Study abroad offers different worldview

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If you love to travel, experience new places and learn a global perspective, NDSU has several impactful study abroad opportunities.

Will Odland, a recent industrial engineering and management graduate from Alexandria, Minnesota, has participated in two study abroad trips to Europe. First, as a sophomore College of Business student, he travelled to the Netherlands, Belgium and France. After changing majors as a junior, Odland explored Rome, Florence and the Tuscany region of Italy.

Odland chose NDSU’s Global Seminar Program, which combines on-campus coursework with two-week learning experiences abroad during the university’s winter, spring or summer break. He said it was the perfect amount of time for him to learn and explore. Full semester study abroad experiences also are available for students in a variety of majors.  

“I was able to see beautiful buildings, landscapes and museums. I was able to eat great food and interact with locals,” Odland said. “I learned a lot from the tour guides and faculty on topics including history, architecture, business and politics. One of the benefits I experienced was developing a global mindset. Experiencing different cultures, languages and political systems gave me a better appreciation of other countries and their cultures.”

During both of his study abroad trips, Odland visited several popular landmarks and connected with new friends while learning first-hand from the people who lived in each location. He said connecting with people of different backgrounds helped him during his recent internship. 

“I worked with several teams from Ireland and India,” he said. “Thanks to my study abroad experiences, I was more aware of cultural nuances, more flexible and better at communicating with a diverse set of co-workers.”

The highlight of his study abroad experiences was a four-day solo trip around Italy. He navigated his way around the country using the transit system, found hotels each day and was completely self-reliant. “Those four days alone have made me a more confident decision maker and better able to persevere through challenges that come my way,” he said.