Director's Welcome

Greetings Alumnae and Alumni!

Starting this January, the UC Education Abroad Program will be observing its Fiftieth Anniversary. UCSB, the original and continuing home of the program, launched the first study-abroad venture in 1962 in Bordeaux, France. Since then EAP has grown significantly, and now boasts of more than 250 programs in 35 countries around the world. Thousands of UCSB students like you have taken advantage of these programs through the years, and I am very pleased to say that in recent years our campus leads all other UC campuses in EAP participation. Just imagine that twenty years ago fewer than 200 UCSB students took advantage of EAP. Now it is nearly 1000! In addition, we now host more than 400 EAP exchange students from more than 20 countries around the world, which further enhances internationalization and global learning on our campus.

The onset of EAP's Fiftieth Anniversary in 2012 provides us an opportunity to reflect upon how much the study abroad experience has meant to each of us. I know that you will never forget what you learned while on EAP—about your fields of study, about yourself, and about the world. I still have vivid memories of my first study-abroad time as a junior on an archaeological dig in Israel in summer 1971—more than 40 years ago. Those six weeks contributed significantly to the ways in which my life has developed ever since, both professionally and personally. To keep abreast of all the changes EAP has undergone in recent years, and about how it continues to serve UCSB students, I highly recommend perusing our annual newsletter Global Gaucho and visiting our Facebook and Twitter pages. Be sure to check back with us often this year to learn about special Fiftieth Anniversary programming.

As I pause to take stock of EAP's record of accomplishment and consider all the new opportunities it offers to UCSB students today, I worry that the current financial challenges facing the University of California are limiting students' ability to experience what we experienced in years past. The dramatic decline in state funding for higher education has led to significant increases in UC tuition and the addition of new EAP program fees has made it difficult for many potential participants to make EAP part of their undergraduate education.

We at EAP believe that study abroad is not a luxury but essential to a well-educated citizenry in the twenty-first century. It is critical to assuring UCSB's stature as a world class university. More UCSB students than ever are applying to EAP. While this is a cause for deep satisfaction in our office, it is also a source of anxiety as many of these students will have problems financing their travel abroad.

We provide all our students with information on financial aid and scholarships for study abroad but there is still a shortfall in funds for so many of the students who want to take advantage of the EAP experience. We have, consequently, created our own scholarship program to assist in defraying program expenses. Its aim is to make EAP accessible to all who qualify and to help prevent financial need from being a factor preventing students from applying or causing them to withdraw from the program because of the burden of debt they may have to otherwise take on. Please consider donating to our scholarship program now, and give others the opportunity to make the most of their undergraduate years by participating in EAP as you did. More information about giving to EAP is just a mouse click away.

In closing, one of the things I like most about being director is hearing from alumni and learning what EAP meant to them. If you wish to share your experiences, just fill in and submit the form below. I look forward to hearing from you soon.

Sincerely, 
Juan E. Campo 
Campus EAP director, UCSB 
Associate Professor of Religious Studies 
Affiliated Faculty, Department of Global and International Studies