Study Abroad Office helps Mavericks see the world

The Center for Education Abroad and Away, also known as the Study Abroad Office, held an open house on Wednesday, March 22 in the Morris Hall basement. Jake Fee, a study abroad peer advisor at the Study Abroad Office, explained that the open house was “to show more people how easy it was to study abroad and how important it is.” They also wanted to show students their new location in the lower level of Morris Hall, in room three.

The Study Abroad Office used to be located in the same place as the International Office, which is on the second floor of the Centennial Student Union above Barnes and Noble. Fee says that the two offices split because the Study Abroad Office focuses more on outgoing students, while the International Office focuses on international students coming to MNSU and manages relationships with other universities.

Fee’s job as a peer advisor is to help students fill out their applications for going abroad and give them information about going abroad. He addressed the fears of those considering studying abroad, saying, “People think that they’ll get behind on credit if they study abroad, but you can do a full semester of credit while studying abroad. People think it’s going to be more expensive, but it’s pretty much the same as MSU tuition except you have to pay for your plane ticket.”

Fee explains the process of matching the classes you take abroad with MNSU credits.

“There’s this super easy sheet that solves all the problems that everyone’s scared about,” he said. “Everyone is scared that they’ll fall behind academically. One half of the sheet is the classes you need to take at MNSU, and the other half is classes you’re going to take abroad. Then, you talk to your advisor and connect those two columns to each other. Before you even leave to go on your trip, you have already submitted a form that has the exact equivalences of the courses you’re going to take. Your academic advisor has signed that when you come back to MNSU, all of those courses will transfer back as MNSU courses, like transfer credits.”

There are many, many opportunities for studying abroad, but the Study Abroad Office will help students narrow down their choices.

“A lot of times we look at people’s majors or where they want to study,” Fee said. The options are then further narrowed down depending on how much the student wants to spend and what they think of the campuses.

There is much to be gained from an experience studying abroad, one of the benefits being that your world is expanded and you feel a greater connection to all the citizens of the world. Your awareness of what is going on in the world will be increased, as well as your awareness of the problems that people face in different locations.

Fee, who has gone to multiple countries to study abroad, said, “There is so much power in going into a situation that’s frightening and alien, and then making friends, and having adventures in this alien world, and then coming back to your normal life. You come back as like, a superhuman who has experienced everything from the food of somewhere else, to the language of somewhere else, to the bacteria of somewhere else, to the weird way they make out in other countries. It’s an entire life experience of becoming more of a human being.”

For more information on study abroad programs, visit the Study Abroad and Away Office in their new location, Morris Hall room three.

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