Study beyond MSU

Studying abroad. Heard of it? Students can expand their intercultural communication skills, learn a new language and learn about global cultures by spending a semester or two in a foreign country. These are opportunities that can benefit students professionally, personally and academically. 

The Center for Global Engagement hosted its annual education and abroad fair Tuesday, where students learned about studying abroad. This event happens twice each academic year in fall and spring. 

One opportunity involves a trip to London and Scotland with the criminal justice department. This trip is not just for criminal justice majors; anyone interested can go. It is an 11-day trip starting Dec. 27 and ending Jan. 7. This trip costs around $2,900, with a $500 deposit due Sept. 27. 

In Scotland, students can see the big castes of Edinburgh and visit the streets where the famous Jack the Ripper used to roam. The Tower of London Parliament is also part of the experience. 

Thor Dahle and Tami Wilkins run the trip. Dahle said one thing he regrets about his college experience is not studying abroad. Studying abroad also gives students a chance to learn more about themselves and their country. 

“You won’t have an opportunity to do something like this at this cost, probably ever again in your life, and you get to do it with a bunch of like-minded people the same age as you. It costs money, but it’s fun,” said Dahle. “It’s a learning opportunity and a chance to experience another culture even though some may think England is not a different culture.” 

The two courses required to take on this trip revolve around comparative international terrorism or comparative international criminal justice. LAWE 443 or POLS 449/549 for three credits, LAWE 442 or POLS 460 for three credits and LAWE 493 or POLS 492 for 1-3 credits are the classes offered in the spring that students need to take. Students can find more information by emailing Dahle or Wilkins. 

Marketing major Ellie Keating said she’s interested in studying abroad in Italy.

“I’m looking to study abroad next summer. I want to get experience somewhere other than the U.S. and see how different countries use marketing and how they promote things,” Keating said. “I’ve always wanted to go there. There’s just a lot of different things that I’d love to see.” 

At MSU, some students are a part of an exchange program. Jessaie Mercems is an exchange student from the Netherlands. She encourages anyone on the fence about studying abroad to go for it. 

“I think you should do it because it’s really scary, but when you get over the scary part, it’s really fun. You will miss everyone back home, but that’s only in the first week,” said Mercems. “It’s also a really cool experience.” 

For those worried about language barriers, Director of the CGE Erica Johnson assures students it won’t be a problem. 

“A lot of people may think that being fluent in a language might help, but it’s not always a requirement for going into those particular countries or certain programs. Many, many, many of our students don’t speak the language of where they’re going to be studying. And that’s totally OK,” said Johnson. 

Students can stop by the CGE office located on the lower level of Morris Hall to learn how to study abroad or how they can qualify for studying abroad.

Header photo: The Center of Global Engagement hosted its annual education and abroad fair to help kids learn about the benefits of studying abroad. (Lilly Anderson/The Reporter)

Write to Lauren Viska at

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