On Sept. 13, the Center for Global Engagement held the Education Abroad and Away Fair in the Centennial Student Union. The event offered tables of different abroad programs for students to learn more about.
Studying abroad can help students broaden their intercultural communication skills, potentially learn a new language, and learn about global cultures. These are opportunities that can help students professionally, personally, and academically.
Assistant Director for the CGE, Anna Ochs, talked about what opportunities students have at Minnesota State University, Mankato, to study abroad, “Students have opportunities to study abroad for credit to bring back for their majors, and they can study abroad for our short-term faculty-led program for a semester, summer, or an academic year.”
A Junior at MSU, Landis Parham, was at the fair and spoke about her plans for studying abroad. She is studying to be a social studies teacher. Studying abroad would benefit her future career.
“Basing my knowledge on what I’ve experienced, instead of in a textbook through another white man’s perspective, is my big reason for wanting to become a teacher,” said Parham. “If I can get a personal perspective, I can explain further to my students.”
Parham said she would want to study abroad in France because of the history between the country and the United States.
“France. There is a lot of history that connects back to the United States that plays a big role with what we have, and we influence them a lot,” said Parham.
Some students are hesitant about studying abroad because they fear doing so could set back their graduation date.
Sophomore, Bailey Kowarsch, is unsure about studying abroad for that reason.
“Ever since I got here, I’ve been considering studying abroad. But I don’t know how to do it because I would be potentially pushing myself back for graduation.”
Kowarsch is a music education major, so studying abroad would give her insight into other cultures and their music. Additionally, it would be a great way to learn the music in person rather than through a screen.
“It could be depending on where I go. If the music there is vibrant and different, it could be beneficial,” said Kowarsch.
One of the opportunities at the fair was to study abroad in Scandinavian countries for Scandinavian majors and minors. The countries offered are Sweden, Norway, and Finland. Students can do this for a semester or an academic year.
Second-year student Taika Craft at MSU will study abroad next year at the University of South-Eastern Norway at their Borre campus. Studying in Scandinavian countries is more beneficial than studying at an American university for Scandinavian studies majors.
“It’s best that we try to visit Scandinavia to try and get a better feel for it because it is a culturally enrolled language core major,” said Craft. “I want to work as a translator or a museum over there possibly, and I want to be able to experience being in the culture and having to actively use the language.”
For students interested in studying abroad collaborating with the Center for Global Engagement can provide enriching education experiences that are worth consideration.
Write to Lauren Viska at Lauren.Viska@mnsu.edu