Study abroad changes: Prioritizing

“We live in a culture that puts sports above
academics.” (Photo by Stephany Reyes)

By Kira Roberts, Layout Editor

Let me just preface this by saying that my intention is not to attack the school in any form or fashion, but simply to express my concerns about the system in general.  

As you may have heard, there have been some rumors going around about the changes in financial aid for study abroad students.  Specifically, the one that comes to mind is that academic scholarships may not transfer for studying abroad.

I understand that the school has important reasoning behind big changes like this; however, I can’t bring myself to understand how it’s acceptable for a university of any kind to keep students in a bubble and not support them in attaining real world experience.

So far the only thing I’ve heard anything about is academic money, but I can’t help but wonder, if academic scholarships don’t count, why would athletics? After all, the school wouldn’t be supporting students to play sports at a different school; they would be helping broaden their horizons and improve their global vision as they transition into the real world after graduation.

Even before I got wind of this latest conflict, I have always struggled with the way the school system works.  I feel like we live in a culture that puts sports above academics, no matter how many times you emphasize the word placement in “student-athlete.”  How is it that athletes get paid thousands and thousands more in scholarships than brilliant and/or hard working academes (not to say that there aren’t people who fit in both categories)?

I know it’s strange for me to be bothered by this since I am an athlete, but it’s hard to understand how schools can pour money into developing athletic ability that is only going to matter for four years (for most athletes) but don’t put nearly as much into the academic realm, which is much more important in the grand scheme of things.  In my opinion, what you learn in school and the experiences that come along with it are what are going to make a lasting impact, not only on individual students, but also on the effect our generation will have on the world (as dorky as that sounds).

Ever since freshman year I have wanted to study abroad in Australia.  It’s been a dream of mine since middle school to live there at some point, but because I am an athlete, the only semester I will have off is my very last one.   If it doesn’t work out because of finances, I know I will find a way to go soon after college, but it would be a tragic thing for any student to not be able to go because of a surprise like this one.