The University of Southern Mississippi offers an opportunity for students to study abroad to 14 different partner universities, including France, Germany, England and more. Students can spend either a semester or year abroad and the program allows for international students to study at USM as well. -Morgan Covington
The University of Southern Mississippi offers its students the opportunity to study abroad at partner universities through its International Exchange Program. This program also allows international students to attend class at Southern Miss.
Students choose between 14 partnership universities across the world. From there, they can either spend a semester or an entire year abroad.
“Exchanges are either a semester or an academic year. This depends on the student and what they want to accomplish being abroad,” said Hannah Jones, coordinator for International Exchange Programs.
“For example, a German major may want to spend a year in Germany at Bonn University to have the more time to improve his/her German, compared to a political science major that may just need/want to go for just a semester to The Hague University in the Netherlands.”
Jones has participated in four international programs during her time at Southern Miss, one of which was an exchange program.
“Nothing beats this experience,” Jones said. “You will grow up and change more than you ever imagined.”
In order to be considered for the exchange program, students must go through a lengthy application process. First, students meet with Jones to discuss their plan as well as to decide what university best fits their needs. Then, they must complete an interview. Following their acceptance into the program, students apply to the host university of their choosing.
The cost of the program varies by what country and city the student chooses, but typically amounts to roughly $11,900 per semester.
Junior broadcast journalism major Alexis Ware spent time studying at the University of Exeter in England.
“I stayed in Exeter for 3 months,” she said. “I took two modules and mostly only had class twice a week so it gave me a lot of time to join organizations and explore Exeter.”
Ware said some of her best memories were made with her fellow exchange students discussing their different cultures.
Senior business administration management major Jenny Nyugen also participated in the International Exchange Program. Nyugen studied in Paris for five months.
Her time in Paris allowed her to create a network of friends from all over the world.
“For a business student studying management, being able to adjust and adapt to change, to understand different cultures, to work with people from other countries, as well as to have a wide (network) is very important,” Nyugen said. “I can say that this is the best experience I have had in my college life.”
Jana Klar, an international student from Bonn, Germany, is a media studies and English Studies double major in Germany, but she studies advertising at USM.
She chose to study in the South after seeing the different portrayals of the South on television shows such as “True Detective” and “American Horror Story.”
On Klar’s first day in Mississippi, she did not have Wi-Fi and did not have the opportunity to make any acquaintances, much less friends. After moving in, she was hungry and got lost on her walk to find somewhere to eat.
“I walked in the wrong direction and got lost, so I asked a woman who was working out on the trail, if she could give me directions to any restaurants,” she said. “But instead of giving me directions, she stopped her workout, took me to Izzo’s and paid for a burrito and gave me a ride back to my dorm.”
Klar said Southern hospitality is something that continues to amaze her.
Lisa Berrie, an international student from Keele University in England, studies English and American literature at Southern Miss.
Berrie started a blog to document her time here. She said it has become very popular to audiences across the globe.
“Well it was people I met here who asked me to write a blog about my experiences,” she said. “As a result I’ve discovered my love and talent for writing.”
Both Klar and Berrie have been at Southern Miss since August and will leave in June.
To apply for the International Exchange Program for fall 2015, students must apply by March 16. For more information contact Hannah Jones at Hannah.L.Jones@usm.edu.