The UCSB Education Abroad Program is now offering dual-country programs along with a new lineup of travel destinations.

Beginning Spring 2013, EAP will offer 10-week programs in which students studying abroad can split their international experience into two separate parts and, if they choose, two separate countries. Students can apply for the specialized programs, which also feature classes taught in English, until Nov. 30. Programs currently being offered include London-Paris and Madrid-Rome as well as the singular country program Hong Kong-Shanghai.

EAP Regional Adviser Patrick O’Donnell said students engaging in these courses can select which of the two cities they want to spend their first five weeks, adding that the new programs are also helpful for students with certain academic or time-related limitations.

“It’s a great way to dip your toe in international living,” O’Donnell said. “If students don’t have time to study abroad or they have a credit crunch [then] this program is ideal for them.”

Beyond the new dual programs, EAP has also branched into entirely new regions, providing students with the option to study in countries like Morocco and Brazil. According to O’Donnell, EAP has a strong partnership with Morocco, which would help American students enhance their understanding of the Arab world.

UC EAP is also developing more opportunities within its pre-existing sites, such as Madrid’s Carlos III University’s addition of broader sets of classes available to a higher number of majors.

EAP Regional Adviser Emily Tom-Atzberger said attending higher education classes in another country is a valuable opportunity, particularly if students opt for full-year programs.

“Academically, it’s amazing to see how your major can be taught from a different perspective … It’s nice to be taught by a different professor from a different culture,” Tom-Atzenberger said. “We do encourage our students to go for the full academic year versus doing two separate programs. If you go for the year, you spend the first semester figuring things out and then the second semester, you can start classes without really getting lost.”

Molly Highman, a third-year peer adviser at EAP, said she can relate to students who consider dividing their international experience between multiple countries as it can provide a more multifaceted cultural experience. Highman, who spent seven weeks in Sweden last year before venturing to Tanzania for five months, said spending time abroad is the best way for individuals to gain an understanding of humankind globally.

“I think everyone should consider studying abroad … Earth is what we know; this is our home and we might as well get to know it as well as we can,” Highman said. “People sometimes have regrets about not studying abroad [so] they should just go.”