For Immediate Release:
(Austin, TX – April 1, 2016) SPI Study Abroad, a leading provider of international education for high school students, is bringing study abroad to the final frontier: space.
Just in time for Summer 2016, students will now have the opportunity to study for 2, 4, or 6 weeks on the International Space Station. While intergalacticly abroad, students will take conversational science classes, participate in daily activities & spacewalks, and stay in a comfortable student residence/laboratory.
“Popularizing study abroad for high schoolers studying STEM has always been a long-term goal here at SPI. While studying abroad is considered a hallmark of a humanities education, it hasn’t been as applicable to, say, someone who is passionate about organic chemistry or rocket science. This program gives those students a chance for an out-of-this-world experience! See what I did there? Because they’ll be leaving the bounds of Earth and studying in space,” said SPI Program Director John Foster, speaking from SPI’s home office in Austin, Texas, Planet Earth.
NASA as well as a consortium of space agencies are partnering with SPI to make the new program possible.
“When SPI called me and said they wanted to have high school students study on the International Space Station, I said that it was an awful idea. Then they told me how much they would pay us to make it happen and, well, the NASA budget just isn’t what it use to be. So I said ok, but on the condition that the teens don’t relentlessly bully me because of my last name. High school was really rough for me,” said NASA Astronaut & Study Abroad Liaison Mike McMolehair.
The tuition for SPI’s 2016 Space program starts at $3,695 + airfare. Families will have the flexibility to book their flights directly with Elon Musk, through Expedia, or using whatever standing credit they may have with Russia’s Roscosmos space agency. Along with the innumerable benefits, studying abroad in space also presents some unique challenges. Besides the homesickness that can be common with study abroad students, those traveling to space will now also contend with enhanced spine elongation and the type of insanity that only sets in after witnessing 15 sunrises in one day.
To help prepare for the experience, participating students will have access to SPI’s pre-departure services including orientation videos, a ride on the “Vomit Comet”, and a special Facebook group so students can get to know each other before the trip.
“It’s going to be great! We’ll have between 10 to 15 high schoolers studying in the coolest environment ever! What could go wrong? Actually, you know, as I say this stuff out loud and really think about it, a lot could go wrong. We might have rushed this a bit. Hmmm,” said Foster, who suddenly looked at the ground and appeared pensive.
Added Foster, “this may not be that great of an idea.”
Enrollments will be accepted today and today only but will also continue to be accepted after today. The news is already causing excitement among students.
“Studying abroad in space would be awesome! Sign me up! The whole insanity that sets in after watching 15 sunrises in a day kind of worries my mom, but I don’t care. The only thing I’m worried about is the re-adjustment that happens after I return to the states/Earth. I mean, I’ll be eating some delicious astronaut food and freeze-dried ice cream while I’m up there. When I get back, sure, I can buy astronaut food at my local sporting goods store, but it just wouldn’t quite taste the same, ya know?” pondered Jake Accord, a freshman at Evanston Township High School.
You can learn more about SPI’s 2016 Space program or any of our other study abroad destinations in Costa Rica, Spain, France, Italy, or China online at spiabroad.com.