Monday, March 2, 2015

Hello from Northern Ireland!

A letter from UNO's Haley Ferguson:

March 1, 2015

Hello from Northern Ireland!

I am currently beginning the sixth week of my studies here at Ulster University in Coleraine, and time is absolutely flying by. In the month or so that I’ve been here, I’ve already learned so much both academically and generally, I’ve met so many amazing people and have had so many great experiences. I’ve gotten a feel for the way of life here in Northern Ireland (although there is still so much to learn), I’ve gotten to travel throughout Ireland a bit already, and have so much more planned! One thing I definitely have not gotten used to yet, however, is having cars come at me from the left side of the road! I may or may not come home remembering how to drive.

The education system is quite a bit different here. First of all, there are only three years of study rather than four. So, although I am in classes with mostly final year students, I have been in school longer than all of them, which is a little strange! Also, there are many more nontraditional, or older than college-aged, students at home than there are here. I have seen maybe two or three people in my classes in total that are nontraditional, which I find interesting. Another thing that is different about the system here is that much more time is expected to be spent outside of class, so I've spent a much shorter amount of time actually in class. Although my classes are worth the same weight as they would be at home, I’m only spending about eight hours a week actually in classes. However, they expect students to be spending about three hours per class per week doing actual independent study which is included in the course, and then much more studying on top of that.

Another big adjustment I am trying to make is living in a very small town! The campus that I’m on is pretty removed from town, so to get into town, we have to either take the train or bus, a taxi, or prepare ourselves for a forty-five minute walk! It has been great to get adjusted to using a public transportation system since at home, I am so accustomed to just jumping in my car to get to wherever I need to go. Although most people here do have cars, most university students do not.

So far, I have been trying to get acclimated to my classes, so the only trips my five American roommates and I have gone on are day trips to other parts of Northern Ireland and a weekend trip to Dublin. Both Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland are such beautiful places, and there is so much to see and so much varying geography within a relatively small country! About 15 minutes away from campus, we have a places called the Giant’s Causeway, which is honestly the most beautiful place I’ve ever seen. We have already take a couple of trips there! Next weekend we are headed to London, and about three weeks after that, during Easter break, I am going to Belgium and Germany, and then Spain and Portugal for a week! It is wonderful that countries are so close together here since at home, traveling across the country would be further than any trip I’ll be making here.

This experience has already been life-changing for me. Adapting to living in any new place is hard, but I’m so thankful that Northern Ireland is where I have been selected to go. In a short month, I have already met amazing friends that I know will last a lifetime and seen places I never would have had the chance to see. I am definitely still adjusting to the way the education system works here, but I am figuring it out! I am so happy to have been given this opportunity and I cannot wait to see how much more I will learn in the next three months in this beautiful place!

Haley Ferguson

Friday, February 27, 2015

AIFS Scholarships

 March 1st is the deadline for AIFS Summer Scholarships. Along with our general scholarships, we currently have (5) $1000 scholarships available for the University of Maynooth program.
· April 15th is the deadline for AIFS Fall Semester Scholarships. Scholarship material and requirements can be found on our website.
Below are a few of our summer programs that have specific major/areas of study focus.
University of Limerick, Ireland:
· Business Program: The Kemmy Business School: Summer School in Responsible Business will offer three modules under the unifying theme of ‘Responsible Business.’ Students will choose one 3 credit module from the following options:
o Finance/FI4000 (3) | International Financial Markets and Trading
o Finance/AC4000 (3) | Corporate Social Responsibility
o Business/MG4000 (3) | Business Tools for Social Projects
· Engineering Program: Engineering students may select the following course offered by the Department of Mechanical, Aeronautical and Biomedical Engineering which is suitable for students from all areas of Engineering. Please note this is a 4.5-credit course which meets for a total of 67 hours.
o Engineering 400/ME4000 (4.5) | Technical Communication for Engineers
· Urban Laboratory Architecture Program: The Urban Architecture Program aims to make architecture relevant to governance everywhere and draws on a fast-paced design studio environment run by a team including architects, engineers and philosophers from all over the world. AIFS students will have the opportunity to collaborate with a select group of students from the University of Limerick’s innovative architecture program. Beyond architecture and urban planning, the program targets graduates from a variety of disciplines that bring a specific interest in architecture. Students on this program take both courses listed below for a total of 6 credits
o Architecture 440/AR4407 (3) | Architecture Intelligence Unit
o Architecture 400/AR4000 (3) | Limerick: Local History and Urban Governance in Architecture
Shakespeare Globe Education Theater Program:
3-week summer program at Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre in London, England
Open to college freshmen, sophomores, juniors and seniors
Minimum 2.5 GPA required
Students earn 3 credits studying the works of Shakespeare and all aspects of theatrical performance
Courses offered in literature, theater and acting skills
Spanish and Soccer: Granada, Spain:
3-week summer program in Granada, Spain, combines 2 weeks of Intensive Spanish language with 6 days of non-credit soccer training with professional coaches
Open to high school graduates, college freshmen, sophomores, juniors and seniors
No previous Spanish language study required
Minimum 2.0 GPA required
Program fee includes tuition, housing, meals, soccer training with professional Spanish coaches, excursions and cultural activities, day trips, and more. Optional AIFS Flight package available.
Travel Programs:
Chinese History and Culture:
3-week intensive introduction to major themes and events of Chinese history
Open to college freshmen, sophomores, juniors and seniors
Minimum 2.5 GPA required (lower GPAs will be considered on a case-by-case basis)
no previous Chinese language study required
Earn 3 semester credits
Study in Beijing (6 nights), Xi’an (4 nights), Chengdu (3 nights), Shanghai (3 nights), and Hong Kong (5 nights)
Business and Politics in the E.U.:
4-week comprehensive introduction to the European Union for business, finance, marketing and political science students
Open to college juniors and seniors (sophomores considered on a case-by-case basis and must meet prerequisites)
Minimum 2.5 GPA required (lower GPAs will be considered on a case-by-case basis)
Earn up to 3 semester credits
Prerequisites: MGT 4200 – Introduction to Business and ECN 4110 – Introduction to Macroeconomics or equivalent.
Study in London (8 nights), Paris (4 nights), Brussels (3 nights), Strasbourg (2 nights), Munich (2 nights), Prague (3 nights) and Berlin (4 nights)
Formal classroom teaching in London plus extensive field trips in all cities
European Art and Architecture:
4-week comprehensive survey of western European culture emphasizing art and architecture
Open to college freshmen, sophomores, juniors and seniors
Minimum 2.5 GPA required (lower GPAs will be considered on a case-by-case basis)
Earn 3 semester credits
Study in London (6 nights), Amsterdam (3 nights), Paris (5 nights), Lucerne (2 nights), Venice (3 nights), Florence (4 nights) and Rome (4 nights)
Fashion Marketing and Merchandising:
· 4-week comprehensive overview of the fashion industry witnessed firsthand in 4 fashion capitals of the world: London, Milan, Paris, and Florence
· Open to college freshmen, sophomores, juniors and seniors
· Minimum 2.5 GPA required (lower GPAs will be considered on a case-by-case basis)
· Earn 3 semester credits
· Study in London (8 nights), Paris (5 nights), Milan (4 nights) and Florence (6 nights)

Monday, February 23, 2015

The Land of Oz: My semester in Australia

UNO's very own Shelby Larson is Studying Abroad AGAIN, this time in Australia! Check out her blog to see what it's really like to study in this amazing county.

Although I've had an amazing three week vacation to start off my semester, I've also had a long week registering and enrolling in classes for this semester. I anticipated taking a few classes that (might) transfer into my Women's and Gender Studies major back home, but when I sat down for enrollment I found myself discovering classes that I didn't even know existed! As it stands, I am currently enrolled in three subjects: Sex, Gender, and Identity; Gender, Culture, Society and Health; and Diversity, Democracy, and Dissent (this class is actually worth 2 units, so I'm technically enrolled in the equivalent of 4 courses). I'm so excited for classes to start, because these courses sound really interesting!

Amidst registering and enrolling, I've also had a slightly disturbing dose of reality about this upcoming semester. During the "Need to Know" session for international students, I experienced what I can only describe as a massive wave of a reality check as it crashed onto my shoulders. Although I have studied abroad before, this is the first time I've done it all by myself. I have Sean and his family a few hours away in Geelong, but when it comes to the day-to-day life at uni, I'm completely, 100% on my own. As shocking as this revelation was, I cannot help but think that this is what will define my experience. Only I can make this semester an experience worth remembering, and as frightening as that is, I cannot help getting a little excited. It shocks me how comfortable I'm getting with being outside of my comfort zone.

Till next time, lovely people! xoxo

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Why Study Abroad?

Here is a post written by UNO's own Ramazan Kilinc, professor of Political Science. He is leading a faculty lead trip this summer to Turkey to study Politics, Society, and Economics. Feel free to shoot him an email and ask him any question you have about the country, politics, or studying abroad.

Would you like to study a semester or at least a few weeks in summer in a foreign country? 

Some of you might think why to leave your comfort zone and taking the tribulations of studying abroad. First of all, study abroad is not as difficult as you think. UNO offers many opportunities to the students to study abroad smoothly. Furthermore, study abroad brings endless benefits to the students. 

First, study abroad expands and enriches your academic work at UNO by bringing different cultural perspectives to your study. Thanks to your experience abroad, you can have an expanded worldview and multicultural perspective. Through study abroad, you can become globally literate and gain ability to relate and communicate to others. 

Second, gaining an international experience is a valuable contribution to your competitiveness in the U.S. market after graduation. Today, the world is more interconnected than ever. The companies need people who have adaptability, sensitivity and sensibility to diverse cultures and peoples. The ability to interact in multiple cultures and the capability to analyze issues on a global level is more valuable than ever.

 Last but not least, the study abroad experience also improves your personal development. You gain the ability to empathize with others and respect for different lifestyles and cultures. Due to the challenging experience of living in a different country, you can improve independence and self-confidence, and learn becoming more flexible and adaptable. Wiping away your misconceptions, study abroad makes you even more compassionate. The study abroad is truly a life changing experience. I lead study abroad tour to Turkey every summer. Explore the study abroad opportunities that UNO offers. If you end up with my program, contact me at for more details. The testimony of one of the UNO students who attended to 2014 summer study trip to Turkey summarizes the value of study abroad: “To be truly impacted by someone or something is to not only gain knowledge of another’s perspective or to take in new information, but also to gain insight into the human experience, to realize truths about yourself and your world, and to make a deep connection with what you've learned and allow it to change you. The knowledge and experience I have gained from taking this course carry a depth and meaning I have not previously experienced through the traditional in-class only learning environment”. 

Ramazan Kilinc
Assistant Professor of Political Science
Director, Islamic Studies Program
University of Nebraska at Omaha

Friday, January 16, 2015

Inspiring Travel Books to Read Before Traveling Abroad

Going abroad is an experience that can change the course of your life (or at least should, if you do it correctly). There’s so much to see, so much to experience, so many places to go, and, of course, so much to eat.
Whether you already have a trip planned for the upcoming semester, or you’re trying to decide where it is you want to go next year, I’ve compiled a reading list that is sure to inspire your taste for adventure. Read these 11 books, from Ernest Hemingway’s A Moveable Feast to Maya Angelou’s All God’s Children Need Traveling Shoes, before embarking on your trip.
Why? They’ll help whet your appetite to hop a plane now and get you prepped to experience the wonder, the strangeness, and the beauty of living in a foreign place. Trust me — these books are way better than any travel guide you’ll read. (But, um, you might want to pick up one of those, too.)

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Old City, New Experiences

 This is from UNO's Mackenzie Hoffer. She is studying in India. Check out her blog to see what it's like to be an American living in a new country. She even includes what it was like before her long flight over seas and colorful photos. 
The Charminar is Hyderabad’s greatest identifier. It is located in the Old City, which is full of historical monuments that make Hyderabad what it is. Surrounding the Charminar is the Laad Bazar, known for their bangles. Down the road sits the Chowmahalla Palace, a palace of the Nizams of Hyderabad. That being said it was one of the first things on our go-see list.
Train is the best way to go from the University, so three friends and I took a rickshaw to Lingampally station and prepared to buy our tickets and hop on the train. As we approached the ticket stand we began to notice that there is no such thing as a line, just arms that slither in front and around each other waving rupees. After figuring out how to play the game, we bought tickets only to put them in our pockets and forget about them. Not everyone buys tickets but we were told it’s a “community service.”
The train was packed but slowly dwindled down the further we rode, stopping for about 20 seconds at each stop. Frantic people were coming on and off the train with no type of organization. Some even ran next to the train to jump onto the footboard of the door once it began leaving.
Speeding up and slowing down, even stopping at some points to let other trains pass, it came to be an hour and a half ride. Outside of Yakutpura station sat a large group of rickshaw drivers ready to lure you into their autos. The streets lined with all types of shops, people and animals. We crammed the four of us in a rickshaw to the Charminar, the ride was short but hectic (as always).
Afterward we shopped around in the bustle of the Laad Bazar. Every place I looked there was someone looking at me holding jewelry saying, “Madam! Madam, look!” If you are an impulse buyer, this place is your worst nightmare.Old City is so much more populated than the outskirts that the University sits on; it was a completely different feel. We bought tickets to go up inside the Charminar to get some good views of the city. Climbing up the stairs inside one of the pillars was intense and definitely not for anyone claustrophobic. The granite, limestone, mortar and pulverized marble stairs were in twisted up in the small space of the 160-foot tall pillar. Although the reasoning of monument built in 1592 is debated, most can agree it was built in the center of the city to commemorate the eradication of plague.
This alone took most of the day, so we went home with intentions to go back for the Chowmahalla Palace, which we did. Also known as Chowmahallat meaning four palaces, this little oasis covers 12 acres. We spent forever walking the property, with each door and archway leading to another. Everything was completely different than from what was on the other side of the gates; I almost forgot we were in Hyderabad.
Each and every thing up to the ceilings had intricate detail. My favorite part was a room filled with restored Quran manuscripts. I was unable to take pictures inside, but the work on them was unbelievable.
Old City is filled with so many more things to do and see, this blog post doesn’t even do justice. It’s a bit overwhelming to think about how much there is to tackle this semester and I haven’t even touched on other cities in India yet.

Monday, January 12, 2015

Will in Japan

This is a news letter from UNO's very own Will Hotchkiss;

Hello Everyone!
I hope everyone has been having a great holiday season! While it of course would be nice to be home for holidays like Thanksgiving and Christmas, I am still having a great time here! Time has really been flying, it is hard to believe that 2014 is almost over. Things have been going well here, I have had a great time seeing old friends and an awesome time making new ones. That is the best part about being back in Shizuoka. It is a great city with a lot of great people.
We just started our winter break this week, just in time for the events for the New Year here in Japan. Christmas is not a big holiday around this time of year like it is back home. They have a lot of decorations and things like that but it is really all about the New Year. And for them, the time around New Year's day is all about family. It might include a visit to a shrine or temple, and they have special food. Most students who are studying at the university will go back to their hometown. I'm hoping to stay with a family for New Year's so I can get the real feel for the way they celebrate it here.
The weather is really nice here, the past couple of days have been spectacular! And I just have the best view from my balcony. The way the red sky lights up the mountains and the ocean is really something. I hear the weather back in Omaha has been as crazy as ever! No surprise there. I also hear that gas is getting really cheap. Of course that happens when I can't take advantage of it.
I'm including a few pictures with this newsletter as well, and I think you will see a few familiar faces for those of you involved with the sister cities! I hope you all had a great holiday season. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!