Editor, Daily Nexus,
As the campus faculty director of the Education Abroad Program, I want to reply to Matthew Weisner and Eddie Edelson’s opinion piece (“EAP Needs Greater Communication,” Daily Nexus, Feb. 16). First, I want to say that they are exactly right: As far as the Cape Town program is concerned, the candidates certainly needed better information about the limited number of spaces available and their chances of being admitted.
At our informational meetings in the fall, we try to give students an overview of the program, how many spaces we have, and what their chances are of being accepted. I don’t know if Matt or Eddie attended this meeting. In any case, they would have been able to get this information by contacting our South Africa advisor. She probably would have advised them to think also of other South Africa options at that early point.
But they are right in general about EAP students having “an excellent chance of getting approved.” For the large majority of our programs, this is the case: If you meet the qualifications, you’ll very likely be admitted. The problem is a small handful of impacted programs: Rome, for example, as well as Cape Town. Because we want everyone who qualifies to study abroad, our advisors are constantly working out alternate options for students who don’t make it into one of these programs.
The specifics of the South Africa situation explain the problem Matt and Eddie encountered. The fall option in Cape Town is new and UC has only eight spaces available university-wide. Each of the UC campuses was given just one space. But we do have two spaces available in spring and two for the yearlong program which also begins in the spring.
I appreciate the extensive preparation Matt and Eddie did for study abroad. We do try to get accurate information out to the some 850 students who apply to EAP each year. Sometimes our hard-working staff needs the question from you. Study abroad is complex business on both sides. But if you’ll work with us, we’ll get you abroad. And it will be worth the effort.