Students Study Abroad
Study Abroad Program Sees Increase of Student Travelers This Summer
Published: Thursday, August 29, 2013
Updated: Thursday, August 29, 2013 16:08
The University of Nebraska at Omaha’s International Studies and Programs department saw an increase of students traveling overseas for their education over the summer, with almost 100 more students traveling than the previous summer and just below 200 students traveling in total through the months of May and August.
“Students are now recognizing that international studies are really important because of the global nature of everything now.” said Emily Hassenstab, study abroad advisor. “You need to have some experience working with someone from an international background or you experiencing and working in a different culture yourself. Students recognize that this is more of an investment needed to stand out and get that job.”
From the foggy streets of London to the resplendent markets of India, students from UNO traveled all over the world this summer and through a variety of different methods. Hassenstab said that essentially there are three methods students wanting to unleash their inner explorer by studying abroad can choose from.
First, UNO partners with peer institutions around the globe to have student exchange agreements. These exchange programs, which students can use their scholarship money for, vary from Meiji University in Japan to Ghent University in Belgium. Shorter summer programs are also offered at many of UNO’s partner institutions.
Students can also choose the method of approved third-party providers, which allows students to earn credit overseas if they go through certain organizations. Finally, they can choose the option of faculty-led programs in which a professor puts together a class that for part of the lesson they travel abroad. Hassenstab said the large increase in students studying abroad this summer is due in part to the fact that far more professors decided to put together these programs.
The largest group that traveled abroad this summer was actually an organization, not a class. The UNO Band, which takes around 40 participants, always travels to either Switzerland or Lithuania to perform.
For students looking to study abroad, Hassenstab said that they should stop by her office, located in Arts and Sciences Hall room 220 B, to work with a peer advisor and explore the different programs that would best apply to them. From that point, a student would then begin an application process to travel, work with financial aid to see if scholarships apply and evaluate the courses they would take to ensure the credit transfers properly.
“I think there is no better decision than studying abroad.” Hassenstab said. “It’s the best thing you can do for personal development.”
While the rest of UNO was spending the summer fighting unseasonably cool and cloudy weather for many of their days, these four students jetted around the world to study abroad.
Jen Nguyen, England
Jen Nguyen has seen her professors jig and jive. During a dinner while studying abroad in London, she and the rest of her group, including the professors, were treated to interactive performances between courses by employees. From sword fighting to singing and dancing, the group whiled away their night in a medieval-themed restaurant, complete with dungeon décor.
“It was so much fun to see everyone having a good time.” Nguyen said. “It got crazy but there were some hilarious and embarrassing moments from that night alone that won’t be forgotten.”
Nguyen traveled with Dr. Brennan’s Comparative Criminal Justice Systems: England course- along with courses from the communication, art and political science departments. Brennan’s class, which met throughout the semester and then concluded with their two week trip to England at the beginning of May, spent their time overseas exploring how the American criminal system developed from the British system.
Over the two weeks, students followed a detailed itinerary, with Nguyen and her peers spending each day from 8 a.m. to about 5 p.m. at different events or activities. The evenings and weekends were free for the students to explore the Swinging City.
From watching the Big Ben clock count the hours and seeing Buckingham Palace to wheeling around the London Eye and fading into London’s nightlife, Nguyen said she connected with her inner tourist and explored the many attractions London had to offer. The criminal justice group even got to see Queen Elizabeth roll down the street in a carriage during the passing of the guard.
“My first impression of London was that the majority of people over there probably dress better, things were more expensive, everyone was going to have a British accent and the toilet is the ‘loo.’” Nguyen said. “My impression now is still pretty similar, but I learned that people over there are very friendly. They just want to know about you and the U.S.”
Nguyen said she also left Britain with the impression that the people of London seemed to be in better shape because everyone walks and bikes to travel across the city. All the walking not only provided Nguyen a lifetime of memories but two feet full of blisters.
“I would say bring band-aids for your blisters and wear comfortable shoes if you ever go.” Nguyen said. “Other advice for traveling abroad would be to make sure you keep your money in a safe spot on your person. Also, as much as you can, don’t act like a tourist, but in the end you can’t help it.”
Following her trip to the foggy city, Nguyen and three classmates stayed an extra five days to explore Paris. While there, they shopped, saw the Eiffel Tower and Palace of Versailles, and visited popular parks. Nguyen said Paris is amazing but harder to adapt to than London because everyone spoke French instead of English.