Study abroad: Over a decade of adventures and learning

Study abroad: Over a decade of adventures and learning

Travel the globe and experience new cultures through UIS’ study abroad program.

The study abroad program at UIS has been building since 1998, and the first students set out in 2001.

According to the Director of International Programs, Jonathan GoldbergBelle, students should study abroad because “it is a life-changing experience that will lead to a better understanding of the global community. It is [also] an opportunity for students to represent the United States to other countries and is a resume builder.”

There are different program options that can fit almost anyone’s needs. Students can choose to study abroad over a summer, picking from three or four randomly selected locations or for a full semester from one of the 13 exchange partners.

The study abroad program does offer unique opportunities when it comes to students who want to travel for a full semester and do work within their major. For example, if an English student spent “part of their junior year in England or Northern Ireland studying English literature, they would have a very different experience than they would here because the course range would be much broader,” said GoldbergBelle.

UIS has recently joined the International Student Exchange Program (ISEP). This program added about 150 new destinations in 55 different countries.

Through the ISEP exchange, students would pay the cost of tuition at their home university and not have to worry about paying for schooling wherever they travel to.

As of right now, the first students will be working with ISEP to travel to Nicaragua, Finland and Germany this summer.

Typically, Japan, China and England are the most visited locations by UIS students, and on average, about 60 students take this unique opportunity each year.

“As a global studies and sociology/anthropology major, I have spent three years learning about cultural variations, the ways culture is created and spread, and how to critically observe the beauty of foreign cultures,” said Shelby Bedford, a junior sociology/anthropology and global studies double major. “My study abroad program in China, South Korea, and Japan provided me with a wealth of opportunity to apply the things I have learned and also allowed me to recognize aspects of my own culture that I had formerly been oblivious of.  It was undoubtedly the richest and most exciting experience of my life.”

The requirements to study abroad differ based on which program a student is interested in. However, students do not necessarily need to know another language because the ISEP exchange is offered in English.

It is never too early to plan on studying abroad and it is also almost never too late. If you have any interest in the program, please contact Jonathan GoldbergBelle at jgold1@uis.edu.

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