Study Abroad offers exploration to all students

By AMANDA GHANNAM, Staff Writer

Japan final for web
Japan is one of the countries UM-Dearborn students can study in.

Ever wanted to take a semester to explore another country, while still earning credits towards a University of Michigan-Dearborn degree? UM-Dearborn offers study abroad and international travel programs in Europe, Asia, Africa, and Canada.

Coordinated by the Office of International Affairs, these programs help students “become globally literate by experiencing an in-depth study of another country and culture, while at the same time, getting credit towards [their] degree.”

Study abroad opportunities can take UM-Dearborn students all over the world. For example, the university partners with the Japan Center for Michigan Universities to send students to Hikone, Shiga Prefecture, Japan. They can study business in Italy at the University of Padova, in Finland at the Helsinki School of Economics, in France at the ESCEM (École supérieure de commerce et management), a top private school.

Non-business students who want to go to France can also study humanities and social sciences in Versailles. For computer Engineering and Computer Science students, there are opportunities at Jönköping University in Sweden, and the Hochschule Ulm University of Applied Sciences in Germany. And for those who want to study Spanish in Spain, they can go to Valencia or Oviedo. Those are just the European study abroad programs—there are also programs that take students on spring break to Ghana, or set students up with internships (paid or unpaid) in a variety of countries.

The length of the programs can range from several weeks to a full academic year, providing students with enough flexibility to plan their trips around their regular academic schedules. For many students, the cost of traveling to other countries to study abroad is a concern, but for most programs students still pay their regular UM-Dearborn tuition fees—financial aid and scholarships can be applied to study abroad.

For some of the programs, such as the one in Japan, students can receive additional scholarships or stipends as well to offset the costs of living and travel—the typical scholarship amount for the Japan program is $1700.

Student feedback is largely positive. “It was definitely worthwhile. I gained independence, self-respect and confidence in doing things on my own. Because I switched my major, my credits did not transfer… but to me, it was still worth it. Through my study abroad experience, I’ve learned what is really important in life and I grew up… even in the short 5 months that I was there. I am a completely different person- for the better,” said Christy B. of the College of Business, who visited Paris in 2009 with the CEA (Cultural Experiences Abroad) program.

“I will never forget the experiences that CEA Paris has given me. Choosing CEA was probably the best decision I’ve made! I will never forget my time in Paris, or the people I’ve met. I’d do it again in a heartbeat.”

To find out more about the study abroad programs, contact the Office of International Affairs at 313-583-6600 or international@umd.umich.edu.