An inclusive European Study Abroad experience at an accessible price

November 3, 2021

Campus leaders created a whole new study abroad model — and made it open to all undergraduate students in a desirable location at an affordable cost.

 Map of Europe, with UM-Dearborn located near Gdansk, Poland
Map of Europe, with UM-Dearborn located near Gdansk, Poland

Take classes in Europe taught by UM-Dearborn professors. Hop on a train and sightsee across the European Union. Live in a Polish city founded in the 10th century for two months — and earn nine credits toward graduation.

This opportunity is open to campus undergraduate students, not just those who have chosen a particular major or area of study. And, most importantly, it’s at an affordable price.

The Dearborn Discovery Core (DDC) Abroad program offers a college experience at the University of Gdańsk in Poland with professors teaching DDC — that’s the program every undergraduate needs to fulfill — courses.

Cost for the two-month European educational excursion after financial aid and scholarships? Approximately $2000. This includes airfare, room and board. The DDC Abroad program application process is going on now. Registration deadline is Nov. 15.

Director of Global Engagement Scott Riggs said campus leadership knows the importance of intercultural interaction, especially in today’s global economy. So the goal was to create a whole new study abroad model.“We want our students to have international experiences, so we created a program that removed barriers like needing to have a specific area of study or having it be cost prohibitive,” Riggs said. “If our students want to see more of the world, we now have a program where they have the opportunity.”

The DDC Abroad program will take place from May 2 through June 24, 2022. Classes are taught in English, but will have Polish students enrolled in them.

And the students will see familiar faces, with UM-Dearborn Professors William DeGenaro and Jorge Gonzalez del Pozo teaching two of the courses students can take — one in travel writing and the other in European cinema — at the University of Gdańsk during that time. 

When Riggs scouted locations for this “new model of study abroad,” he explored many countries and cities to find a place that would be right for UM-Dearborn students.

Gdańsk had good public transportation, an active art and culture scene, a large percentage of English-speaking residents, and an affordable cost of living. “You can also jump on the train and explore several different countries,” he said. “The DDC Abroad program has time built in so students can explore Europe with their newly made Polish friends as part of the experience.” Classes are four days a week, so students will have three-day weekends. There is also a week-long midterm break.

In addition to Gdańsk being a lively place, Riggs said the UM-Dearborn campus has connections with this Northern Polish city on the Baltic Sea. UM-Dearborn faculty have traveled to Gdańsk for conference experiences, workshops, speaking engagements and more.

“This partnership opens doors for our students and for further collaboration between our campus and the outstanding faculty at the University of Gdańsk,” Riggs said. “This unique approach gives our students, many of whom haven’t traveled outside of our state, the opportunity to go out and see the world.”

Want to know more about DDC Abroad? Contact Scott Riggs. Article by Sarah Tuxbury.