by step system on D2L to make sure all paper-work is filled out and documents are up to date prior to departure. Furthermore UNBSJ hosts sessions with travel nurses that have the knowledge to prepare students for all health obstacles they may face abroad.

Are you worried about lost luggage or culture shock? UNB has that covered too, with experts providing talks on how to handle anything that comes may come up during a study abroad experience.

The study abroad program is designed to complement the degree programs at UNBSJ as it allows students to select schools that offer courses in their program. Once that student is abroad they are graded on a pass/fail system which means that the GPA a student leaves UNB with will be the GPA they return to. This gives students the opportunity to enjoy the culture while still getting course credit, but not without having to worry too much about grades.

A major part of university is being able to learn more about yourself and one way to do this is to study abroad for one or two semesters. If you need a break from the hard winters of Saint John or maybe just want to experience new cultures this could be for you. It’s a great match for those who want to explore the world but do not want to inhibit the progress of their degree.

With partners in over 90 countries the student abroad program offer a large swath of options, and if you, like us, plan to escape for a while it might be worth looking into.

Check out unb.ca/exchange/index.html for more information on student abroad or contact studentabroad@unbsj.ca to set up an appointment.

The second deadline to apply is December 1st, 2015, it is open to all UNBSJ students second year and up with a 2.5 GPA or higher.