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Learning Without Borders

May 16, 2019

Learning abroad has become a hallmark of a liberal arts college education. But what makes it so worthwhile?

Anika Hauk, Gabrielle Doyle, Joseph Rojas, Palmer Haasch, and Cecilia Pompeo all studied abroad in Montpellier—the University of Minnesota’s most popular city to study abroad in France. Laura Meier took a more uncommon route and chose to venture to Senegal. In both locations these students had the opportunity to immerse themselves in a new culture while taking classes, living with host families, conducting research, and so much more.

Discover how these students made their learning abroad dreams a reality and hear about their biggest takeaways from their experiences.

Photo of Anika Hauck

Learning Abroad Opens Doors

French minor Anika Hauk knew she wanted to study in France. That dream became a reality in fall 2018 when she spent a semester in Montpellier. This experience helped her improve her speaking skills and gave her the confidence to explore international career opportunities.


Photo of Gabrielle Doyle​​​​

Personal Growth Through Learning Abroad

Gabrielle Doyle spent spring 2018 studying in Montpellier. While learning to adjust to a different educational system was challenging, Doyle quickly adapted to her new university setting and left France prepared to tackle any class that comes her way.


Photo of Joseph Rojas​​​​

Three Opportunities Abroad

Joseph Rojas learned abroad in three countries and three languages. He discusses how his experiences in Brazil, Venezuela, and France informed his career path. “Adaptability and flexibility are two of the greatest skills I learned as a result of studying abroad.”


Photo of Palmer Haasch

Learning Abroad Through Research

Palmer Haasch had the opportunity to conduct research while learning abroad in Montpellier, France. This undertaking not only helped fund her trip, but has also gave her practical experience that will lead to a promising career.




Photo of Ceclia Pompeo

Interning in France

Senior Cecilia Pompeo spent her junior year in Montpellier, France. Not only did she create amazing connections with her host family, but she also participated in two different internships that challenged her language skills and gave her professional experience abroad.


Photo of Laura Meier

Promoting Human Rights in Senegal

Through daily journaling during her study abroad experience, Laura Meier is able to revisit her trip to Senegal. During an internship with the Association des Juristes Sénégalaises, Meier got first-hand experience working to promote women’s rights in the region.



This story was written by an undergraduate student in CLAgency. Meet the team.