Two Salem State University students will take STEM courses in Merida, Mexico and Monteverde, Costa Rica on a full-scholarship provided by the Council on International Educational Exchange (CIEE).
Salem State study abroad coordinator Lauren Prema said the CIEE is fully funding the travels for students Elsy Sanchez of Chelsea, Massachusetts and Angelina DiMauro of Boynton Beach, Florida for this upcoming fall semester. It will cover all expenses for their study abroad experiences, including foreign tuition, travel, most meals, weekend excursions, and room and board in both locations.
Prema said, “CIEE has awarded many scholarships to Salem State, but this is the first time they have awarded full scholarships.”
The study abroad coordinator found that CIEE’s new program model, which follows the American higher education three-credit course system, allows for more flexibility and opportunities for STEM students at Salem State.
“It’s often difficult for students in STEM fields to find programs where they are able to fulfill degree requirements,” Prema said. “This CIEE STEM program is relatively new and it’s a wonderful opportunity for our students to remain on track academically and study abroad for a full semester.”
DiMauro, a geography major with a concentration in environmental sustainability, will first travel to Monteverde, Costa Rica in mid-August where she will spend 6 weeks studying at the Monteverde CIEE campus. After, she will spend six weeks at the Merida, Mexico CIEE campus before traveling back to Monteverde for a final six weeks, returning home in late December.
“I wanted to study in Monteverde because of Costa Rica’s unique geography, its biodiversity, and for its many active and dormant volcanoes caused by the convergent boundary beneath them,” DiMauro said.
Biology major Sanchez will travel first to Merida, Mexico this coming August where she will spend 12 weeks studying at the Merida CIEE campus. After which, Sanchez will study for six weeks at the Monteverde CIEE campus in Costa Rica until late December 2019.
While abroad, DiMauro plans to take many STEM courses, which will be taught in English, including Mayan to Modern Astrology and Cosmology; International Agriculture; and Biostatistics and Field Methods. Sanchez will be taking biology, chemistry, and laboratory courses, which will be taught in English, but the Spanish minor will also be taking immersion-style Spanish classes.
“STEM students are future doctors, researchers, engineers and scientists,” Prema said. “The skills and growth that students gain from an international experience cannot be taught in a laboratory or classroom.”