Expanding options to study abroad

Fortunately, study abroad is no longer the sole domain of vacationing college youths; nor is it confined to touring the labyrinths of Florentine can still polish his German museums or surveying Amiens architecture.

These stereotypes have faded as summer study has drawn older persons seeking unconventional experiences off the beaten path. To be sure, the college sophomore at the Goethe-Institut, but many people of all ages are discovering the pleasures of studying tropical forestry in Costa Rica or weaving in an Athens studio.

The Institute of International Education reports that summer study coordinators, taking stock of the national surge in adult education, have broadened their programs to accommodate the traveler who also seeks a learning experience. Flexible enrollment periods and liberal curricula often permit the voyager to incorporate a foreign-study program into his travel plans.

Many foreign study programs combine picture-taking with some other recreational or artistic discipline and a few offer pure photography.

Students seriously and solely interested in photography can study the art for five weeks in London under the auspices of a Midwestern university. Enrollees can receive up to six credits for the course (credit award is at the discretion of the student's home institution and should be arranged beforem departure).

A more typical curriculum -- in a less typical ambiance -- uses photography as a component of biological observation. Travelers may enroll in a wide variety of natural and anthropological expeditions in diverse corners of the globe, from the Scottish Highlands to New Guinea, all sponsored by a private West Coast concern. It is not unusual for group leaders to be experts in their fields, so that voyagers can receive zoological and botanical instruction even as they snap their shutters.

The third summer photography genre is a multimedia art curriculum. From April to September in Britain, students can study photography in a university, tied in with calligraphy, video, china painting, genealogy, folk dance, music, antiques, and painting. Tuition is about $:12 per day (minimum two days).

Whether your interest is framing Zuni Indians in your camera lens or studying the literature of a foreign country, there is a program for you. More than 60 nations on 6 continents host more than 900 programs. These are listed in "The Learning Traveler; Vacation Study Abroad" (formerly "Summer Study Abroad"), which is published annually in late winter by the Institute of International Education. For precise information on program dates, costs, housing, methods of instruction, and application procedures, you may order the catalog from IIE, Information Services Division, 809 United Nations Plaza, New York, NY 10017. The price is $8 (include 75 cents regular postage and handling, $1.50 for first class).

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