Notre Dame de Namur University has had seven students working on their degrees in five countries around the world this year. Studying abroad is a way to learn about other cultures and balance out an on campus education with real world experience, giving students an opportunity to expand their reach beyond Belmont.
There are opportunities for students to travel to places like Spain, Africa, Ireland, France, China or even spending a Semester at Sea. Many of the freshman coming in are very interested in the concept of studying abroad, but get sidetracked with work, family, or are put off by the amount of money they assume or the paperwork. However, most of the programs end up being cheaper than a semester on campus at NDNU, even after including room and board.
Study Abroad Advisor at NDNU, Ann Fathman said, “It can be cheaper than going to NDNU for a semester, even if you include spending money and things like that, it will not cost a student that much, depending on what program you are in, Argentina and Mexico are much much cheaper.” Fathman feels that studying abroad is the most enlightening part of a student’s career and is eager to crush misconceptions that keep students from enrolling.
Students have the opportunity to study in Africa, China, Europe, Mexico, and even spend a Semester at Sea. NDNU Senior Gianna Emme spent her Semester at Sea on a cruise ship around the African Continent, stopping in Hawaii, Japan, China, Vietnam, Africa, Morocco, and many other places. “I walked away with a new perspective on life. It’s not all about the material things that one has in life. I saw a lot of poverty while I was in the countries and will always remember how Semester at Sea changed my life forever.” said Emme.
NDNU Senior Meleena Leon spent eight of her weeks taking general education and major specific courses at Oxford University in England. After the traditional term ended, she spent time with a tutor one on one, working through two classes that pushed her and left her with lasting connections professionally and personally. “The tutorial system allowed me to explore the ways in which I learn best and in doing so I was able to challenge myself as well as the tutors I worked with.” said Leon. This experience gives students a chance to bond, and form into an unlikely little family with relationships that last forever.
NDNU Senior and Business Administration Major, Marcela Rodriguez studied abroad in Barcelona, Spain. “Studying abroad opened my mind to so many new things, encouraged me to try things I would have never thought of, pushed me out of my comfort zone, and now that I am back I feel like I can go out and do everything I’ve ever dreamed of.” said Rodriguez.
Many students consider these programs out of reach because living in the Bay Area is expensive, but it can actually be more affordable to study abroad in another country where the cost of living is far less. The average student at NDNU in Belmont pays $33,926
per semester before the cost of room and board, whereas a student studying for semester in Barcelona with American Institute for Foreign Study would spend $15,650, all expenses included. There are also many grants; Pell Grants and Cal Grants for example, and scholarships that transfer over to support a semester abroad. Contrary to popular belief, all credits will transfer. This is ensured by the student’s guidance counselor, and any major can study abroad. From Nursing programs to Business programs
“I spent 5 months in the Gold Coast of Australia, and it was the best five months of my life. So many aspects of my character and who I am seemed to be sharpened by the experience,” said Conrad Clevlen who studied Psychology in Gold Coast, Australia.