Sabres abroad: But where to begin?


Group of students studying abroad from 2013.

Lexi MacDonald, Writer

Studying abroad, the ultimate dream/goal of any 12-year old who ever watched a romantic comedy where the American goes to Europe and all their dreams come true. What could be better than falling in love, backpacking through Europe, and becoming a pop sensation? (Come on, the Lizzie McGuire movie says it all).

While these things may be a little bit unrealistic, studying abroad is still an opportunity to immerse yourself in a new culture while pursuing your degree. This opportunity can be daunting to pursue, though, so I planned to learn more about just how to begin this journey. I first set out to ask Melissa McBride, a senior here at Marian, to see exactly what she knew about our study abroad programs, and to my surprise she was not very aware of them.

McBride said, “I’ve heard that people had studied abroad, but I didn’t know how to find the information on it myself. I think it would have been really great opportunity. 

Like McBride, as a new student at Marian I was not aware that the school even had opportunities to study abroad, or how to seek said opportunities out. In my two years at Marian University I have only seen advertisements for the programs in one classroom on campus. 

After some digging through the Marian website, I came across a page with some of the information I would need if I was interested in the programs 

Marian does in fact offer study abroad programs. There are semester or yearlong programs that are operated through ISA (International Studies Abroad), two-week humanitarian and faculty-led trips, and even service and internships.  

Although the semester and yearlong programs run externally, Marian works with you even though the courses are taken through different universities. They ensure the transferring of credits and the transition into the program is a smooth one.  

ISA aids students in transferring credits back to the Marian, provides students with housing, and any health and safety concerns while abroad. The program allows students to travel and study at a fair price and have all the resources they need while they are abroad.  

Erika Horstman, a junior at Marian, had the opportunity to go abroad twice in her years here. Her first trip was a twoweek experimental trip, and her second trip was a full semester abroad to Limerick, Ireland.   

She is a big advocate and supporter of the study abroad programs offered at Marian and is very encouraging of others to take the opportunity when it is presented 

“Both of these trips were eye-opening in ways that I never thought was possible,” says Horstman. I was able to learn more not only about Irish culture, but about myself too.”  

Her experiences sound like life-changing opportunities that others deserve the chance to experience for themselves. This leads me to my final question: Why Marian lack an adequate promotion of the study abroad programs if they do offer such great opportunities

Whatever this may be due to, it still should not stop you from looking into this opportunity. Dr. Matthew Szromba is currently the study abroad advisor, and may answer your questions or concerns about pursuing such a trip.

To find out more about the study abroad opportunities at Marian University, visit: