Mixing adventure and academics

Lauren Lee

According to the International Education of Students, 90 percent of IES alumni that had studied abroad found their first job within six months of graduation; non-study abroad graduates  showed 49 percent found work within a year of finishing school.

The survey was issued between 2006 and 2011 and during the middle of the Great Recession, according to IES.re-study abroad

Students that studied abroad earned on average $7,000 more in starting salaries than college graduates who did not.

Coordinator of Study Abroad and Student Exchange programs Susan Morgan said Northern Michigan University is willing to comb the globe to find the program and place that suits each student best.

“It gives you self-confidence, team building, management of risk in appropriate ways and technologies,” Morgan said. “It’s the flexibility and understanding of different cultures even in a short time. Data is showing us that some crazy high percentage of workers out in the field say the single most important thing they did in their college years was to study abroad.”

NMU offers various forms of study abroad including the Global Exchange program, short-term and long-term trips and student teaching, as well as other internships.

This school year, the university will be offering 10 different destinations with a variety of fields of study ranging from modern language in Vienna, eco-tourism in Poland, and health education in Costa Rica with the Global Exchange program.

While in Global Exchange students are led by an NMU faculty member, having students do coursework before and after studying abroad. This program allows all credits to go through NMU. Financial aid will apply excluding international volunteer programs such as Thailand and Ireland. Partner Providers such as ISA, Globalinks and Edge Hill University also help Northern Michigan find a place for students around the globe.

In August 2014, senior food management major Claire Rahoi departed for Florence, Italy leaving Marquette behind for eight months while studying food service management.

Rahoi said she left having gained many friends who studied abroad and Italian friends as well.

“The language barrier wasn’t a problem; whenever I spoke in Italian they spoke English in return,” Rahoi said. “They wanted to practice speaking English with me just as I was trying to do.”

Rahoi said she pushed to be a part of Italian culture traveling to eight different countries while studying abroad with her cheapest flight costing as little as $25 USD.

“I wanted to experience that person’s culture, to know what these people go through on a daily basis, how they eat their foods, and to see if it’s different than us,” Rahoi said. “I had some tough times right after I left, with things going on at home, and NMU helped me every step of the way.”

For more information to make a decision, log onto MyNMU and click on the Study Abroad link where brochures to the various programs are located.

Junior criminal justice major Alexandra Cazzetta will be leaving labor day weekend for a Global Exchange program in Ireland.

Cazzetta said the experience will help her after she graduates in the field on decision making situations when it comes to United States issues.

“To see and understand other countries by appreciating their history and cultures,” Cazzetta said. “Since we live in a global world, studying abroad as a criminal justice major may help me to better understand how issues in society around the world may drive criminal behavior.”

Morgan said there are scholarship opportunities ranging from scholarships for Yoopers to those who choose to study abroad in a developing part of the world.

“Students don’t have to go through a Northern program if they find an outside opportunity that isn’t one of ours we’ll make it happen,” Morgan said.

This fall starting noon to 2 pm Friday, September 4 in the upstairs atrium of C.B. Hedgecock, the International Programs Office will hold drop in sessions with various topics every Friday till September 25.

The International Study Abroad fair will be held 1 p.m to 5 p.m. Tuesday, September 22 on the main floor of Jamrich Hall.