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Hofstra study abroad pricier than competitors

By Lauren MansleySPECIAL TO THE CHRONICLE

Hofstra students are spending at least $4,000 more than other universities in New York to study abroad.

For Georgina Kostopoulos, a senior marketing and management student, a study abroad trip through Hofstra was out of the question because tuition fees alone were too expensive. Georgina did research and found Stony Brook University’s study abroad programs for almost half the price of those offered at Hofstra. As a result, she was able to go on two study abroad trips. She went to Italy during summer 2012 and London during summer 2013.

In a four-week program at London, Georgina paid approximately $3,650 in program fees that included housing, two meals per day, excursions, books and international health insurance. In addition, she booked her own round-trip flight totaling approximately $1,100.

The London program had a 6-credit course load. New York residents paid $245 per credit while non-residents paid $742 per credit, according to the Stony Brook University Study Abroad website. For a New York resident the entire trip would total approximately $6,500, while a non-resident would pay approximately $9,500.

In contrast, there was a Summer 2013 program that visited Paris, Nice and Monaco from June 27 to August 1. Students were charged a program fee of $4,590, which included round-trip airfare, hotel accommodations, travel expenses, excursions and some meals, according to Hofstra’s Study Abroad website. In addition, students had to pay for 6 credits of Hofstra classes totaling approximately $6,000. The entire trip totaled approximately $11,000.

Many students would like to study abroad but find the big price tags of Hofstra’s programs disheartening and eventually give up on the idea of going at all.

The high costs of Hofstra’s study abroad programs should not discourage students who want to see the world. There are several other universities besides Stony Brook who offer similar programs for a much more affordable cost.

According to the 2012 Study Abroad Guide through SUNY, the system of public schools offers 600 programs in nearly 50 countries. They have opportunities for students attending any college who live in any state. The guide says, “We continue to work to make education abroad accessible, viable, secure and a rewarding option for our students.”

Some of these programs include a trip through SUNY Fredonia to Russia. Students went on a 3-credit trip to Russia during summer 2013 for approximately $4,600 for New York State residents and $5,600 for out-of-state residents.

Another trip through SUNY Cortland is going to Cork, Ireland, for four weeks during summer 2014. The approximate cost of that trip is $5,900 for New York residents and $6,700 for out-of-state residents.

Although a heftier price tag is attached with the Hofstra study abroad programs, they might be that way for a reason. Michael Papirmeister, a senior public relations major, went on Hofstra’s winter program at Venice. One of the reasons he chose the program was that the University offered a public relations course that went towards his major. Papirmeister took a class called “International Relations” in which the students had to make a blog about their experiences abroad.

“I’m not sure if I would choose another program solely based on price, because Hofstra’s was so well-planned,” said Papirmeister.

But, Maria Fixell, assistant dean for the Office of Study Abroad Programs at Hofstra, highly suggests that students go abroad through Hofstra programs. She admits that programs through other universities can be less expensive.

“In recent years, financial aid is a priority,” said Fixell. Since Hofstra programs can’t fully accommodate all majors, students can choose to do a non-Hofstra program. Fixell mentioned that a benefit of a Hofstra study abroad program is the opportunity to easily transfer its credits towards a student’s major.

Although it is ideal to study in another country, Hofstra’s study abroad program might not for everyone – especially if students cannot afford it.

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