Study abroad provides options

UND students found out last week just how many opportunities to study abroad there are available to them at the Around the World with Study Abroad Students event.

The event was organized by Student Leaders International, a group of UND students that have studied abroad aiming to help  educate students on how studying abroad works and assisting them with any questions they may have.

SLI President Erin Ferry, who studied abroad in Ireland and France, welcomed students to the event and explained the impact studying abroad can have on a student.

“Study abroad helped guide my career. I’m in law school now. I had no interest in law school whatsoever until I studied abroad and interned with a lawyer,” Ferry said. “I would have to give credit to study abroad for that.”

Speakers at the event sought to bust some of the myths surrounding study abroad.

UND students Brent Gulbranson and Kasey Bosch explained several of the common objections to studying abroad and why they oftentimes aren’t true.

Students often think they will have time for traveling after graduation, but work schedules and family obligations can make it more difficult to find the time to travel after college. Studying abroad provides a chance to travel and meet students from around the globe before other life events make it harder to spend long periods of time overseas.

While many students believe traveling abroad is prohibitively expensive, most of the financial aid available at UND is transferable to study abroad programs. Additionally, separate scholarships can be available depending on the program and location. These forms of financial assistance often make traveling abroad similarly priced to a semester at UND.

“We recommend people go out see what scholarships are available,” Gulbranson said. “It’s not impossible to find a scholarship, and studying abroad doesn’t have to be hindered by something like that.”

Gulbranson and Bosch also spoke about how study abroad can add to a student’s resume. There are programs available for students regardless of their major, and classes can be planned so time spent studying abroad does not add additional time to a person’s studies when they return.

“Studying abroad can work for all majors. It’s not going to be impossible to find a program where you gain credits and they are meaningful credits,” Gulbranson, who is triple-majoring at UND, said. “For me, I went and talked to all three fields, and I got credit for all the classes I took when I came back.”

While many students are worried about potential language barriers while studying abroad, the vast majority of universities UND partners with offer classes taught in English. The time spent abroad also gives students a chance to learn a new language or improve their existing language skills.

Throughout the event, several UND students shared their experiences from their time abroad. These included trips to Norway, Scotland, Chile, France and Australia. Additionally, many students reflected on how easy it was to visit other countries besides the one they were originally studying at once they were overseas.

Study abroad programs are available through UND to a variety of countries. Most programs require at least a 2.5 GPA to participate. For more information on the study abroad programs at UND, visit

The Office of International Program coordinated the study abroad event as part of its culture night series. The next culture night on Dec. 3 will feature presentations on Jamaica and Haiti.

Sean Cleary is a staff writer for The Dakota Student. He can be reached at [email protected]