Studying Abroad – Learning from across the pond

Brianna Mayhair, News Writer

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If you are looking to learn about different cultures, November is full of cultural and international activities! The Filipino American Student Organization held their Filipino Culture Night in the Chester Fritz Auditorium at the University of North Dakota on Nov. 12. Attendees were able to experience a slice of Filipino culture through dance, song and presentations that the organization put together. 

The week of Nov. 18-22 is International Education Week where individuals are able to learn more about international education and global exchange by taking part in activities occurring around campus, such as learning about studying abroad and trying different foods. At Lunch and Learn: Cultural Practices, Traditions and Beliefs at the American Indian Center, individuals are able to learn through food, music, art and so much more! The event will take place on Nov. 19 from noon to 1 p.m. 

With all the different activities occurring around UND focusing on different cultures and stories about international travels, it was a great opportunity to interview some international students on campus and ask them about their experiences studying at UND. 

There are some benefits to studying abroad such as practicing a foreign language or experiencing a different culture. Jiho Kim, a student from South Korea, explained her reason for wanting to study abroad and why she picked UND. 

“I was curious about how other students in different countries were studying Avionics,” Kim said. “I went to a job fair in Korea and discovered I wanted to have a career working with international people. The common language in those jobs is English, so that is why I wanted to study abroad to improve my English skills. I chose UND because of its great Avionics program.” 

While students are studying at UND, they are encouraged to join a club or organization to meet new people that share the same interests. Wonjun Choi, a student from South Korea, explained how being an active member in Korean Culture Exchange Club has impacted his experience at UND.

“Our club is kind of special because we just don’t have Koreans in the club,” Choi said. “We have a good mix of people from different places, but we all have an interest in Korean culture, so we are able to express that through activities, like music and dance performances. I highly recommend anyone, no matter where they are from, to join a club so they can meet new people and learn new things.” 

Another way to get involved on-campus is by working at UND. Doowon Lee, a student from South Korea and an employee at Squires Dining Center, explained the benefits of having a job in a different country.

“I recommend international students look at having a job at UND if they can manage both studying and working,” Lee said. “I think it is a good way to improve language skills because everything is in English. You have to know how to communicate with people to do your job well. Also, it is a good way to meet other students and earn money.” 

When asked if they would recommend studying abroad, they all agreed that if given the opportunity, people should. All three students explained that studying abroad is a great way to widen your perspective and meet people from different cultures. 

Studying abroad can be stressful and make assignments difficult to complete, especially long essays, but all three students explained that the Writing Center at UND has been very helpful every time they have come in for help. They explained that the Writing Consultants have done a great job of explaining how to improve their essays and writing skills while providing constructive feedback. 

Any questions about studying aboard, call 701.777.4231 or email Emily Dougherty at [email protected] or Whitney Maine at [email protected]

Any current international students at UND with questions can call +1.701.777.4231. 

Any questions about the UND Writing Center, call 701.777.2795 or email [email protected]. To make an appointment, go to https://und.edu/academics/writing-center/.

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