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Video by Andrew Achter, New Zealand

Andrew is a Marketing & Graphic Design major who studied in the UMD Study Abroad program in New Zealand Fall of 2016. 

  • What was your favorite part? 
    • My favorite part about studying abroad was having the opportunity to make friends from all over the world. It helped me realize that no matter the language barrier or location you grew up in, all humans are very similar. 
  • Why do you believe study abroad is a worthwhile experience?
    • Studying abroad is worthwhile for so many reasons. It gives you an opportunity to look at how the rest of the world is affected and influenced by the United States both socially and politically, it gives you the opportunity to take classes in your field of study and learn from a different perspective, and it gives you the chance to travel across the world!
  • What was the strangest/funniest experience you encountered while abroad?
    • With the US 2016 presidential election happening while abroad, I got to hear the insight of people from all around the world. Most were very concerned with who the last two candidates were. I thought it was interesting how much people from across the world knew about our election when many Americans don't even pay attention to politics. My parents came to visit right around the time of the election and everywhere we went, people asked us who we voted for the second after they heard us speak with an American accent. We joked that we should've told people that we were Canadian so we could avoid being swarmed with questions everywhere we went!
  • What advice do you have for someone considering study abroad?
    • For those students considering studying abroad, I recommend going into both the study abroad office and speaking with your advisor, they will help you get the information you need to plan everything seamlessly. If finances are holding you back, look into all of the scholarships offered to study abroad students and maybe consider taking out a small loan. I did and I promise you won't regret it for a once in a lifetime experience such as this. 
      For those students that have already committed to studying abroad in on of the coming semesters, I just have to say, go out of your way to meet new people and take advantage of every opportunity that you have. Money comes and goes but experiences truly do last a lifetime, I lived by this motto while abroad and I don't regret a single thing from the entire experience. Lastly, safe travels and have the time of your life! 


Video by Mitchell Rysavy

Mitchell, a Computer Science major studied in the UMD Study in England Programme at the University of Worcester in 2013-2014. See more videos from his experience in England and beyond, and feel free to check out the UMD at UoW blog.

  • What was your favorite part? 
    • My favorite part of the whole thing was the people I met. I made lots of friends from both UMD and the UK.
  • Why do you believe study abroad is a worthwhile experience?
    • Studying abroad was worthwhile to me at least, because I got to see in person so many places I’d only seen in pictures, and I learned that traveling to these places (and beyond!) is something that I am completely capable of doing! In short, I gained a lot of confidence and the world got a lot smaller!
  • What was the strangest/funniest experience you encountered while abroad?
    • There are several, but one that comes to mind happened when my dad came to visit. We were visiting the Oxford university natural history museum, and my dad was wearing a UMD shirt. We were noticed by a couple who saw the shirt and told us that they were originally from Edina! Another one is when I found a single bottle of Aunt Jemima maple syrup in TK Maxx (UK equivalent of TJ Maxx – which is weird because they are primarily a clothes store) In the UK, the only maple syrup I was able to find was real maple syrup, which was more expensive, so I don’t know where that bottle of Aunt Jemima came from, but I was sure glad to have it!
  • What advice do you have for someone considering study abroad?
    • If you’re on the fence about studying abroad, or if it even sounds remotely interesting, take a look at the study abroad website or stop in their office and make a quick financial and academic plan as if you were going to study abroad. I think the biggest mental hurdle for many people—myself included, is the initial planning! Once you become familiar with the process and whether or not you can afford it, it becomes much less daunting!

Video by Andrea Beauchamp

Andrea is in the College of Education & Human Service Professions studying Integrated Elementary and Special Education. She studied abroad at the University of Birmingham in spring semester 2015. Check out the 15 countries and 41 cities she visited during her 6 months in Europe!

  • What was your favorite part? 
    • My favorite part about studying abroad was all of the amazing people I was able to meet along my journey. I did a thirty day Euro Trip alone during our Easter break and was able to meet and still be in contact with other travelers I met in each city. I now have friends and connections all over the world, which is a truly special thing to have.
  • Why do you believe study abroad is a worthwhile experience?
    •  Studying abroad is a really important experience to pursue, for so many reasons. Once students graduate and enter the workforce is becomes so much harder to be able to travel for long periods of time. Being able to say that I lived in England for six months of my life is so incredible, and a process I could never do by myself without the support of the Study Abroad office at UMD.
  • What was the strangest/funniest experience you encountered while abroad?
    • The funniest part of my experience was trying to adapt to the language and culture of each country before leaving for the next one a few days later. Once in a café in Paris, I said Grazie instead of Merci because of I was still thinking in the Italian culture!

Video by Dean Berlinerblau

Dean is a Marketing & Graphic Design major and his video shares the almost meditative and tranquil stunning scenery from his experience studying abroad in New Zealand, spring semester 2015.

  • What was your favorite part? 
    • My favorite part about being in New Zealand was going on long hikes by myself. I had a complete connectedness with nature, achieved a highly meditative state, and had a constant timeless feeling. These things are addicting in the healthiest way and made me want to do it over and over. It was such a high level of self-actualization that could not have been achieved if I was with people.
  • Four reasons I think you should study abroad:
    • You can explore places and things you never have before.
    • Living in a different country for a long period of time and attending a university that comprises students from many different parts of the world opens up your views and widens your perspectives on the world. You get to experience and implement that your culture isn’t the only “right” way of doing things.
    • It allows you become more independent and acknowledge your potential to do things yourself.
    • You can make new friends from different parts of the world and share each other's values with one another.
  • What was the strangest/funniest experience you encountered while abroad?
    • When I was camping in Marlborough Sounds in the South Island, there were these weird furry creatures roaming around the campsite and at the time I had no idea what they were.  I later found out they were possums.  Such odd creatures.  When I was about to go to sleep (outside in a hammock), two of them came up to me and tried to get at my food.  I kept going back and forth between threatening them with a knife and wanting to pet them because they were actually kind of cute (well, one of them). Threatening them with a knife caused them to back off for like 10 seconds but then they would just come back because they are relentless. It was my first interaction with possums and I just didn’t really know what to do.
  • What was your goal behind this video?
    • To create an experience for the viewer similar to what I had experienced (not that a video will do those places justice).  I commonly listened to ambient, post-rock, or other styles of instrumental music while I was hiking because those genres perfectly coincide with nature and help me transition into a meditative state.  Some artists I would commonly listen to are Boards of Canada, Eluvium, Gas, Biosphere, Explosions In The Sky, and Daniel Higgs. The song I wrote for the video, called “Field Interpretation”, was influenced by everything I had experienced.

The contents of these videos are the respective students and do not reflect any position of the University of Minnesota Duluth.