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Study abroad applicants receive decision letters

Sam Stryker | Tuesday, February 8, 2011

A world of possibilities was opened to Notre Dame sophomores Friday, as the Office of International Studies [OIS] mailed out decision letters regarding study abroad programs for the 2011-12 academic year.

Sophomore Augie Bossu, who was accepted to study in Bologna, Italy, in the spring of 2012, said he was happy to hear such positive news at the same time as many of his friends.

“The anticipation and hearing everyone else find out [was great],” he said. “I was getting nervous, but it was a relief and I am really excited.”

Bossu said anticipation for the decision letter has been building since the application was due Nov. 15, climaxing in the week before the results were released.

“[I was nervous] when I originally filled out the application back in November, but over break I almost forgot about it,” he said. “It was almost too long of a wait. This past week I was getting more nervous as people were talking about it on campus. The buzz came back.”

Sophomore Jenny Lesko was accepted to be one of the first Notre Dame students to study abroad in Dakar, Senegal, in the spring of 2012. She said while she isn’t familiar with the program, she is ecstatic to be studying in Africa for the semester.

“I am so excited. I called about 10 people when I got in, I was so happy,” Lesko said. “I don’t know much about the program yet. I like trying new things out.”

Lesko said the destination and the freedom of the program is what she is looking forward to the most.

“I’ve always wanted to go to Africa. It’s been a dream of mine,” she said. “It won’t be so structured, but that is good for me.”

Bossu said the travel opportunities offered by studying in Bologna are what he is most excited for in his study abroad experience.

“I definitely plan on travelling through Europe to see friends. I am just excited about all the possibilities because it is just so easy to get around everywhere in Europe,” he said. “I haven’t really planned anything yet, I just know it’s going to be so easy to go wherever you want.”

Lesko said she was anticipating the cultural opportunities at her disposal in Dakar.

“I am really looking forward to the field trips and staying with the host family. Apparently there is a lot of art and music,” she said. “It’s a huge city, about a million people, so there is a lot of stuff to do.”

Sophomore Jackie Bacon was accepted to study in Cairo, Egypt, in the spring of 2012. She said her excitement has been tempered by the recent civil unrest in the nation. Notre Dame students who began this semester in Cairo were evacuated out of the city Jan. 30.

“Everyone is excited about where they are going and who they are going with, but for me it is different,” she said. “I got in and I’m qualified, but I don’t know if I am going with all the turmoil.”

Bacon, an Arabic major, said her program of study requires specific classes not available at most study abroad sites.

“I have to be able to take Arabic where I go abroad to graduate in time, so I hope they can find a location where we can take Arabic,” she said.

Bacon said she remains hopeful OIS will be able to find a new site in the region, or the conflict in Egypt will be settled.

“I definitely would like to go somewhere in the Middle East or an Arabic-speaking nation than go to London and take Arabic classes,” she said. “Hopefully things can get settled in Cairo or they can set something up in Jordan or Morocco. As an Arabic major, I would prefer to go somewhere like there.”

Sophomore Jess Fay was waitlisted for the London program.

She said after talking with OIS, she remains optimistic she will be able to spend a semester in the country.

“It is upsetting, it’s sad. I talked to OIS and they told me to still have hope,” she said. “I applied for summer right before because I was nervous, so I was on the right track.”

Fay said at this point, there is not much else she can do besides wait and hope for good news.

“I’m keeping my fingers crossed that everything will work out in the end,” she said.