Each semester, campus welcomes back and says goodbye to the many Northwestern students who study abroad for a semester.
According to Doug Carlson, the associate dean of global education, interest in studying abroad has grown at many colleges throughout the past decade. Carlson said NW has followed this nationwide trend.
“We have a fixed budget and lately have had more applicants than budget,” Carlson said.
NW provides opportunities in 28 study-abroad locations, including Australia, China, Egypt, Costa Rica, England and Uganda. Further options through different colleges include other locations in Europe and South America.
The Oman, Denver and Romania semesters are NW programs, so tuition and fees are equivalent to a semester on campus.
According to senior Charlotte Richards, it was not difficult to convince her to apply to the Romania semester.
“I always wanted to study abroad, and Northwestern has two study abroad, programs that cover financial aid,” Richards said.
Richards said she chose Romania over Oman because the fall was a more convenient time for her. Richards also took a special interest in the Romania program because students work with a nongovernmental organization called the New Horizons Foundation.
The mission of this organization is to encourage Romanian youth who struggle with civic apathy due to the country’s corruption that stems from its communist history. Richards said she was interested because she had taken an honors class about community development and health.
One year ago, senior Nate Johnston also was applying to studying abroad. For Johnston, studying in a Spanish-speaking country is a requirement for his major. He chose to study in Spain along with six other NW students.
According to Johnston, the most meaningful part of his trip was the home stay, and especially the relationship he formed with his host mom.
“We got to know each other really well,” Johnston said. “We had some really meaningful conversations.”
A challenge during the semester that Johnston came to embrace was living in a city.
“I didn’t drive the whole semester and sometimes walked for miles,” Johnston said.
For those who don’t want to or are unable to spend an entire semester abroad, NW offers three-week Summer Study Abroad trips. This year, students have the option to spend the summer in Turkey or the Czech Republic. Applications for these programs have already closed.
According to Boryana Dobreva, the Summer Study Abroad coordinator, these programs are a great alternative option for first-time travelers.
“(Students) see a little bit of the world that they want to explore more,” Dobreva said.
Applications to study abroad for the coming fall and spring are due Sunday, Feb. 11.
For more information go online to www.nwciowa.edu/study-abroad.