Studying abroad at CU Denver
Different program options cater to student needs
CU Denver has a variety of study abroad programs for all interests.
The courses are taught by CU Denver faculty and last from two to five weeks. The application process is available online and requires a statement of purpose essay, as well as an interview with a faculty leader, depending on the program.
Frida Silva, Vice President of CU Denver’s Student Government Association, completed the Korea Goes Global Maymester program and looks positively on her experience. “We learned about the democratic uprising during the 70s and 80s, the booming industry of K-pop, political architecture, and Buddhism. I loved being immersed in the culture,” Silva said.
Additionally, semester programs to Beijing and Berlin are also offered for Fall and Spring semesters.
There isn’t a language requirement for study abroad programs, but having basic cultural knowledge isn’t a bad idea.
Chantelle Wilkerson, a political science major and graduate student, shares her experiences about her semester in Berlin: “Prior to visiting Germany, I learned it was considered very rude to just walk into a shop or restaurant without a ‘Hallo’ or ‘Guten Tag.’ Without that initial greeting, store owners [are] likely rude in return.”
Internship Programs Abroad (IPA) are also available in eight different places around the world, including France, Spain, and Singapore. These credits are normally considered upper division. The internships last six to eight weeks and begin around mid-May to late June.
According to Saira Hamidi, the Study Abroad Coordinator at CU Denver, the Global Study programs are “very structured and rigorous, academically and otherwise… Students are often on the move from one site or excursion to another, receiving their lectures in a historical location or by a renowned person in that respective field.” With the IPA, however, students go to their internship and then back to their host family.
Semester programs can range from $9,000–$25,000 and summer programs from $3,000–$7,000. Hamidi mentioned, however, that “students are eligible to use their financial aid,” and “there are so many generous scholarships out there. We can help students navigate the world of funding opportunities for studying abroad.”
Traveling to a different country has many benefits, especially for future employment opportunities. Wilkerson, who interned at The Nature Conservancy, said, “Having an international internship still impresses employers over four years later.”
Hamidi agrees. “We have plenty of hard data, and CU Denver’s data aligns with the national data too: that students who study abroad have higher retention rates, graduation rates, higher GPAs, and higher employability rates,” Hamidi said. “Employers like to see this because it sets you apart from the rest of the applicants.”
Like many, Wilkerson was concerned about travelling to a different country with people she barely knew, but her fear quickly dissipated, as she started to bond with her other classmates. When asked if it was worth it, Wilkerson said, “Absolutely, I still look back on my time in Germany positively.”