All posts by Sara Bruya

SPC remains a leader in Study Abroad in U.S.!

The Institute of International Education ranks
SPC among top programs in the nation in 2019

SPC ranks #7 in the nation for short-term study abroad programs for Associate Colleges. SPC also ranked #3 in Florida and #11 in the nation for Associate Colleges sending students abroad in all programs, according to the 2019 Institute of International Education (IIE) Open Doors report.  The Center for International Programs (CIP) has worked hard with all stakeholders to ensure SPC provides various international opportunities to students.

SPC Students study dental hygiene in Jamaica.
Study Abroad in Jamaica 2018 – Dental Hygiene Students

This high ranking is due to the support of the college through fiscal and infrastructure support, substantial Study Abroad scholarships available through the SPC Foundation, and faculty and deans developing active learning syllabi that are creative and relevant to the program countries. The SPC international programs team does a great job in promoting the programs and working one-on-one with students throughout the process. Our study abroad alumni praise the programs every year.

The Center for International Programs currently has ten programs planned for the 2019-2020 academic year.

For a full list of the programs click here!!! | 727-341-4731 |

Explore art history and contemporary culture in Germany – May 2020!

Apply by December 9, 2019

Join faculty Li-Lee Tunceren and Jonathan Barnes to explore the historically and culturally rich cities of Berlin, Potsdam, and Hamburg! This Study Abroad Program highlights both Berlin’s storied past and its vibrant contemporary culture.

Travel dates are conveniently set between the end of spring and start of summer terms, May 9-17, 2020. Enrollment in one or both of the Spring semester courses listed below is required. Join this program for a unique and unforgettable learning experience!

Students stand in the Nazi headquarters one moment and navigate the city’s eco-friendly infrastructure the next. Since the fall of the Berlin Wall, this city has evolved into one of the most eclectic, exciting, and multicultural communities to explore in Europe!

Li-Lee Tunceren and students in Germany, 2018.

Courses offered (Spring term):

ENC 1102: Composition II – Li-Lee Tunceren
ARH 1000: Understanding Art – Jonathan Barnes

Students earn 3 or 6 credits taking Composition 2 and/or Understanding Art during spring semester, 2020. German culture, history, literature, art, and architecture studied in class come to life when exploring Berlin, Potsdam, and Hamburg.

To view more details, the trip itinerary, costs for students, and to apply,
click here.

Experience Spanish Language Immersion in Spain with SPC – June 2020!

Spain 2017 Study Abroad program

Apply by February 28, 2020

Are you ready to immerse yourself in Spanish language and culture?
Join lead faculty Roxana Levin for three weeks in Salamanca, Spain! Practice and grow your Spanish proficiency in this 3-week intensive language immersion program.

Live with a host family, take daily Spanish lessons with native speakers, participate in local cultural celebrations, and explore the beautiful city and surrounding area, with daily activities and an optional weekend excursions to San Sebastian and Biarritz.

The three-week intensive language experience is coordinated by SPC and Estudio Sampere– a NAFSA affiliate accredited by Spain’s Instituto Cervantes, the most well-recognized international accreditation body for Spanish language instruction.

Classes are offered at all levels and are taught by Spanish professors five days a week. The instructional program includes 20 language lessons addressing function and communicative skills, plus five cultural lessons per week. Cultural activities and tours reinforce the student’s proficiency in the language and appreciation of the culture.

To view more details, the trip itinerary, costs for students, and to apply,
click here.

High School Study Abroad in The Alps! Summer 2021

Apply by December 4, 2020

Join SPC faculty Kelly Rich and Earl Fratus for an amazing and educational trip to Germany, Switzerland, Austria, and Liechtenstein.

Our journey will take us through the Alps region of four countries where we will visit 450-year-old salt mines, the birthplace of Mozart, and the small country of Liechtenstein–an important center of banking and commerce–as well as many alpine mountain passes and villages along the way.
We will encounter the lives of many famous historical figures, from poets to kings and queens, to Nobel laureates–while on location in their homelands.

As part of the service-learning component of the program, we will also take time to reflect in Dachau, a WWII Nazi concentration camp which today operates as a memorial museum.

Travel with us along medieval streets, climb to the top of the Swiss Alps (on a cog railway), enjoy a true German cultural festival, and indulge in the rich and fantastic foods of these regions!

Courses offered:

INR 2002H – International Relations, Honors
IDH 2634H – Service Learning, Honors

To view more details, the trip itinerary, costs for students, and to apply,
click here.

Florida International Leadership Conference accepting applications!

Apply to attend the FREE Florida International Leadership Conference (FILC) January 31 – February 2, 2020!

Are you interested in participating in the FREE 2020 FILC? Watch this video to learn more!

The deadline for applications is Friday, October 25, 2019.

What: International and Study Abroad students from Florida schools will get together to learn leadership skills during a fun and relaxed camping trip.

When: Friday, January 31 to Sunday, February 2, 2020

Where: Camp Cloverleaf, Lake Placid, Florida

Cost: SPC will pay for registration, meals, accommodations, and transportation.


For more information, contact Angela Cole
SPC Center for International Programs
Phone: 727-791-2632

SPC study abroad scholarships available!

Study Abroad Scholarships Deadline
Scholarship applications are now being accepted for our 2019-2020 Study Abroad Programs.

Think you can’t afford to study abroad? Scholarships are available each year for SPC Study Abroad programs.

**All scholarship application deadlines are November 1, 2019.**

View program details and apply to our current programs here: England, Italy, New Zealand, Japan, Costa Rica. (The Namibia program is full; scholarships available to accepted students).

To apply for scholarships, please visit the links below.

Study Abroad Scholarship
You may be eligible for a scholarship to study abroad with St. Petersburg College.  Apply NOW!

SPC Foundation Scholarship
SPC students can apply for the Foundation Study Abroad Scholarship. Instructions: Once you’ve completed the general foundation scholarship application apply for Study Abroad via the Opportunities tab. Apply NOW!

Questions? Don’t hesitate to contact us. We are here to help you!

Please see your financial aid advisor to discuss how study abroad scholarships may affect your financial aid. | 727-341-4735 |

SPC student observes animal life, learns desert farming techniques in Israel

Studying scorpions, catching rain water, and honoring an Israeli hero during study abroad in Israel.

– Christopher Sorhage, SPC Student, Israel Program, May 2019

After enjoying the sun rise and the view from the over look into the Ramon crater, we all headed back to the hostel to get ready for the day and eat breakfast. After breakfast we loaded our bottles with water, climbed on the bus, and headed off to explore the Negev desert.

We arrived at a road which had squads of the Israeli Defense Force to the right who were practicing their marksmanship, and on the left side there was a farm.

A farm in the Negev Desert. Photo by Christopher Sorhage.

While at this location we went on a small hike where we looked at the small amounts of plant life which grew in the area. After looking around we came across a line of rock which had been laid by people who lived there back in biblical times. This wall of rocks, which was only 2 to 3 rocks high and loosely packed, was called a terrace. It was used to trap water and the soil that the water carried. These terraces are the key to farming in the desert.

The terrace. Photo by Christopher Sorhage.

After learning about the terrace, we took the time to fix a hole that had been made in the wall and moved on to where the farm was located.

On this active farm you could see terraces which were constructed in the last decade and looked identical to the one which was constructed 2000 years ago. There was no water while we were there, but we were shown a picture of what the farm looks like when it does rain/flood. The terrace collects enough water to be waist deep.

After seeing the farm, we left to go out and get lunch and then went to the Ramon Memorial Center. This center was dedicated to the first Israeli astronaut, llan Ramon. We walked in and saw a replica of the Colombia Space Shuttle and the suits that he wore.

We learned about his family and his history–that he died in the Colombia accident which was a tragic loss to Israel. In a small theater we watched a movie about him and his family. Their history is a sad story and the movie left many of us with teary eyes. I encourage you to look up this man and his contributions to Israel.

A captured scorpion. Photo by Christopher Sorhage.

Finishing the tour at the memorial center we headed back to the hostel. After dinner we got ready for a night hike to go hunting for scorpions.

There we used small UV flashlights which made the scorpions fluoresce, making it possible to find them. They glowed in a cool blue green color which is easy to spot. While out there we split into several groups and found at least fifteen scorpions. When we were done, we all headed back to the hostel and got ready for bed.

Sunrise at the Ramon Crater. Photo by Jordan Shirley.

Today was an amazing day for me. Having never been to a true desert, hiking in one was quite an experience for me and many others. Seeing the techniques used to make farming possible in such a hostile environment was intriguing. Learning of Israeli hero llan Ramon was sad, yet also a good experience for me. The scorpion hunting was awesome and an eye opener to find so much life in such a desolate-seeming place.

Finally, my favorite part of the day had to have been the start, watching the sun rise. It was one of the most beautiful things I have seen and I’m glad I made the time to get up and see that beautiful sight.

– Christopher Sorhage, SPC Student, Israel Program, May 2019

Thank you for sharing Christopher!

Questions? Don’t hesitate to contact us. We are here to help you! | 727-341-4735 |

SPC student meets Nemo and Dory while snorkeling in Israel

Many new underwater experiences–wetsuits, sand-less beaches, sea cucumbers, and harmless jellyfish–during study abroad in Israel.

– Bethany Febre, SPC Student, Israel Program, May 2019

Today was an amazing day! We stayed at a hostel in Eilat last night that had the most beautiful view–nothing you could ever see in Florida, it was just absolutely breathtaking.

The main thing on our itinerary for the day was snorkeling in the Red Sea. After breakfast, we took a short bus ride to the dive club down at the southern end of Eilat. On the bus ride we passed by the border between Israel and Egypt which was amazing to see.

When we got to the dive club, we rented gear to snorkel. They gave us a wetsuit, a mask, and a snorkel. I had never worn a wetsuit before, and I couldn’t believe how tight it was!

The southern border between Egypt and Israel.
Photo by Bethany Febre.

We then headed down to the beach which was nothing like I was expecting. The water was crystal clear, I could see right down to the bottom and see all the fish and coral with no issues.

However, the sand here is non-existent! Literally, the entire “beach” is rock, there is no sand. Needless to say, my feet got a bit torn up because I forgot my water shoes. The water was also a bit shocking because it was FREEZING. The water was about 70 degrees Fahrenheit, which is much too cold for me, even with the wetsuit!

The under-water view was definitely worth the freezing cold water though. The coral was beautiful and actually had so much color to it, no picture can do it justice. Along with the coral I saw other amazing marine wildlife, but the thing that shocked me the most was the amount of sea cucumbers I saw; there were so many! I saw so many black sea cucumbers, which literally just look like a sea slug.

A moon jelly in the Red Sea. Photo by Bethany Febre.

The most awesome thing about the entire snorkel was that I saw the entire Finding Nemo cast. On the side of one of the coral reefs was a sun anemone and I actually saw a family of twoband anemonefish (clownfish) swimming in and out of the anemone. I also saw so many yellowtail surgeonfish, which aren’t the same fish as Dory, but they do look a lot alike! There was an overwhelmingly abundant number of brown surgeonfish which, sadly, aren’t as beautiful to look at, but it was still super cool!

The weirdest thing about the entire snorkel was the moon jelly. The moon jelly is a type of jellyfish that doesn’t sting. They just float around in the water unproblematically, and you can even pick them up and grab them with no problem. The day was absolutely amazing, but it was exhausting. Going back to the hostel and showering had never felt so good, and once my head hit the pillow I was out like a light! All in all, it was such an amazing and beautiful day–definitely something that I will never forget!

– Bethany Febre, SPC Student, Israel Program, May 2019

Thank you for sharing Bethany!

Questions? Don’t hesitate to contact us. We are here to help you! | 727-341-4735 |

Explore tropical ecology and astronomy in Costa Rica – Summer 2021!

Apply by February 1, 2021

Witness the biodiversity of Costa Rica! Students will explore the majestic tropical forests, waterfalls, volcanoes, and hot springs of Costa Rica while learning the fundamental ecological principles at work in these systems. We’ll look at the global consequences of tropical deforestation/ degradation and the conservation efforts countering these threats.

Course offered:

BSC 2362: Tropical Ecology – Jim Wallis

To view more details, the trip itinerary, costs for students, and to apply,
click here.

Cover photos: Venus y Marte by Al-Demon, Wikimedia Commons [CC BY-SA 4.0]. La catarata del Toro en Costa Rica by Steve Jurvetson, Wikimedia Commons [CC BY 2.0]. Two-toed sloth Costa Rica, derivative work: Stevenj. Original photo by Leyo, Wikimedia Commons [CC BY 2.5].

SPC high school student gets a lesson in hot and cold in Canada

Preparing for cold temps, finding warm feelings and discovering one’s comfort zone during study abroad in Canada

– Chloe Bean, SPC High School Student, Canada Program, January 2019

Despite the temperature in Montreal and Quebec City being below zero most days, my study abroad trip left me with a warm feeling in my heart and a bad case of the travel bug.

I was nervous to go to Canada in January. How is a Florida girl supposed to survive an actual winter? I’m usually wearing a coat if it gets below 60 degrees! For this adventure, I bought a completely new winter wardrobe and was prepared to take on the arctic weather.

On the plane ride to Montreal, I quickly bonded with the other study abroad students and felt comfortable going out of my comfort zone with them.

Photo courtesy of Chloe Bean.

I had my first experience hiking an icy mountain the same day we arrived. It was then that I knew I was in for an experience of a lifetime.

Over the next week, we were immersed in the Francophone culture of Montreal and Old Quebec City. From history museum tours, to snowball fights, to authentic cuisine, and even a tour of an indigenous people’s reserve, I felt like I was at home despite being thousands of miles away from Florida.

When we came back to Tampa, the weather was in the 60s. My parents picked me up from the airport in sweaters but I was sweating through my jeans. It was so weird to me, because a week ago I would have been bundled up in this weather, but now I was a little too warm to be comfortable.

The first few days being home were strange because everything was normal. Normal had become boring, and I was already looking for my next adventure.

To anyone wondering if studying abroad is for them, IT IS! There were all kinds of personalities on the tour yet we all worked as a group to get the best experience. I’ve made new friends and strengthened preexisting friendships that will last for a lifetime. Most importantly, I’ve learned to appreciate the Florida heat!

– Chloe Bean, SPC High School Student, Canada Program, January 2019

Thank you for sharing Chloe!

Questions? Don’t hesitate to contact us. We are here to help you! | 727-341-4735 |

Cover photo of old Quebec City by The Photographer. Source materials for this file are available from Commons Archive: Quebec City, Canada. Wikimedia Commons [CC BY-SA 4.0].