Study abroad informational sessions to be hosted weekly

Andie Balenger

The International Programs Office will be hosting weekly learning sessions over Zoom for students interested in studying abroad. 

With travel opportunities in over 50 different countries, Study Abroad 101 is an informational meeting that covers the wide variety of travel programs offered by NMU. The presentation will include an explanation of the application process, along with a discussion of financial aid opportunities and how to match a program to individual student interests.

Lila Isleib, the coordinator of study abroad and student services in the International Programs Office, will be hosting the Study Abroad 101 meetings.

“We have everything from short-term faculty-led programs to academic year programs,” Isleib said. “So there is a lot of opportunity out there that can meet the needs of students and they just need to explore their options.”

Study Abroad 101 is meant to be a personable experience. According to Isleib, the presentation is centered around a question-and-answer session, which is used to further explain the application process and clarify common student misconceptions. Nothing is required for those interested in attending. 

With COVID-19 travel restrictions no longer a major concern, Isleib said that the number of students displaying interest in studying abroad has tripled in the last year.

“This is the perfect time in your life to have an experience like this,” Isleib said. “You can be gone from the U.S. for a long period of time, it works towards your degree and a lot of times you don’t have as many responsibilities and obligations as you do once you graduate.” 

In addition to aiding in the development of soft skills, like flexibility and communication, Isleib said that a study abroad experience increases a student’s likelihood of being hired by employers upon graduation.

“Statistics out there state that students that come out of the university with a study abroad experience on their resume are 50% more hirable because employers understand that they will have to work in an increasingly global environment,” Isleib said.

Study Abroad 101 is mandatory for all who are looking to study in a foreign country, and students will receive the NMU study abroad application from the International Programs Office upon completion. Isleib said that students looking to schedule their study abroad experience for this summer or in the fall must meet with her as soon as possible. 

Students can register on the Hub for the first Study Abroad 101 meeting, which will take place over Zoom on Wednesday, Jan. 25. More information regarding study abroad opportunities, including academic requirements and application materials, can be found on the International Programs Office website.