Learning the world through experience

September 7, 2022

UM-Dearborn Study Abroad programs returned this summer with faculty-led trips to five countries.

Students enjoy the beauty of Iceland during their 2022 Study Abroad experience.
Students enjoyed the beauty of Iceland during a summer 2022 Study Abroad experience. Photo by Professor Jacob Napieralski

UM-Dearborn Study Abroad experiences returned this summer with faculty-led trips to five countries.

Students explored unique landscapes, saw historic monuments and met with world leaders. They also experienced college life in other countries and earned credits toward their degrees while having once-in-a lifetime experiences.

Check out where UM-Dearborn courses took place and what students experienced.

Want to travel? Check out UM-Dearborn’s 2023 Study Abroad programs. Most have an application deadline of Nov. 25.


Photo of students during the summer 2022 Ottawa internship with the Canadian Speaker of the House

Students stayed at the University of Ottawa and walked to their Parliament Hill offices for work during U-M’s Ottawa Political Internship Program. The internship, a nearly 40-year campus tradition, gives students an opportunity to see America through a different political lens, said Program Director Sheryl Edwards. Each student supported a Canadian member of parliament or a senator for five weeks. Through the study abroad experience, they worked on government legislation, media statements and formulated questions for their Member of Parliament to ask at the House of Commons Question Period. Students met government ministers and ambassadors, too. In the photo above, they are pictured with the Speaker of the House of Commons Anthony Rota (center left).


UM-Dearborn students standing in front of Palace of Versailles

UM-Dearborn students felt like French royalty (before the revolution) as they walked the nearly 700,000-square-foot Palace of Versailles. They saw the gardens in Giverny that inspired impressionist Artist Claude Monet’s water lilies series, and they enjoyed an outdoor lunch with a view of the Eiffel Tower. French Professor Gabriella Scarlatta and French Lecturer Jerilyn Mannion led the Sites of Memory Study Abroad course for students in May. “The trip vividly brought France's history and civilization alive, and allowed our students to fully immerse themselves in the local culture and culinary marvels, as well as practice their French,” Scarlatta said. Other places visited: The Catacombs, the Louvre, the Musée de Cluny, the Place de la Bastille, and the castles of the Loire Valley. Students also had free time to explore Paris and take a cruise on the river Seine.


Photo of students holding a UM-Dearborn flag during the 2022 study abroad to Iceland

After hearing about landscape forms and geological concepts in class, 16 students in Geology Professor Jacob Napieralski’s Geology Field Methods course had the opportunity to go beyond the textbook and explore what they learned. They took notes in historic volcanic craters. They also hiked across the Nordic island to see geological features like southwestern Iceland’s Great Geysir and the Seljalandsfoss waterfall, which has a 200-foot drop. A highlight for the class: Walking on Geldingadalir volcano’s cooling lava. After nearly 6,000 years of inactivity, the volcano began slowly erupting in 2021.


College of Business students at the University of Padua-Italy,

Successful business leaders see beyond U.S. corporate culture. To get an expanded global perspective, College of Business students spent three weeks at the University of Padua-Italy, where they worked on projects with students from around the world. But it’s not all business, said Marketing Lecturer Chris Samfilippo, who facilitated the study abroad experience with Management Studies Lecturer Julie Felker. Students also rode Vespas down cobblestone streets, saw Renaissance-era architecture and dined on authentic Italian cuisine. “Our goal is to broaden horizons, literally and figuratively, giving our students a competitive edge in thinking about business in the context of other cultures,” Samfilippo said.


UM-Dearborn students who studied in Poland.

UM-Dearborn students spent two months in a Polish city founded in the 10th century — and earned nine credits toward graduation – through the Dearborn Discovery Core Abroad program. Director of Global Engagement Scott Riggs said it was the first time UM-Dearborn offered the program, which gave students an affordable study abroad college experience at the University of Gdańsk.

Junior Rawan Elhusseini stayed in a University of Gdańsk residence hall and took three classes on campus during the week. UM-Dearborn professors taught two of her courses: Spanish Professor Jorge Gonzalez del Pozo taught a post-WWII European cinema course and Composition and Rhetoric Professor Bill DeGenero led a creative writing course. On the weekends, Elhusseini explored the country. Along with UM-Dearborn faculty and students, she hiked to mountain lakes in Tatra National Park, explored historic Polish town squares and navigated Europe’s train system. (Check out her video documenting one of the weekends.) “Poland is a beautiful place with friendly people,” Elhusseini said. “I can’t even explain how amazing the experience was, except to say that I was living the life I always imagined for myself.”

Article by Sarah Tuxbury.