Students learn lifelong lessons abroad

Katie Buda

Study abroad offers Northern students a chance to experience a variety of cultures while still earning credit toward their degree.

English professors Z.Z. Lehmberg and Peter Goodrich will be leading study abroad programs in the coming year. Students who sign up for both EN411Z, which covers contemporary Chinese literature, and AD495, covering digital photography, will have the opportunity to travel to China with Lehmberg.

Born and raised in China, Lehmberg will be leading the China study abroad trip from July 7 through 22, 2013. Once in China, she plans to partner NMU students with Chinese students.

“This way, the American students and the Chinese students can get to know each other and travel together in China,” Lehmberg said.

Goodrich, will also be leading two upcoming study abroad programs. The first trip to Thailand and Cambodia led by Goodrich is from May to June 2013 and can be registered for between now and February.

Goodrich’s second trip will be during the Winter 2014 semester to Macerata, Italy.

The trip to Macerata will be ideal for students who want to experience authentic Italy, Goodrich said.

Goodrich himself studied abroad in Ireland after graduating college and taught in Germany for four years while he was a graduate student at the University of Michigan.

“Those were among the best years of my life so far,” Goodrich said. “I am still in contact with some of the friends I made then.”

Students who study abroad will leave their current friends behind for a few weeks or months but when they return they will have new lifelong friends, Goodrich said.

“Study abroad will truly change your life, give you increased confidence and maturity, and open your eyes to the world,” Goodrich said.

He is also developing a new Turkey study abroad program where students will study several works of Turkish literature, giving them insight into Turkish life in Istanbul and other parts of the country over the past 1000 years.

The dates for this trip are yet to be announced.

With the support of fellow students and experienced faculty and tour guides, study abroad is an ideal way to experience the world, according to Goodrich and Lehmberg.

“It’s like international travel with training wheels,” Goodrich said.

Students can sign up now by submitting a study abroad application obtainable from the International Programs Office and by contacting the English department.

Zach Fix, one of Goodrich’s former students, now teaches English in South Korea because of the experience he had studying abroad in Thailand.

Having lived in the U.P. his entire life, Fix found his trip to Thailand eye-opening.

From learning about the history, absorbing the culture, visiting many temples and eating “amazing” food, Fix remembers his last night in Thailand with his new friends, a group of Wildcats and Thais, most vividly.

“The stars were out, the food was great, and we all just relaxed and reflected on the amazing times we had had,” Fix said.

Fix said traveling across the globe not only supplemented his education, but also provoked his eagerness to see the world.

“It was one of the best things that I had done during my time at Northern,” Fix said. “The most important thing I learned was that I needed to see more.”