UIndy’s Study Abroad Program gives students new perspectives

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The University of Indianapolis Study Abroad Program allows students to continue their education journey by earning course credits, participating in an internship and/or serving in the local community, according to UIndy’s website. With this program, students get to immerse themselves in a new culture and experience something once in a lifetime, according to UIndy’s Director of Global Education Ghina Sadek.

According to Sadek, the program will start advertising upcoming opportunities coming soon. Professor of International Relations and Political Science Milind Thakar said that trips, usually lasting a week to two weeks, are available during spring term and summer break. The specific length of the trip varies depending on the location.

“It changes your perspective. You see things differently. You might appreciate your country much more and say, ‘Hey, it’s so much easier to do this,’ or you might say, ‘We could do a little bit more of this.’ It’s also the way you explore stuff with your friends, or people that you meet out there,” Thaker said.

Sadek said that before registering for a trip, it is important to get in contact with the trip leader and get any questions answered. There are important callout meetings that will be posted for each trip. Once a student is set on going, they will need to submit a deposit to their trip leader in order to secure their spot, according to Sadek. 

Before traveling abroad, Thakar recommends reading about the destination in guide books, or on TripAdvisor.com, to learn about the language, social etiquette and currency. Sadek says the first step before traveling abroad is to get a valid passport as soon as possible. For students looking to travel abroad, but are concerned about the price, there are resources available and steps to make it more affordable. 

“There’s a couple [grants] at UIndy and I can help guide them through what they are eligible for, and there’s some ideas on how to fund the study abroad experiences on our study abroad web page,” said Sadek. 

Thakar recommends reaching out to community businesses for sponsorship through writing them a letter. He also says to contact family members and see if they could donate to you. 

“I tell everybody, if it were up to me I would require every single person to get out of here and go get that experience,” Sadek said. “It’s not required, but I really, highly recommend it, and I would want them to know that it doesn’t matter if they’ve got a job here, if they don’t want to be away from their family for too long, if they’re student athletes, if their major is very stressful and needs them to be here throughout the semester. If they want to go abroad, we can talk about finding an international experience that’s a good fit for them, regardless of all that other stuff. All they gotta be is a UIndy student who’s interested in studying abroad and I can make that happen.” 

Sadek recommends planning your trip abroad at least six to nine months in advance in order for less stress and an ideal trip. For further information on the program and trips, students can visit the UIndy Study Abroad website at UIndy.edu, or follow the UIndy Study Abroad Instagram @uindystudyabroad. Students can also sign up for the UIndy Study Abroad Newsletter through the website. Fliers on specific trips will start to be passed out in Schwitzer Student Center coming soon. 

Thakar says he is more than happy to answer any questions anyone may have. His email address is mthakar@uindy.edu.

According to Sadek, current approved trip destinations for this year include:

– Austria, Germany and the Netherlands 

– Denmark, Norway and Sweden

– Belize

– Costa Rica

– Cyprus

– South Africa

– South Korea

– Italy

– Scotland

– Dominican Republic 

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