While getting my daily fix of facebook stalking yesterday, I discovered something which deserves displacing my usual "how-to's" and cultural mockeries:
Domestic study abroad.
That's right. One of my high school friends, who is going to school more or less close to home, is taking a semester to do an "off-campus study." She's trying to decide between Ohio and Kentucky.
For those of you who may not be well-acquainted with the floor plan of the United States of America, Oklahoma is about twice as far as both of those states from Massachusetts (where we're both from).
This heavily punctuated post may seem like I'm bitter--not the case at all! I just find it terrifically ironic that my school is farther away than her big semester in a distant land it going to be.
I did some web surfing to find out if lots of schools offer this type of thing, or if she just went to some off-the-wall homebody college-for-the-culturally-timid. Happily, it's the former (and her college is entirely normal--they offer "regular" study abroad in foreign countries as well). A good number of colleges have specific exchange programs set up for students to spend a semester in other states or regions. You could even do your own domestic study abroad if they didn't, I suppose. As long as they accepted transfer credit.
I can see the benefit of the program. No currency exchange, no customs hassle, no fear of sudden coup-d'etats or language barriers.
So here's my question: Does this mean that I automatically get study abroad credits? I mean, we've talked about culture shock, that has to be worth something.
At the very least, I demand a study abroad stipend to help pay for the gas back home! Call it an educational expense.