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UTEP study abroad program offers students a new cultural mindset

Joel Molina
Judy Moore, Associate Director of the Office of International Programs and Study Abroad, believes that international experience can help you stand out in graduate programs and future jobs.

From the sun-kissed white beaches of Kenya to the highland paradise of Panama that lingers with a vibrant city and pure nature, is an adventure unique for travelers and the UTEP study abroad program offers that once in a lifetime college experience for UTEP students.  

UTEP’s study abroad program offers students the opportunity to travel and study in various locations, from exploring the Italian peninsula to learning about ancient culture in Peru. This experience goes beyond traveling but also broadens students cultural knowledge while granting the opportunity to study outside of America. 

Graduate student Mikaela Reyes studied abroad last summer in a faculty-led program in Spain for her speech-language pathology program. Reyes says she had the amazing opportunity to indulge in her learning while also exploring the stone castles the vibrant country offered.  

“It was a great experience aside from learning, we also got to learn about a whole different culture and country that also intertwines with our own culture,” Reyes said. “You immerse yourself in a whole different culture, which is cool, and I think this (is) something students should try.”   

Some students can be discouraged from studying abroad due to the high cost, but that was not an issue for Reyes. She says she credits financial aid and funding she received from the UTEP study abroad program to be able to make this trip a reality. 

“There is a lot of assistance at UTEP, the study abroad program helps a lot. I would look into scholarships, it can help you; some students did get much of their trip paid by UTEP and scholarships,” Reyes said. “I would not let the cost hinder or scare you because it’s doable.”   

Associate Director in the Office of International Programs and Study Abroad, Judy Moore, also discusses the importance of studying overseas and how it can help students stand out more.  

“It is not only helping you work towards graduation, but it is also helping you stand out when it comes to graduate school or job applications, it boosts your resume with that international experience,” Moore said. “When you get ready to leave UTEP it shows you went above and beyond, you took that extra step and initiative, it’s the whole UTEP Edge philosophy.”  

The Office of International Programs offers a variety of financial opportunities and scholarships to students and will provide guidance and support throughout the entire process. They help students by communicating with their advisors, obtaining passports from UTEP, and helping them choose the best travel options based on their degree plan 

“Our office has scholarships, almost every student who goes abroad gets at least some financial funding, and students can use financial aid, some things students may not always know,” Moore said. “We have programs that are short, a week or two and we have programs that are for a whole school year, we want students to do what they’re ready for.” 

Traveling abroad and leaving the bird’s nest for the first time might seem scary for some students, but Moore emphasizes the importance of traveling abroad as it helps students prepare and learn to adapt to the real world when they graduate.  

“If you get a job in Phoenix and it’s the first time you ever left El Paso you’re going to have to adapt and if you study abroad, you know how to adapt,” Moore said. “It’s different but it’s giving you the tools and skills to be more successful.” 

Students and incoming students interested in traveling and immersing themselves in a new culture while pursuing their academic studies can visit The Office of International Programs and Study Abroad website or their office in Union East for more information.  

Erik Acosta is the editor-in-chief and may be reached at [email protected] 

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About the Contributors
Erik Acosta, Editor-in-Chief
Erik Acosta is the editor-in-chief for The Prospector. He is a senior majoring in multimedia journalism with a minor in theatre. He plans to pursue a career in broadcast journalism and print with hopes of working at LA times, Washington Post and ABC News.
Joel Molina, Photo Editor
Joel is a graduate creative writing student at the University of Texas at El Paso. He is the photo editor who began his career at The Prospector in 2022. He hopes to continue providing the world and its people with different forms of storytelling that will hopefully make their day to day lives better.
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