This spring and summer, professors from NMU will be taking students overseas or across borders to experience studying abroad in 10 different countries, but need more students or the classes could be canceled.
“If there are not enough students, we will be making hard decisions around spring break time as to whether or not the group will go,” said Susan Morgan, the coordinator of study abroad programs at the International Programs Office on campus.
There is a minimum of 10 to 12 students needed in each class, or they could be in danger of being canceled. Peru, Thailand, Italy, Greece, Mexico, Scotland and Austria courses are looking for more students, she said.
Students who participate in this faculty led study abroad experience will receive credits as if they were taking a class at NMU, and some have a class associated with the trip itself, Morgan said.
“This is a good way to take a course in something that interests you without committing your time to a whole semester, but the trips are too short,” Morgan said.
Some of the classes go abroad for a month, others for a week. They range in price from $900 to $4500 plus summer tuition costs. The courses associated can range.
“Financial aid can help cover some of the costs,” Morgan said. “Unfortunately, there are not many grants or scholarships that will help, because these are not long study abroad programs.”
Students who want to go usually go through financial aid or take out extra loans to afford the trip, she said.
“One good thing is that it encourages students to want to study abroad for a longer amount of time after they come back,” Morgan said.
The places that professors will be taking students to study abroad this spring and summer are Austria, Greece, Honduras, Italy, Mexico, Peru, Scotland, Thailand, and Zambia. Up to 20 students can be a part of each class and go to the country associated with it.
Julie Higbie, one of the nursing professors taking students to Peru for a second time, said that they need more people to be able to go.
“For nursing, it’s important to see different cultures needs in comparison to our own,” Higbie said. “We have a limited population here that we are providing care for.”
Professor Peter Goodrich, who is one of the faculty members taking a class to Thailand also needs more students to sign up. This will be his first trip and he is looking forward to it, he said.
“I think that study abroad, even for a short time, is crucial for students in today’s globalized world. Not only does it give us first-hand experience with other cultures and environments, but it helps us to understand our own and ourselves as individuals better,” Goodrich said.
While students are in the foreign countries, their experiences will be different, Morgan said. Some of the classes have students stay with host families, mostly the language-based or culture-based classes. Others stay in hotels, apartments, or even sometimes tents all as a group, Morgan said.
Students that want to join one of these classes should fill out an application in the International Programs office. This application helps to get some background information on the student. They will then be enrolled in the class once they are approved to go.