Study Abroad with UWSP

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By: Ally Zimmerman, Study Abroad Mentor

Have you ever wanted to travel? Experience the beautiful cultures and scenic views from around the world? If so, study abroad may be for you! UWSP’s Office of International Education provides over 25 different semester, summer, and winter programs for UWSP students. They offer either global travel or travel through the National Student Exchange, where you can study at universities across the U.S. and Canada.

My name is Ally, and I am a third-year student at UWSP, pursuing a degree in Psychology with a Concentration in Human Services. Last spring semester, I studied abroad at the University of Limerick in Limerick, Ireland. I am now a study abroad mentor where I inform and advise interested students about the numerous programs we offer at UWSP. 

I have always wanted to see Ireland since I was a kid. I loved looking at pictures of the panoramic view of the beautiful Cliffs of Moher, the green landscapes, and learning about Irish culture. After seeing an email in campus announcements my freshman year, to apply for study abroad programs, I decided to apply to the Ireland program. 

My application process was easier than I thought. First, I applied to study abroad in Limerick, Ireland with a one-page essay, a few details about myself, and a $100 application fee. Once I was accepted, I was blessed with the great advising and management team in the Office of International Education. They assisted all the applied students and I through the process. We were advised to pick our classes, choose our village for accommodation, and given advice on what to pack and expect once we arrived. 

The classes I chose were from a large Excel sheet telling me what classes were offered and how the credits transferred back to UWSP. I took 12 credits (four classes) that transferred back to UWSP. I usually take 15 or more credits, but I wanted to ease the stress load so I could handle the major change of living abroad and have time to explore and travel. My classes were enjoyable, informative, and a bit different than classes at UWSP. It was amazing to see the difference in teaching styles, assessment requirements, and the difference in my major in another country. My accommodation was in a townhouse apartment-style village called Kilmurry Village. I lived with five roommates, all from the states, and one went to UWSP too! I was lucky to have familiarity with my roommates due to our nationality, but I was able to meet other international students in our village. 

My favorite part about my time in Ireland is how much I learned about Ireland and other countries by traveling. Limerick University’s Study Abroad program hosted 42-euro trips to many places in Ireland like Dublin, Cork, Galway, Killarney, Cliffs of Moher, and other locations. After speaking to locals, visiting countless museums and castles, and self-exploring, I was thrilled to continue living in this awesome country. While I was there, I went to Spain and Greece, and let me tell you, it was the most expensive, yet the best decision I’ve ever made. I spent eight days in Greece and just a weekend in Spain. Since I was already in Europe, these trips cost only a third of what it would cost to fly from the States. I did wish I had gone to more countries, but I invested more time into one country rather than visiting more countries with limited time. 

Studying abroad, no matter where you choose, expands your network for graduate programs and job opportunities overseas. When employers are looking at your resumé, they will be thoroughly impressed with your experience in studying abroad! Studying abroad is a unique opportunity to experience another state or country as a student, rather than a tourist. During my experience in Ireland, I was able to learn from a new perspective regarding my education in Psychology and worked hand-in-hand with Irish and international students in practicum. Furthermore, I have made impactful friendships with students all around the world during my time in Ireland. 

UWSP Study Abroad and NSE exist to open doors for you. You should approach this experience with humility, with an open mind, and with a spirit of discovery, in the hope that you may learn about new cultures and other parts of the world. Hop into the OIE office in DUC Room 203 on Wednesday 1-4 pm for walk-in advising or book an appointment on Navigate. If you’d like to meet with any students who have studied abroad in a specific program, reach out to or email me at  

If you are debating studying abroad, all I have to say is do it! You will not get the same opportunities as an adult or after you graduate. Use the time you have as a college student to do things like study abroad. Make the big step. Money comes back around, but time doesn’t. 


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