U of R students seize the opportunity to travel again to study abroad

By University Advancement and Communications Posted: July 4, 2022 8:00 a.m.

Ceiligh Dodds, pictured in Frankfurt earlier this month, is studying abroad in Germany through the European Summer School program at the Bielefeld University of Applied Sciences.
Ceiligh Dodds, pictured in Frankfurt earlier this month, is studying abroad in Germany through the European Summer School program at the Bielefeld University of Applied Sciences. Credit: Ceiligh Dodds

Ceiligh Dodds has been learning about finance, trade, and governance in her courses as a second-year business administration student at the University of Regina.

But this spring, she’s been seeing the applications in major European centres as she studies abroad.

“It’s a really cool, but also necessary experience for young people to have,” said Dodds, who is currently based out of the Bielefeld University of Applied Sciences in northwest Germany.

“I feel like you really need it to grow and to learn about yourself.”

After spending the better part of two years living and studying in her hometown, Dodds jumped at the opportunity to sign up for the structured six-week  European Summer School program advertised in an email from UR International during the winter semester.

UR International Global Education Advisor Sua Park said that is the kind of enthusiasm that her team has been met with since the return of the international travel component of study abroad and exchange programming. For much of the past two years due to the COVID-19 pandemic, programming has been virtual.

Through study abroad partners and student exchange consortiums, University of Regina students have connections with more than 450 institutions across the globe.

Park said about half a dozen students are participating in spring/summer opportunities and others are enrolled or interested in enrolling for the fall and winter semesters.

Jordan Schmuland, a fourth-year international business administration student, will be studying at Sophia University in Tokyo, Japan come September.

U of R Student smiling at the camera
Jordan Schmuland, a fourth-year Hill business student, will be studying at Sophia University in Tokyo, Japan come September.
Credit: Jordan Schmuland

“Travelling to Japan has been a dream of mine since I was a child, so I’d like to still seize the opportunity while I can,” said Schmuland.

“Just being alone and then having to learn a new culture and expand on those lessons of independence, it’s going to be tough,” Schmuland said. “But I think that this is going to push me out of my comfort zone to succeed.”

Bryan Wilson, who studied abroad in early 2014, described having a similar experience while at the University of Technology Sydney in Australia.

“I was pretty nervous about it when I started, just because it was my first big trip,” said Wilson, who, at the time, was in a bachelor of education and bachelor of science dual degree program. He now works at the University of Regina.

“I was expecting to make a few friends and get to know a few people from different places and have an opportunity to do some travelling here and there,” he said. “My reality was way better than I expected in this case.”

U of R student with a koala

Bryan Wilson is pictured with a koala while studying abroad in Australia in 2014.
Credit: Bryan Wilson

Wilson said he enjoyed the language and culture elective classes that he took there – and that he’s still in touch with many of the friends he made while studying abroad.

“At that point in time, there were lots of opportunities to engage and socialize and there were a number of really great events  the university that I was at put on in order to promote socialization and connection,” said Wilson, adding he’s hopeful that those opportunities will continue as circumstances around the world change as countries adapt to COVID-19.

“You’re put into a lot of positions where you will be challenged,” Wilson said. “It really did change my life – and for the better. It made me a more positive and confident person when I came back.”

Visit UR International’s web page for more information on studying abroad, including about scholarships to help ease the financial burden of travel.