Bon Voyage!

Students immerse themselves in culture through study abroad

“It felt so surreal to be in a place that you have seen in pictures before, but never expected to be there in person,” said Ferris radiography junior Abby Harmala. “It was by far one of the most memorable experience of the trip!​” Submitted Photo

At this point in the semester there are many students waiting on their acceptance to study abroad programs and many other students sharing GoFundMe pages to raise money for their trips.

Ferris offers short-term and exchange program opportunities all over the world for students to study abroad and students say it has been one of their best decisions in college.

“The best thing about studying abroad was interacting with the native people and learning about their country’s history and culture,” said Ferris radiography junior Abby Harmala, who traveled to Italy, France and Spain last summer.

According to the Ferris international website, a short-term program is two to four weeks and worth three to six credits. This program is a great way to introduce students to studying outside of the United States.

During the summer of 2017 Ferris will be sending students to destinations such as Costa Rica, El Salvador, Germany, Austria, Haiti, Italy, Russia, Scotland and Spain for short-term programs.

An exchange program student can go almost anywhere including France, Germany, Japan, Netherlands, South Korea, Turkey and the United Kingdom. Ferris public relations junior Drew Myers will be studying abroad in Italy this summer.

“I have known people to study abroad in Italy,” Myers said. “My mom has gone there. This is the last summer I can do this before I need to start my internship, so I thought this is the time to go. People have told me they love Italy, so I wanted to experience it for myself.”

“Living at home and always living in Big Rapids, I feel like I don’t really get to experience that much,” Myers added. “So I really wanted to finally get out and go somewhere that I am completely unfamiliar with and explore other places.”

Myers said she was lucky because her parents started an education savings plan that is helping her pay for this experience.

“(Studying abroad) is not hindering my graduation,” Myers said. “I wouldn’t say it is speeding it up either. It’s keeping me on track.”

Ferris public relations senior Katie Nimtz is waiting on her acceptance letter to study abroad in the Netherlands.

“I’ve always wanted to study abroad and it kind of worked out perfect with my credits,” Nimtz said. “They have an amazing program there that offers international communications media and it plugs perfectly into the public relations degree.”

Nimtz is taking this opportunity to explore the big world and take on a change of pace.

“When doing a semester program, it’s a lot like paying for credits here at Ferris, so I am paying for it the same way I would be paying for classes here,” Nimtz said. “I will also be getting a job during the summer to pay for other expenses like airfare and food.”

Nimtz suggests that students to check it out, but research the programs to figure out what works best.