Lone Star College Cy-Fair's study abroad program is changing lives
Samuel Washburn will be finishing his studies at the American University of Rome in pursuit of a new degree and a new career path through Lone Star College-Fairbanks Center, a study abroad opportunity.
In 2006, Washburn graduated high school a year early and went on to college. However, after two years at Blinn College, he quit and began working full time.
When he moved to Cy-Fair, he decided to make school his No. 1 priority and enrolled in Professor Rob Coyle’s history class at LSC-Fairbanks Center with a plan of raising his grades in order to transfer to Texas State University, where he’d major or minor in English and history. But a June 2011 study abroad opportunity application was placed on his desk by Professor Coyle.
In addition to earning credits in history with Professor Coyle and geography with Professor Buck Buchanan, Washburn spent three weeks of summer in Italy absorbing the culture, learning some of the language and the social aspects of another country, connecting with people and making lifelong friends.
In the fall, Washburn changed his academic and career focus. With his new 4.0 GPA, he applied to Texas State University, Texas A&M University and the American University of Rome.
This spring, Washburn is preparing for an Italian lifestyle, taking Italian and working to save money for his May return to Italy. He also plans to minor in English in hopes this could help him get a residential visa. Between semesters, he hopes to return to the Vesuvian International Institute and work for room and board.
Coyle and Buchanan believe a significant advantage to offering study abroad at the community college is the opportunity to reach students early in their college careers. Study abroad can serve to help students define their interests, see opportunities and to develop the discipline to undertake long-term projects.
Scholarship applications are due March 1 for Italy, with geography and history courses, and South Korea, with math courses; and April 1 for Sri Lanka, with an accounting course. For information, go to LoneStar.edu/study-abroad.
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