Study Abroad Students Know that Success in an Interconnected World Happens Outside of Reading Books and Taking Tests
Eleven countries. Eight students. Two months.
Insurance Risk Management Junior, Angela Lindow, stepped back on U.S. soil in November 2018 after being abroad for eight weeks. From London, England to Innsbruck, Austria, she traveled with a small group of eight students who took 16 credit hours in the form of in-class and online sessions.
“In London, we took an organizational behavior class with an English professor and went on company visits to Cadbury Chocolate and Land Rover,” Lindow explained. “We also took an art class at The Louvre and an economics class at one of Northwood’s affiliate schools in Germany. The rest of our classes were online Northwood courses.”
Northwood offers three different study abroad programs, varying in length and format, to give students the opportunity to participate in and lead the global economy, which are experiences that director of International Education, Katie Kirkland, says are becoming more and more necessary for graduates.
“Study abroad teaches students historical contexts, economic and political systems, social structures, and global ecosystems. It also develops essential skills such as critical thinking, problem solving, and creativity, and character dispositions such as empathy, courage, cross-cultural communication, understanding, and open-mindedness. Many employers look for those traits in future employees,” she said.
Alumnus Ryan Roscia (’07 B.B.A.) agrees. Roscia participated in the Semester in Europe program in the fall of 2006 and he said the experience directly impacted and prepared him for his current role as the owner, president, and dealer principal of Dick Huvaere’s Richmond Chrysler Dodge Jeep RAM in Richmond, Michigan.
“Part of my success has come from being able to read situations quickly, work with all sorts of people, and positively lead them in the direction that the company needs to move,” Roscia said. “Studying abroad helped me recognize and embrace differences in people and practice my communication skills to both understand problems that arise, and interpret the information provided to make the best decision possible.”
Northwood University Computerized Automotive Retail Simulation (NUCARS)
An additional international program that Northwood offers is NUCARS. NUCARS is a weeklong immersive simulation project where participants from around the world come together in teams. They work in simulation software, StratSimManagement, as owners of an automotive dealership in financial difficulty. The simulation presents teams with real-life automotive dealership dilemmas where they make decisions then see immediate feedback and results.
Every year NUCARS is hosted at one of the eight participating schools, all located in different countries. This year, Northwood was the host.
The diversity in study abroad opportunities is what Kirkland thinks is a major selling point of Northwood, and according to Roscia, she’s right.
“Supporting this program [study abroad] allows me to share my passion for travel and business education with others. I truly believe that experiencing other countries is a critical aspect of business and personal growth,” Roscia said. “If you have not had the opportunity to learn or experience this – especially in an educational setting – it puts you at a disadvantage when trying to do business globally.”
Kirkland is excited for the future of the study abroad program. The International Program Department is forging new partnerships with universities for exchange programs and they’re working to add more locations for short-term programs.
If you’d like to support the study abroad program, donations can be made at northwood.edu/give. In the designation, write “Study Abroad.” If you have questions or want to start a scholarship for study abroad, contact Justin Marshall, vice president of Advancement and Alumni Relations at firstname.lastname@example.org.