Study-abroad options cater to student interests

By in News

While some students may be aware that there are study-abroad options available at the University of Saskatchewan, many may not know that their colleges offer programs that are specifically targeted on their study or travel interests.

The annual deadline to apply for most study-abroad programs for the spring, summer and fall terms is Feb. 1. With these programs, students can get experiential-learning opportunities and earn credits towards their degree programs with the travel period that suits them best. Programs can run anywhere from a few months to only 10 days in another country.

Emma Wist, a fourth-year management student, travelled to Stuttgart, Germany, to take COMM 498: Evidence-Based Strategy and Decision Making in the spring of 2017. She explains that the aspect of the trip that stood out most to her was the difference between Canadian and German culture, with regards to their business practices.

“It was just interesting, more from a learning perspective, to see the difference country­to-country, because so many businesses operate internationally,” Wist said.

The U of S also has taught-abroad courses, short programs that vary in length in which a U of S instructor will travel with a group of students and teach them in their host country. In contrast, summer- and term-abroad programs give students the chance to travel independently and take courses from their host university, which will then transfer back to the U of S as credits.

Rebecca Tweidt, a fourth-year agronomy student, took a taught-abroad course in the Netherlands in 2015, titled AGRC 311: International Study Tour, and she later returned in February 2017 for a term program at the same host university. She discusses the differences between the two programs.

“I felt like, doing the taught-abroad [course], I got the tiniest little taste of the culture, and it was just like I need more — I need to learn more — and I felt like a tourist, and then, when I actually went there to take the term abroad, I felt like a resident — like I actually lived there. You become part of the culture,” Tweidt said.

Tweidt explains that she enjoyed the longer program, as it offered her more independence, while Wist says the 10-day program was enough time to learn and gain a cultural-exchange experience. Tweidt also warns students to talk to their academic advisors before enrolling in study-abroad courses to confirm that their credits gained abroad will successfully transfer back.

Tweidt notes that she has considered travelling again after completing her degree, as her term abroad gave her the chance to develop personally and academically. She encourages everyone to try travelling by themselves, as it helped her understand herself better.

“It definitely prompted me to broaden my horizons, especially once I leave university, because — especially in something like the sciences — your degree can transfer in so many different ways,” Tweidt said. “There are plenty of opportunities out there — and also, learning that you can get along with people from other countries and you can almost enjoy their company even more.”

Wist also encourages students to take advantage of the travel opportunities offered through their colleges, and she explains that going on a study-abroad trip will demonstrate to future employers that a student is ambitious and adventurous.

“One of the guys on the trip, he applied to the co-op program this fall and immediately got a job from being on this trip,” Wist said. “It just adds so much more to your resumé to have that international experience.”

Nykole King / News Editor

Graphic: Lesia Karalash / Graphics Editor