The International Summer University is a collaboration between the University of Southern Indiana and other partner universities, hosted annually by the University of Applied Sciences of Osnabrück, Germany - Hochschule Osnabrück. The most recent study abroad program took place July 14-August 5, 2016, and 15 USI students participated in the experience. It marks the fifth year Dr. Daria Sevastianova, associate professor of economics, has taken groups of business students to study in Germany and travel in Europe. "In my opinion, this is a student success story that has been five years in the making, and it deserves to be told and celebrated," said Dr. Sevastianova.
The mayor of Osnabrück welcomed Dr. Sevastianova and the USI students.
While earning academic credit for business and intercultural training courses, the participants attend many social events and visit local businesses, including Volkswagen, Amazone Agricultural Technology, Hellmann Logistics, and KME Copper Solutions. On weekends, the students take cultural trips to Berlin, Paris, Amsterdam, Vienna, and Brussels.
The study abroad program is often described by its many alumni as a transformative experience, helping students to become more open-minded while creating unforgettable memories, making lasting friendships, becoming confident travelers, building strong resumes, and pursuing more international education and career opportunities. Marketing major Brie Phillips and Keegan Roembke, an economics major, participated in this summer's program. “I feel more confident, happy, outgoing, and open-minded!” said Brie. Keegan remarked, “I became better at talking to people from different cultures, traveling, and being independent. I would really like to go to graduate school and work abroad.”
There was a USI reunion dinner for the business students and the students from the College of Nursing and Health Professions. They were joined by Fred Krahl '15, who participated in the study abroad program in 2014. After graduating from USI, Krahl was accepted into Osnabrück's competitive graduate school program, where he is pursuing a master's degree in International Business and Management.
When considering studying abroad, students may feel apprehensive. They wonder whether there will be language barriers, or about things like finding familiar food or getting around the city. Many are flying for the first time. "All these are easily overcome within the first couple of days as the students discover that English is always an option, great food and drink choices are abundant, transportation is cheap and efficient, and people are friendly," reassures Dr. Sevastianova.
“The trip to Germany changed the way I saw the world, and it gave me the courage to study abroad for five months on my own,” said Kelly Brown '14, who went in 2012. Elizabeth Uebelhor '15 who participated in 2015, tells students, “I would tell absolutely anyone and everyone to come here. You won’t get an experience like this anywhere else.”
Published September 1, 2016