September 12, 2017
Immersing yourself in a culture can be an enriching experience. At UCCS, students have the opportunity to do just that to enhance their studies.
The Global Engagement Office offers university-wide and College of Business-specific exchange programs, along with third-party provider programs, for students who are looking to study abroad.
Established in 2012, GEO recently hired a full-time staff in 2016 to accommodate students who decide to take their studies globally.
Last year, 123 students traveled abroad. This year, 160 students will travel.
GEO can help students navigate their way toward a comfortable trip while reaching the necessary credits to graduate.
Visual and performing arts major Kristine Henrich, who traveled to Florence, Italy, was attracted by the architecture, museums and galleries that she could experience as she studied abroad. UCCS helped her find the appropriate arrangements to do so.
“Most schools, especially UCCS, will work with students before and after to coordinate classes that will transfer. Many programs… cater to students specifically arranging flights, housing, class schedules, relieving you of the hassle,” said Henrich.
According to the GEO website, meeting with an adviser first will help students find classes that can transfer and be a good fit while studying abroad. Informational meetings can be a step in doing this, according to Mandy Hansen, director of GEO.
“Sessions are held for students before they depart to cover risk management, health, safety, cultural adaption and other topics important to study and travel abroad,” said Hansen.
GEO will help students decide where they want to go, what housing is available and what they wish to study while abroad.
Students who have previously studied abroad highly encourage others to spend lots of time preparing for the trip to make the experience a lot easier. According to senior Aidan Weise, students with any medical needs to speak with a professional before departing.
“If you suffer from any sort of mental health issues, [or] if you think you might have problems with depression or anxiety, please make sure you talk to a professional and get it sorted out before you go,” said Weise.
Every new experience a student encounters while traveling can be a class of it’s own, according to Bryan Rossmanith, a business administration major who traveled to Germany.
Rossmaith said that he benefited from his experience in Germany because he tried immersing himself in the European culture, including food, people, values, business practices and learning German.
“Study aboard opens doors you never even knew existed, that you can only get if you travel abroad longer than just a week or two,” said Rossmanith.
For students, exploring a city they haven’t been in, and meeting new people from different cultures forces them to think in different ways, according to senior Aidan Weise.
“It really broadens your perspective, and puts both the good, bad and just unique and different things about the United States into view,” said Weise.
Weise was hired for an internship with a Czech theater company while he was studying abroad, and he recommends students to force themselves out of their comfort zones and be open to learning new ways of doing things form the locals you meet.
“You learn even more awesome things from the [expatriates] and people who live there than you would on your own,” said Weise.
For more information on GEO and the programs they offer, visit uccs.edu/educationabroad/get-started/program-types.