By Maddy Majewski, Emily Goggins & Kirstynne Hock
Take off to new heights in your career!
From 2 weeks to a semester, University of Wisconsin – Green Bay (UWGB) students have the opportunity to travel to another college and further their education. Many students have taken on this opportunity and have come back with great experiences. Two UWGB students and one former exchange student, as well as UWGB’s Study Abroad office, shared their thoughts on their exchange programs.
Jemma Lund, the Study Abroad manager, said that there are many benefits for studying abroad, such as the experience of helping build skills, gaining confidence, and seeing different cultural perspectives. Also, one of the benefits is a step forward for the leadership. The programs are offered in 20 different countries. The Study Abroad programs are mostly in Europe and extend to Mexico and Chile. Before Covid-19, Germany, Spain, Ecuador, and Italy were the most popular spots to Study Abroad. Jemma said, “Some places have a little bit of everything that is offered in the program.” The faculty-led programs are recommended for first or second-year students or first-time travel students. The exchange program offers a wide range of times to go. They offer programs as little as 2 weeks to as long as a year, and students can also go a full semester, J-term, and summer term. If students can’t afford the program, there is financial aid and scholarship to help pay for the trip. The Study Abroad offers Green Bay tuition as well. Lund said, “students should take advantage of studying abroad. Take a step outside of your comfort zone. Think about it early, because if you want to, you can plan to go again. Studying abroad is all about finding what works best for you.”
Lund explained that It is good to know a couple of words before studying abroad. Classes will not be in the language of the country that you are studying in. Students love the U.K. but are very scattered when they go. Lund said, “I try to find the best fit for students and help layout all the options available.” She ultimately lets the student decide where they want to go. Students studying abroad have the opportunity to live in on-campus housing abroad, host families, faculty-led programs typically stay in hotels, etc. Students can get into the program no matter their academic year. It is still a great experience, and some internships are also being offered abroad. Lund said, “so many options out there hopefully, there is one for you as well.” Her final statement was “explore what is out there.” Take the first step and talk to Lund. She wants to reach out to as many students as possible to Study Abroad. If interested, contact the Study Abroad office to learn more.
Alyssa Kossack, a senior at UWGB, took advantage of our National Student Exchange (NSE). Kossack studied in New Orleans for one school year in 2019, totaling eight months. Kossack said, “I decided to do national student exchange because I wanted to experience a new culture and way of living within the states. I also had some doubts about leaving home, but I pushed myself to try a new experience and ended up loving it!” She gained many experiences she would have never gained if she stayed in Wisconsin. Kossack said, “More self-confidence, I learned to take risks even if they seem impossible. I learned that I don’t have to leave the country to gain different cultural environments because each state has its own traditions and cultures, and ways of living. It gave me the motivation to continue to travel to more states and be open-minded.” Kossack also shared her favorite part about the exchange. Kossack said, “Meeting so many cool people and learned a lot of history behind New Orleans as a whole.” Kossack also said, “Students get the opportunity to see and visit many other states they might not have been in Wisconsin. She also said, “Being able to fly home at any time was a nice part of still being in the states.”
Jacqulyn Kane, a senior at UWGB, studied abroad in Ecuador. Kane studied abroad for three weeks. She participated in the travel course with an instructor over J-term in 2020. Kane said, “We did a week in Quito, a week with the indigenous families, and a week in the amazon!”. Kane said, “I decided to study abroad because it was a way to expand my education. I had never gone abroad prior to this, so it sounded like a great experience for personal growth.” Kane said, “Going abroad was a cultural shock that made me more aware. I was able to enjoy different cultures and experience new things.” One of the new things Kane was able to experience was the Amazon. Kane said, “This experience was way beyond my comfort zone, and I appreciate the things I was able to experience and grow from.” Kane also said, “Students should go abroad if they’re interested in personal growth, expanding their academic experiences, and/or like/wish to travel.”
Theresa Werner came to UWGB through the Study Abroad program in Kassel, Germany. She stated, “UWGB is a partner university of my school in Germany, so it was really easy to get into this exchange program. I needed to study abroad in order to complete my studies in Germany. UWGB offered courses that I was interested in taking. I always wanted to go to the U.S., and Green Bay seemed like a great fit.” She came to UWGB in 2019 for the English and German program. Theresa said, “My favorite part of studying at UWGB was the people. I had the greatest roommate and met so many nice people and friends that I’ll have for life now. I also think that some professors shaped the way I want to go on in life. It was truly an eye-opening experience, and I enjoyed every part of it. Honestly, I don’t think there were any hard parts. I was open to this experience, and I think that is why I managed to fit in quite effortlessly.” Theresa recommends students should study abroad and offered up, “I think everyone should try broadening their horizons. It’s always easy to hide in your home country and stay in your old patterns. Going out into the world gives you new perspectives and opens your horizon. The U.S. is very diverse, and I loved being around so many different people with different ideas and understandings of the world. Even when you doubt yourself, don’t doubt your decisions. If you really want to study abroad and you think it’s too much to tackle, ask for help. There are many people who have done it and who are willing to help you along the way.”
Whether students experience education, culture, friendship, or career paths, opportunities are endless with UWGB Study Abroad, and students need only a leap of faith. To learn more about upcoming trips and opportunities, visit https://www.uwgb.edu/study-abroad/.