Education and adventure in study abroad

Caitlyn Nichols


Weber State University has a variety of study abroad options for students wanting to see the world while also earning university credit. For the 2020 trips, now is the time to start submitting applications.

From the eastern United States to Europe, from Central America to Asia, WSU currently has 25 trips open, most set to embark after the spring semester. The different trips cover a variety of majors for which a student can receive three to six credits in a short amount of time.

“We are committed to helping students further their education in a fun, adventurous way,” said Myranda Hackley, administrative specialist and exchange coordinator in the study abroad office.

To study abroad, students must fill out a study abroad application, after which they can register and pay their first deposit. While there is no set deadline to apply for these trips, Hackley said that students should apply for their desired trip as soon as possible to secure their spot.

Hackley said that some of the benefits to doing a study abroad trip are the credits students can earn while traveling, guided travel with faculty that know the area and included amenities and activities, like housing and excursions. She also said that students who attend a study abroad “are more likely to be employed than those who don’t.”

The prices of these trips could look intimidating. Some include airfare, some don’t. However, Hackley said that the study abroad office has many scholarships available to students who choose to apply. Students can also receive scholarships from university departments and aid from FAFSA and Pell grants. Whatever the payment method, trips must be paid for before departure.

Bailey Wolford, a business student at WSU, has attended two trips. She attended Bremen University, in Bremen, Germany, for her spring 2018 semester, and traveled to Dubai and Oman for a supply chain management trip during spring break 2019.

“I loved the experience I had and had a thirst for more,” Wolford said.

Wolford said her opportunities to study abroad gave her new experiences, gave her a new best friend and taught her more about herself.

“My semester in Germany gave a best friend from France, who has traveled to Utah, and I’ll be meeting her in New York next month,” Wolford said. “I also learned a lot about my abilities to adapt and grow on my own. The spring break trip taught me a lot about culture differences and appreciating people, places and things from regions other than America.”

Before the trips, students must attend pre-departure meetings to go over safety and travel. On top of the sightseeing and travel, Hackley said that the trips also require some homework and participation for students to receive credit, and that types of assignments vary between faculty leaders.

“Both experiences opened my eyes to a completely different lifestyle than I currently live,” Wolford said. “I’m in the process of picking my third study abroad trip, and I am now the biggest advocate for study abroad; any student that even has a brief thought about going should go!”