This fall, Montclair State University is offering a new study abroad program, giving students the opportunity to explore different universities in the United States.
Instead of traveling to a foreign country, students have the chance to visit more local universities in a number of states or in the neighboring lands of Puerto Rico and Canada.
Montclair State University President Susan Cole recently joined the National Student Exchange Program and believes that students don’t get a chance to see their own country.
“We have this great big country here, and we worry about [students] studying abroad,” Cole said. “What about their studying abroad at home?”
The program is set to send students out in the fall of 2019. Currently, six students plan to attend different universities, and 11 students from other schools will be attending Montclair State University.
Sophomore television and digital media major Lauren Cabrera believes that studying abroad in the U.S. is a good opportunity for people who are pursuing a career in this country.
“I would enjoy the program here in the U.S. because I live here, and I plan to work here in the future, so it will give me more job opportunities,” Cabrera said. “Also, depending on where a person may choose to study, they might enjoy it there better and move.”
After graduating, many students are granted with job opportunities that are sometimes out of state. By experiencing other states, students could potentially be encouraged to take a job somewhere other than New Jersey or realize they want to stay in-state.
Vice President for Student Development and Campus Life Karen Pennington said that students who are planning to further their education out of state want to experience it first.
“Three students are going to Boston, and I know that two of those students plan to go to graduate school in Boston,” Pennington said. “They wanted to try it out before they actually made that leap.”
Studying closer to home also benefits people who aren’t ready yet to travel far away and would rather stay local. Many people want the experience of studying abroad but have never been on a plane before. This program can act as a baby step for new travelers.
Undeclared freshman Caitlin Janoff is interested in this program since she agrees that some students want the study abroad experience without the long distance.
“It’s awesome we get to travel in the U.S.,” Janoff said. “Some people don’t feel comfortable traveling too far away but still want the experience of studying abroad.”
One of the most important reasons for this program coming to Montclair State is the ability to give students an equal chance at traveling out of New Jersey despite financial or lifestyle hardships.
“This is an opportunity that they might not have else had, so it’s really exciting,” Pennington said.