Center for Global Engagement offering experiences for students at MSU internationally and domestic

The Center for Global Engagement offers travel opportunities for both MSU students and students abroad studying in Mankato.

The Center’s main offering is its exchange programs. These programs allow students to spend  anywhere from a few weeks to a full academic school year in domestic and international destinations. 

The program’s purpose is to expand students’ worldviews, as well as give them memorable experiences. 

As expressed by Assistant Director of Global Exchange Anna Ochs, exchange programs are more than going to school in another country. 

“My goal is to really have students step outside their comfort zones and have them visit programs that will enhance both their academics but also their own personal educational goals. Studying abroad is academically based, but it also is really beneficial for students personally and their development, both emotionally and professionally, socially, all the above. It is really for students to be able to have a high impact practice to get a global perspective,” Ochs said. 

For sophomore Brooke Van Gelderen, this is why she has pursued exchange in Tokyo for her 2023 spring semester. 

“I’ve been wanting to go to Japan ever since I was really little,” Van Gelderen said. “I can remember being seven years old. I was in second grade and I went through the book bins, rudderless book bins where they hand the country ones. I picked up a book about Japan and loved it. My mom took me to a Japanese restaurant and, I’ve been wanting to go ever since.” 

Another highlight of this program is its financial accessibility. While traveling abroad can be expensive, it does not have to be. Ochs stressed the importance of students of any financial background being able to participate in exchange programs. 

“A student’s financial aid follows them wherever they go, Study abroad doesn’t need to be expensive. It is a great opportunity for students to be able to travel the world.” 

Exchange student Sanne Lemelder is from the Netherlands for the fall semester. Part of why she chose to come to MSU was because her university helped cover the cost of her exchange. 

“My school in the Netherlands partners with universities like MSU. If I were to go to another university, I would have to pay for my own study abroad. Because of their partnership, they pay for my exchange semester here,” said Lemelder. 

The Center for Global Exchange can be found in the basement of Morris Hall, room 002. Appointments can be made with Anna Ochs in person or through MAV Connect via zoom or face-to-face. More information about the programs they offer is available on their website

Header Photo: Assistant Director of Global Exchange Anna Ochs encourages students to join exchange programs to get outside their comfort zone and enhance their academic careeers around the world. (Lilly Anderson/The Reporter)

Write to Andrea Schoenecker at

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