Students reveal untold stories of life without abroad

Many students accepted to the University of Denver dream of studying abroad during their junior year of college, a dream made easy by the university’s high study abroad rankings. Shockingly, there are a number of students who chose not to study abroad and face an entirely new experience during their junior fall quarter while 70 percent of their class is traveling the world.

The University of Denver transforms studying abroad into the norm, rather than something special and rare like many universities do. The university is known as the fourth best Doctoral Institution for its percent of undergraduate students that study abroad.The University of Denver offers programs in over 85 different countries all across the globe.  However, the University does not boast about the accomplishments of juniors who choose to stay on campus.

Mika Johnson, a third year biology major wanted to continue her academic career at the University of Denver rather than a University abroad to make sure that she graduated on time with all of her classmates.

[Photo by Jordan Greenwal] University of Denver remains quiet while missing 70% of junior class

[Photo by Jordan Greenwal]
University of Denver remains quiet while missing 70% of junior class

“I would have had to take physics… abroad… in french, and that was just not happening” says Johnson as she discusses her multiple reasons for not jet setting the globe.

Requirements can sometimes be the roadblock as to why students are unable to attend their desired programs. Certain programs call for students to take a language prior to arrival, whereas others have course requirements before enrollment in the Abroad Universities. This is what hindered Dani Koelling, third year, international studies major from adventuring the southern hemisphere.

“I really wanted to travel to South America, but unfortunately I could not apply because I was not far enough in my Spanish studies here at DU,” states Koelling as she reflects on the two reasons why she did not study abroad this past fall.

The lack of support for juniors on campus during the fall quarter adds to the anxiety and nerves that some of those students feel beginning their year at the university. These students have already spent two years of their lives wandering the hallways with friends and tackling their studies, yet they were all nervous about returning for their third year.

“Before I came to campus in the fall, I expected campus to feel really empty without all of my friends, it was nerve racking to step into a new quarter without that support system”, says Tess Greenwald, a third year, English and Education Major.

Greenwald was shocked when she learned that campus was not empty but filled with new and unfamiliar faces that she was eager to connect with. Connection was what kept Greenwald on campus during the fall of 2015. She ran for Junior Senator which required her to remain on campus during the fall. Her main efforts in office were to make sure that everyone felt connected to the close knit community that the University of Denver is able to provide to their students.

[Photo provided by Tess Greenwald] Greenwald credits her Greek organization for supporting her during fall of 2015

[Photo provided by Tess Greenwald]
Greenwald credits her Greek organization for supporting her during fall of 2015

All three women that were interviewed were able to reflect on their greek organizations that were able to provide comfort, familiarity, and support during an uncertain time.

For many students, staying on campus in the fall quarter of their junior year seems like it could be the end of everything good. It’s actually just the start. Each student was able to articulate the independence and growth that occurred during their fall quarter while they wandered the halls and tackled their studies with new faces surrounding them.


3 Responses to Students reveal untold stories of life without abroad

  • Eddie Kamber
    Eddie Kamber says:

    I thought the video was really well done and as a junior I definitely enjoyed the topic. It was really good that you guys had a diversity of majors selected for the piece.I’d say it was also a strong positive that your interviews were conducted in different places on campus, that definitely made the video as a whole more interesting to watch

  • Andrew Janson
    Andrew Janson says:

    I like that this video chose to go in what some might call the “opposite direction” on this topic and talk about what students who don’t go to study abroad do, as opposed to talk about what students like and do when they do study abroad. I felt that the video highlighted some good points about how students feel, but also pointed out that for many of the students that don’t study abroad, it’s sometimes more out of necessity because of other things they have going on. Overall good video with interesting shots and good commentary.

  • Jillian Queri
    Jillian Queri says:

    As a student myself who chose not to study abroad, I really appreciated you ladies covering this topic! I think you did a wonderful job with this; I enjoyed your variety of interviews and b-roll, as I thought they worked together to create a complete and interesting video. Nice job with getting a variety of shots and some great audio, too! 🙂

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