The top 10 reasons to study abroad

Class hiking on mountain

UW-L Professor Heidi Morrison’s class hikes down Mt. Sinai in Egypt during a study abroad tour in May and June. Photo by Danh Nguyen.

Each year anywhere from 375 to 425 UW-La Crosse students study abroad. September is a great time to stop by the Office of International Education and learn more. Resources, experienced staff and peer advisers are available to help students find the program that is right for them.

Students may apply for spring study abroad programs through Oct. 1, 2013. Fall and summer program deadlines are March 1.

Student Max Kaiser surrounded by small children.

UW-L student Max Kaiser visiting children at the Association for the Protection of the Environment in Egypt during a four-credit public history course and service learning project, which History Professor Heidi Morrison organized through the UW-L Office of International Education. Photo by Danh Nguyen.

“We want to help every student explore the possibility of studying in a completely new environment,” says Sandy Sieber, assistant director of the Office of International Education. “Contacting our office is taking that first step to a journey of a thousand miles.”

Students who return from time abroad often report the experience changed their life and challenged preconceived notions about other parts of the world. Many resources may factor into a decision to study abroad.

“My study abroad experience really expanded my knowledge of the Middle East. I was really quite surprised to learn of the strong relationship between the United States and Egypt and how Egypt plays an integral roll in our presence throughout the Middle East,” says UW-L student Max Kaiser after taking a public history course in Egypt. “This trip really opened my eyes and proved to me that just because someone lives an entirely different way than we do in the U.S., that doesn’t mean they’re not happy or that they don’t make it work.”

Former Student Affairs Administration Graduate Student Sarah Wittrock boils it down to her top 10 reasons to study abroad.

Top 10 reasons to study abroad

  1. Set yourself apart from other students
  2. Gain a better appreciation for the United States
  3. Meet new people — from the United States and your host country
  4. Learn another language or improve your secondary language
  5. Earn credits while traveling
  6. Improve your communication skills
  7. Become more independent and gain self-confidence
  8. It’s cheaper! (in the long run)
  9. Looks good on a resume and furthers your education
  10. The world is at your fingertips! It’s the best way to travel and experience different cultures and customs

– Former UW-L SAA graduate program student Sarah Wittrock

I want to study abroad! What should I do?

Visit the UW-L Office of International Education where you will find great resources and connect with an adviser.

1209 Centennial Hall

Contact an adviser

  • Kabee Vue, interim assistant director of study abroad,, 608.785.8016
  • Sandy Sieber, assistant director of OIE:, 608.785.8925
  • Peer advisers are also on hand to help you decide on a program and can share their personal experiences abroad. Learn more about their expertise.

Visit the Study Abroad website where you can check out programs, find frequently-asked questions, investigate costs and more.

How do I afford to study abroad?

Financial aid, scholarships and grants are available to students to help offset some of the expenses. Find out more.