Photo courtesy of Tyesha Vinson/MJ
Photo courtesy of Tyesha Vinson/MJ

By TYESHA VINSON, Student Life Editor

On Thursday, September 12, the Office of International Fairs hosted their Overseas Opportunities event. Margaret Flannery invited five students to share their overseas experiences with other students interested in studying abroad.

Many students here at the University of Michigan-Dearborn don’t realize that they have the opportunity to explore the world and get an education. The Office of International Affairs wants to raise awareness of the programs available to all students.

At the Overseas Opportunities event a small group of students gathered to hear about the overseas opportunities offered by UM-Dearborn as well as the experiences of other students.

The organizer of the event, Margaret Flannery, wanted to stress the importance of observing another culture firsthand. Flannery said, “It’s really important to immerse yourself in another culture because we live in a multicultural world. The Office of International Affairs helps you do that.”

There are so many opportunities available to UM-Dearborn students. It’s all about knowing how to utilize the resources around you. There are plenty of offices around campus created to make your college experience easier and more enjoyable.

Even if you’re just considering studying abroad, you should go to the Office of International Affairs and get answers to any questions you may have.

There are a lot of different ways to get information about study abroad programs. You can email the Office of International Affairs at studyabroad@umd.umich.edu. Flannery said, “We are now located at 108 Union. Students can always email me at mflanner@umich.edu or at the International Office’s email. We also have overseas opportunity fairs.”

When students are inquiring about overseas opportunities, Flannery says, “Go away. It’s an experience you definitely should have.”

Taking advantages of the overseas opportunities is a great experience. You get to travel to places all around the world, meet new people, observe different cultures, and expand your educational experience.

Having your own study abroad experience has the potential to teach you things about yourself and the world that you never knew. Crystal Cranford, a student from the International Summer Program in Management (ISPM) in Italy said, “My overseas experience taught me that I need to constantly open my world to new experiences.”

Nicole Mazur said, “It gave me the taste of freedom that I needed to prove to myself that I can go out into the world and accomplish whatever I put my mind to. It taught me that I have the potential to make my dreams come true.”

Each person that studies abroad experiences something different. It’s time to get out there and create your own international experience and you can start right here on campus. Flannery said, “There are a lot of great programs. You can begin the cultural exchange right here at UM-Dearborn. There are a lot of international students here that would love to meet students here.”

Geetanjali Dutt, an ISPM Italy student said, “Studying abroad in Italy this past summer opened my eyes to a very different culture. I travelled cities I had only dreamed of and got a chance to experience the Italian lifestyle from within, while making long lasting memories and friendships. It was an immensely rewarding and enriching experience. A must do for all college students.”

Open yourselves up to new possibilities and stop by the Office for International Affairs to find out how you can create your own international experience.