GEO (Global Education Oregon)

GEO Study Abroad

About

At Global Education Oregon, we create pathways to international, experiential learning for students, faculty, and university partners. Founded on the belief that international engagement is integral to developing global citizens, we prepare students for a 21st century workforce, creating exceptional academic and professional development opportunities abroad.

Global Education Oregon (GEO) is a proud partner of Generation Study Abroad.

Website
geo.uoregon.edu
Founded
1957
Headquarters

5209 University of Oregon
300W Oregon Hall
Eugene, OR 97403
United States

Reviews

Gurjot
9/10
Yes, I recommend this program

This program is amazing for students looking for a study away opportunity that emphasizes experiential learning in the diverse, cultural hub of London! My classes at the GEO Centre introduced me to new and challenging topics in British culture, politics, literature and media. I especially had a great time in my "Britain Today" class where I learned about Brexit and visited Westminster Palace and the Scottish Parliament in Edinburgh with my classmates.

Students don't have classes on Fridays, so there is plenty of time to travel outside of England on the weekends and explore the rest of Europe as well. There's a lot to do in London too! The city has a great transportation system and you can take the tube to popular sites, museums, markets, etc . Spring break is also a great time to travel! During break, I traveled to Spain and Portugal.

The Liberal Arts in London program also comes with an internship option, which I would encourage everyone to take advantage of! I had the wonderful opportunity to work with a great media company and learn from my British coworkers about the UK broadcasting industry. The internship helped me branch out from the cohort of American students and socialize with more Londoners. I also really enjoyed the British home-stay option and the way I was able to create meaningful relationships with the family I stayed with. Overall, the GEO in London program opened up a whole new world of global perspectives and taught me that some of the best experiences lie right outside my comfort zone!

What was the most surprising thing you saw or did?
During our three day class trip to Edinburgh, Scotland for the required "Britain Today" class, a group of students and I climbed to the top of Arthur's Seat, the peak of an extinct volcano. I'm definitely not a hiker, so the trek up hill was difficult, but once I reached the top, the view was absolutely beautiful and worth the climb.
Olivia
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Getting the opportunity to be apart of this study abroad program was, hands down, the best experience of my young life. Our program directors were supportive and fun, our classes were captivating and enriching, the homestay families were so kind and helpful, the list goes on. I randomly decided to study abroad my junior year, I thought I just wanted a break from my university and meet some new people, but little did I know that being apart of this program would change my life so much. I can't recommend this program enough to students wishing to study abroad, you truly won't regret it.

If you did this all over again, what's one thing you would change?
I would change the amount I travelled on the weekends. Don't get me wrong, in the four months I lived in London I was able to see and experience so much (including visiting 7 other countries and 12 different cities) and the centrality of London really made that possible. However, I feel as though I took London for granted. Since we lived there, my friends and I thought using the weekend to go elsewhere and experience more of Europe was the right move. Again, I don't regret doing that, but I will say I missed out on quite a bit of London by going from my homestay to school and back Monday-Thursday and leaving Friday to explore a whole new place. If I got the chance to do one thing over again it would be to spend more time seeing as much of London as I possibly could and not casting it aside so much.
Elizabeth
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Studying abroad in Angers, France was an incredible experience. I drastically improved my French skills and I met some amazing friends. After this trip, I felt a lot more confident and independent as a French speaker, a traveler, and as a person.

I came to Angers in July 2018. I remember walking to the foyer I was staying in that first evening that I arrived in town, after a stressful day of travel, and feeling like I was in a fairytale. Angers is beautiful! There are cobblestone streets, charming white buildings surrounding them, and breathtaking sunsets every evening. It is the perfect town to study in. You can walk everywhere- to school, to the city center, to the lake, to the museum.

I took a mid level French language course at UCO. I had class Monday-Friday. The days in class are long, but you are learning a lot. I was given many breaks throughout the day as well. The TAs are very supportive and helpful; they made me feel so comfortable practicing my French. I also really enjoyed class because I got the opportunity to meet and speak with students from all over the world. Additionally, my credits transferred over easily to my school in the US, no issues!

The foyer that the program set me up with was great. I had my own bathroom, closet and desk in my bedroom. The garden out back was so dreamy and there was kitchen where you could prep and store all of your own food. Its location was phenomenal as well! The resident cat is a plus :)

Overall I loved this program! No complaints. I will cherish my time in Angers forever.

If you did this all over again, what's one thing you would change?
I would extend my stay a bit! I feel like my one month program was not quite enough. I think it would be great to study during a different season as well. Angers is definitely a university town and many of the students leave during the summer. Therefore, I didn't get much of a chance to meet French students and speak with them.
Robert
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Studying in France and touring Europe truly changed my life. Not knowing any French and traveling alone, I was beyond nervous to partake in this program, and some serious doubts and concerns crept into my head when I landed in Paris. However, my host mother made life very easy for me, especially in the first week when I had no idea what I was doing. But what really made the trip not only manageable, but completely worth it, was the amazing teachers and staff that worked at UCO. Because I was going to be on campus and in classrooms five days each week, I wanted to pick a program that would have an impact on me academically and culturally, and I ultimately chose this program because of its amazing reputation. But the experience was beyond what I had imagined. The university is filled with some of the most generous and exceptional teachers I have ever experienced. And not only was the staff great, but the students were a perfect mixture of foreign and American, ranging from no French skills to nearly fluent. I not only met some amazing people from Turkey, Mexico, and Japan, but I also made some great friendships with people from Colorado, Michigan, and Mississippi that could actually speak french and helped me survive. I was in class for 20 hours a week, while also taking an online class from my home university, and because the credit transfer was very generous, I received all A's and 29 credits for a single trimester! If education and academics is your sole focus, hands down this is the program for you.

However, it doesn't stop there. Because Friday classes end before noon, nearly every weekend I was able to hop on a train Friday afternoon and spend my weekend in a different city or country. I spent a four-day weekend in London and LOVED it, I travelled to Switzerland for a weekend, and not to mention Paris many times. France, and Angers specifically, are in great locations if you want to travel Europe. Trains can quickly and easily take you to Spain, England, Belgium, Netherlands, Germany, Switzerland, or even Italy. Plus, part of the program includes four different all-day field trips where you don't have to worry about travel and accommodations. So if traveling and seeing France and Europe is your primary goal, then I also believe this program is right for you.

Lastly, if you are worried about the homestay and living accommodations, there is nothing to fear. Although I arguably think my experience was the best out of everybody I met (my host-mother voluntarily cleaned my room once a week, helped me with laundry, made delicious meals, and was just incredibly kind), nobody that I talked to had bad experiences at all. Some students got to stay in larger families, or stay with other students, some stayed slightly outside of the downtown area, while some stayed within the city. I actually stayed with a single elderly lady all by myself. Her home was about 3 miles from campus and so she showed me how to use the public transit and the bus stop was just outside her door. My homestay was honestly perfect. So if you are worried about living with another family or living in a foreign country, this program will put all of your concerns away.

Overall, I think this program was amazing from top to bottom. The support staff, environment, and people along the way made this a truly life altering experience. Although I am biased, I think anybody considering studying abroad, or just considering an adventure, should really think about this program.

What was the most nerve-racking moment and how did you overcome it?
The most nerve-racking moments were when I had to deal with the big traveling experiences. Like landing in Paris for the first time I was a complete mess. I panicked trying to read a map, I was worried my train would leave without me, or worried I was on the wrong train. Thankfully, technology was able to help me every step of the way. I suggest bringing a portable phone charger everywhere you go, just in case.
Lydia
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Not to be too stereotypical, but my semester abroad in London with GEO was easily the highlight of my college experience! The program offered the ideal look into what London has to offer. London is a beautiful city, rich with culture and history, which the classes in the Liberal Arts program teach you all about! From going to plays and art museums nearly every week, to going to a city hall meeting, and attending a Scottish Parliament meeting, if you're wanting to experience the UK, this program is for YOU! I was also blessed with the most AMAZING host family who made me feel right at home. Having three day weekends also allowed for me to explore what Europe has to offer! I was able to visit five countries outside of England during my semester abroad. The professors realize that we are going to be traveling and experiencing the city during the weekends, so they do not give too much homework either. I cannot recommend this program enough!

What would you improve about this program?
Nothing - Everything was great! I just wish I could've stayed longer!

Programs

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Alumni Interviews

These are in-depth Q&A sessions with verified alumni.

Dillan Shouppe

Dillan is a University of Oregon alumni who spent her time as an undergraduate studying abroad in Greece and again in Japan. She jumps at the opportunity to travel and experience the world in any capacity.

Why did you choose this program?

I chose this program because I personally knew the staff member leading the trip, the shorter program would be a great first taste abroad, and who doesn’t want to earn college credit by eating food and learning about Greece’s historical culture?!

GEO Study Abroad is also very informative and helpful with any and every possible question I asked.

What did your program provider (or university) assist you with, and what did you have to organize on your own?

The only thing I organized on my own was booking my flight and getting to the group’s meeting point. Everything else they assisted with, and they even referred me to some great websites for affordable flights!

There were a couple of pre departure meetings to meet the other students in the program, what to expect, and how to prepare.

What is one piece of advice you'd give to someone going on your program?

Let loose, be social, and have fun! This trip was all about meeting people and learning about their take on food culture. There isn’t much time to feel alone because you aren’t! You have a group you grow to know well who are with you most of the time as well as people in Greece who are very entertaining and easy to talk to, so be in the moment now so you don’t look back on the experience with any regrets.

What does an average day/week look like as a participant of this program?

I hear it’s a little different now, but I’m sure it’s still a busy program. From early mornings to very late dinners in the evenings, the days are filled with private tours, farms, wineries, traveling to various cities, and more! There was so much to do every day it was hard to catch up on sleep. It was still so much fun, though!

Going into your experience abroad, what was your biggest fear, and how did you overcome it? How did your views on the issue change?

My biggest fear was traveling on my own away from friends and family. I know it’s a common fear, but as long as you ensure to meet people and make some of those connections on your own, you’ll be fine. Also, programs like this one already form groups ahead of time so there is already some familiarity before exploring another country, which was very helpful.

People can worry about the aspect of safety. Did you feel safe while studying abroad?

Safety measures were already brought up and explained. Past programs had students who had their phone and belongings stolen when out and about, so it’s crucial to keep an eye on your belongings at all times and bring the minimum with you. Already going in knowing that helped a lot and I never experienced any issues.

Staff Interviews

These are in-depth Q&A sessions with program leaders.

Silvia Minucci

Job Title
Site Director
Silvia Minucci earned her BA in foreign languages and literature from the University of Siena and Advanced Specialization in literary translation (Russian) from the University of Siena. Silvia serves as the Site Director at the GEO Siena Program. She holds an adjunct faculty appointment teaching the program’s Cross-Cultural Communication/Cross-Cultural Perspectives course. Having studied abroad herself, Silvia understands students’ adjustment difficulties as they adapt to living in another country.

What is your favorite travel memory?

When I went to Dublin, Ireland, where I studied while working as an au pair, I was very young and I had the hardest and best time in my life. It was very challenging at the beginning but it turned out to be a great learning experience.

When I came back I felt completely changed, much stronger and since then I have never stopped traveling and participating in study abroad programs in Oxford, London, Avignon and St. Petersburg, pushing myself out of my comfort zone.

How have you changed/grown since working for your current company?

I have grown very much since I started to work for this program in 1999. I love my job, as I love being with students and seeing how much they grow personally and academically. Each quarter I’m dealing with different personalities and it’s a continuous exchange of enthusiasm and energy which always renews my passion for this job.

What is the best story you've heard from a return student?

It’s a collection of stories that express their enthusiasm for an experience that has changed their life, but the sweetest story is about a student who was supposed to stay only one term but decided to stay one more to improve his language, and met the love of his life, another student in the program.

They have been engaged for many years and then they came back to Siena to get married! I feel so grateful to be part of a such an important experience. There is nothing more rewarding than a letter, a card or a just few words to thank you - “thank you again for the most wonderful, beautiful, amazing time I had. To this day, it is still the best experience of my entire life and I hold such a special place in my heart for Siena”.

If you could go on any program that your company offers, which one would you choose and why?

Of course, I would choose the Siena program if I wasn’t from there! I would be really excited to go to Ghana, because it’s such a different culture and I have never been there. However, I would go to any GEO programs, as I know that all the Site Directors have my same passion, enthusiasm and engagement for this job and their sites are in locations full of history and traditions.

What makes your company unique? When were you especially proud of your team?

Our most unique feature is our location: Siena is an ideal town for a study abroad program, large enough to offer many opportunities to study art, history, culture, tradition and Italian language, but small enough to be safe, friendly and packed with architecture and artistic treasure.

Students can walk around Siena and really “live” what they are studying in class.

Our team is like an extended family whose common goal is to offer a high quality program in a familiar environment. We're always ready and happy to help students with any needs.

What do you believe to be the biggest factor in being a successful company?

Working with enthusiasm, with engagement and with passion for the best of our students. Treating students with kindness and patience and always being available to meet their needs – this is what always seems to come back to us in positive evaluations from our students.

Professional Associations