How a student can study abroad is one of the most frequently asked questions we get in person and in our DMs. Today we're sitting down with Marcela Pino Alcaraz to break down one of our most unique options-- NAU's award-winning Interdisciplinary Global Program.
Through IGP you can earn 2 degrees in 5 years AND spend one full year abroad.
How does it work? IGP has two tracks – STEM and Business. Students spend a year abroad, with one semester taking classes and one semester doing an internship. When you return to NAU you present your internship projects in your language of study to the IGP Summit. Finally, you graduate with degrees in your chosen major plus a degree in either a language or cultural studies.
Amazing? We think so! If you need more convincing, hear from Lumberjack Kalil who just started his time abroad in Spain. He's currently adjusting to siestas and the slower pace of life. We also have Mia who just returned from her year abroad in Argentina and Ecuador. Mia shares her experience being immersed in the culture and research in her field.
From where you can study to how to pay for it (yes, your scholarships can still apply), we're here to help you explore the world around you and make a positive impact in it.
Go big, go global. Through IGP the world is at your fingertips.
Interdisplinary Global Program: https://nau.edu/igp/about-the-program/destinations/
Apply to IGP: https://nau.edu/igp/admissions/eligibility/
NAU's Center for International Education: https://nau.edu/cie
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Greetings from lumberjack country. Welcome back to lumber chats inside nau. If you haven't already, hit that subscribe button and follow along as we take you inside nau. I'm Mackenzie McLaughlin from Nau social and this episode we're exploring Nau as unique and award-winning study abroad program. I felt very confident, liberated, terrified in all the right ways , um, and challenged how a student can study abroad is one of the most frequently asked questions we get in person and in our dms. So we're gonna break it all down from the cost and the locations you can choose from to the benefits of studying abroad. Here with Marcella peanut, I'll get as the program manager for our award winning interdisciplinary global programs. She advises students looking to study in Latin America and Spain. Welcome to the podcast, Marcella . Thanks for having me. Mackenzie . Tell us first and foremost, what is the interdisciplinary global programs? It's IGP for short, right? So tell us about it. Yup. IGP for short. Um, basically it's a double degree program that our students here at Nau can participate in and the students will get a first degree in science, engineering or business. And a secondary in culture or language. So it's really great for people who are interested in cultures, want to learn more about languages, travel the world, and make a difference with their career. And I know you , uh, advise students for Latin America and Spain. Are there other regions students can study in ? Yes, actually we have nine countries, so we have two other colleagues of mine who advise for Japan, China, Morocco, and for France and Germany as well. And the countries that are represented outside of Spain in my region are Chile, Argentina, and Mexico. Tell us why it is award winning. Yes, great question. So Andrew Heiskell in 2017 gave Nau this award for innovation in study abroad. Most study abroad programs really emphasize short term education abroad and our program is a full year abroad. So it enables the students to really immerse and participate in not just the academic components, but the cultural components of being abroad and living abroad. Um , as well, we offer a lot to make the program , um, accessible for our students. So if you're an nau scholarship holder, you get to keep that scholarship for your year abroad and your fifth year. And our tuition pledge means that it holds not only for your four, but also for your five if you're in the program as well. Okay. So tell me, you're saying your five, normally college students are here for four years. So tell me a little bit more, why would this take longer? Okay . Correct. So because they're doing a full year abroad, our students are basically getting an internship experience as half of a year abroad. So most students will do internships over the summer, maybe in between their college years. But this enables them to do the internship during their academic year, which takes away from some of the time that they're doing classes. Um, but again, we really focus on that year long immersion because it gives them the opportunity to work in another country, which is super differential for students who are thinking about how this applies to a Grad school application or what this means for them. You know, standing out when they're looking at resumes with some competitive pierce . And why choose IGP over a typical exchange program, let's say just a semester abroad. It's really intended for students who want to do more with their experience abroad. So the semester abroad is great. Ultimately we want students to go abroad if it's for a week or two a year to multiple years. Um , but really the year enables you to just make more of that experience. You get deeper connections , um, less than 1% of students actually intern abroad. So like I said, that's a really cool, unique opportunity to do it. And with IGP we have some really cool partners. So we've sent our students to Schwab area , which is in theater and Fargo at the very bottom of Argentina to do some research on climate studies way , all migration patterns and ci lay . Um , we've had people looking at dolphins off the coast of Japan , um, and some migration patterns for some really cool animals. So overall, just a kind of experiential, unique opportunity that you can really only get with ITP. Tell me more about the typical student who is involved in IGP. While it really, there is no typical IGP student. Uh , we pride ourselves in that we have a variety of people with different interests, skills, backgrounds, ethnicities. Really IGP is a program that's made to be flexible so that it can be whatever the student needs it to be. Um, and we are all about making sure that IGP knows that you are here and we want you to bring your true self. Uh, we believe in the power of everybody bringing their true selves to really create positive change in the world. And that's what this program's about. So other than being science, business or engineering, there's really no IGP magic student formula. And you mentioned earlier , uh , that students can take their nau admissions related scholarships abroad, but how else can you pay for it cause it is expensive to go abroad. What kind of opportunities do you have for maybe other scholarships or financial aid? Yes, great question. So we have , um , through the center for international education here on campus, we offer two scholarships. Um, nau go , uh , which is a scholarship that's all about getting students abroad who are involved on campus. And then we have another , um, scholarship called the no excuses scholarship and that's intended specifically for people with financial constraint. So those scholarships range from 500 to two grand per semester. And a lot of our students who apply received some sort of support, which is really helpful in terms of just getting abroad, paying for flight. And additionally, a lot of the places we send our students are actually cheaper to live in than Flagstaff. So you might be saving money on rent, food , um , versus here. So we can help students prepare for some of those financial costs as well. Awesome. And what would be the first step for students? Like how quickly do you need to apply? When should I be thinking about studying abroad? For sure, for sure. Well, we really like to encourage students to jump into the, as soon as possible. I'm obviously managing science, engineering or business on its own is challenging. So when you're adding another degree to that , uh , we want to make sure that you're as prepared as possible. So we look for students to apply as early as the summer before their freshman year at Nau. And we accept students all the way through the fall semester of their sophomore year. So if you're a student who's maybe outside of that window, but you're really interested in IGP, we always recommend you talk to us because we can look at your classes and see if we can do something for you. And what do you feel like students can expect from the whole process? Like what does the support look like when you're sent to the bottom of the world in Russia and Argentina and what can you expect when you're kind of missing an entire year here but still being connected with nau? Great question. So one of the things we do with our program is the three years before you go abroad, we do a lot to prepare you. So not only are you doing kind of your standard stuff in English, like your resume, your Linkedin, we're helping you flip that to your other language. We're helping you to think about how do you intern and how do you interview for a position abroad. Um, what are some cultural barriers you might run into? We do a lot about wellness. So how do you prepare yourself to kind of encounter some of the challenges to where maybe you don't want to get out of bed in the morning and what do you do about that? So we do a lot to do some preparation before you go abroad and then while you're abroad we're in contact with you. And we also have great relationships with our partners abroad so our students have contacts on the ground to help them with any questions or issues that they have. But really it's all about the student kind of taking charge and running with experience and making it what they want it to be. What's the best way for students to make an appointment to chat with somebody about ITP ? Yes. So we have a couple of different ways you can engage with us. Our website is great. If you go to neu.edu/igp you'll find a lot of information there that can help guide you. The application has also on our website. So if you click apply now, that's where you would go to apply to the program. Um, and in terms of making an appointment, you can either call us here at the Center for international education or you can swing by our office, which is here in bloom building number two on north campus and ask to speak to one of the IGP team members. Awesome. Well thank you so much for taking the time to chat with us. Thank you very much. All right , so I am here with coolio Garcia and he is currently in Madrid, Spain doing his year abroad for the IGP program. Can you walk us through what a day in your life looks like? Kahleel our siestas and eating late part of your routine now?Speaker 2:
Um, so I've only been on here for about two weeks going on three, so I'm still getting used to everything. Um, I've been staying a plate , which is good because everyone stays up late here. Uh, ses does definitely becoming part of my daily planning because everything's actually closed . I thought it was like kind of math that's not , um, daily life. I wake up , um, and maybe eat a small breakfast and then , um, start walking to class if I have class that day classes are different here, so, and then the class do what I got to do. It's just mostly just the laid back kind of lifestyle.Speaker 1:
And what are your two degrees that you're studying?Speaker 2:
Uh , business management and SpanishSpeaker 1:
and Spanish. Nice. And how did you first hear about IGP?Speaker 2:
Well, I took an online quiz on Google because I didn't know what I wanted to do in college as , so that's only to get into international business and any , it doesn't have an international business degree. Um, so I was like, okay , okay , I'll just do this management sounds pretty general. And I stumbled when I was applying to Ndu if someone's upon like the IHP program and I was like, oh, this sounds great. It's international business. Perfect. And not just apply for it. And they know I was getting myself into, but I am now .Speaker 1:
What is the best thing that has happened to you so far in Spain?Speaker 2:
The best things happened to me so far . It's a great question. I think the best things that have happened to me so far is all of the difficulties I've gone through. I think that in the long run, like while it is like a pain in the butt right now and it is kind of difficult. I think the long run is going to help me become not only just like a more like worldly person but just someone who you know, can function as an actual adult because I don't know, I think out here if anything, I've just noticed that like I'm actually like older now and that like my future is coming and I'm a senior and whatnot. So I think that that's been my , I'm sure apart from Adam .Speaker 1:
And what about, what's the favorite food you've eaten so far? Favorite place you've visited?Speaker 2:
Favorite food by far cook at us, which are like a fried mashed potatoes with him and them. Yeah . And they're absolutely so gum and cigarette . The place I visited is a [inaudible] , which is basically retirement park and this is a huge park and there's a crystal palace in it . It's absolutely gorgeous .Speaker 1:
A lot of students may find a whole year abroad. Intimidating. What would you tell them?Speaker 2:
I would say that the right, that it's very intimidating and it's not the easiest thing but I think that even though like the first week I was here I was really like going to the culture shock and it's definitely real and it was difficult. I didn't really feel like how much it's going to pay off in the futureSpeaker 1:
and getting used to another place like you said is really hard. Do you have any tips for students who are going abroad? Like how to acclimate or remembering something important to pack or ways to deal with homesickness?Speaker 2:
I would say definitely brings two suitcases. One that's less full, don't fill them both up cause you don't need that much stuff. But you know I would say go lie on the packing. You're always going to buy stuff out here but at the same time like if you want things from home like decorations, I think that don't forgo that just for a lighter bag . Does that make sense? Totally. Totally. Communicating with people back home really helps and the time zone differences nine hours from Utah , Arizona. So that's kind of rough. But I seem cool once you get in the like just have it and just talking to people and people who you can relate to like fully again, that really helps with homesickness .Speaker 3:
Last question. What job would you eventually like to land?Speaker 2:
Oh , you know, I probably should have like a really good answer for this like being a senior and whatnot. Um, but all I've been able to like come up with recently is a job in which I can still like learn from people and speak to people on a daily basis. I don't want something that has no social interaction. I want to be able to talk to people being like employees or customers or whatever. I think like my experience being a triple ambassador and a probably started touch bros has really like made me value people a lot. And so that's all I can say for now. I'm hoping that the internship helps you figure out exactly what feel like do or don't want to go into.Speaker 3:
Khalila is in his third week in Spain and getting used to his new city. Now we're here with Mia p k a senior here at Nau who just returned from Argentina and Ecuador. First off, welcome back, Mia. Thank you. So if you could only pick one word to describe your study abroad experience, what would that one word be? Magnificent. Magnificent. Love it. Love it. And so what do you feel like was one of your favorite memories from your time abroad? My favorite memory from my time abroad was backpacking in Patagonia for two weeks by myself. Um, I felt very confident, liberated, terrified, and all the right ways. Um, and challenged. What was your favorite place you visited and food you tried? My favorite place that I visited was equal Sioux falls. My favorite food that I tried was a Milanesa, which is a basically a chicken fried steak. I don't know if you've ever had one. It's amazing because the meat in Argentina is phenomenal. Next level. Yes. Tell us about your internship. Where did you work? What did you do? What was it like working in a different culture? A different language. Even what kind of helped you get through those tough days? Yeah, so I worked at a volcano observatory in Ecuador. I'm actually the only volcano observatory in Ecuador. Um , El Instituto health , physical and Quito. And I studied in volcano names , revenge [inaudible] , which is an active volcano in the Amazon jungle. And it was actually able to go and hike that volcano and it was about a five hour hike through the Bush of the, and I'm , it's like using a machete. I totally felt like I was an Indiana Jones. It was amazing. It still feels like that didn't happen. It was a dream. But when I wasn't doing fieldwork , I was inside the laboratory looking at a microscope, looking through a microscope for three to five hours reading seeding , which is basically cleaning ash samples that could get really, really, really difficult and tough eight hour days, you know, doing some pretty hard work. What really helps me get through the hard times was traveling every weekend I would travel because it's so accessible and cheap. And so I would go to a new little town every weekend and it was, it was amazing. Or I would also go to sh art shows. I had a lot of friends that were artists and Ecuador and yeah, it did a lot of yoga and meditation because mental health is so important while you're abroad, even if you don't think it is. It really is. Let's travel back in time. When and how did you first hear about ITP? I was a freshman and so I'm from Chicago and I came to nau like the last two days before moving and I had to go to my advising appointment and someone saw that I had been speaking Spanish since I was a younger girl because of my father. And it comes out on your transcripts and they were said , you should go talk to lily , who is a big part of IGP. She works with IGP. And she basically said, you should add a Spanish major. We're thinking of doing. And I had declared geology as my major or thinking of doing geology in Argentina, go home and fill out the application. And I said, okay. So I went home, I added Spanish as a second major and the rest was history. And what made you decide to pursue geology and being okay with adding a whole nother degree that is Spanish on that. Yeah . So I've always been very fascinated by earth and kind of encaptured by the fact that we live on a giant planet. And so I really wanted to learn everything that I could about our home earth. And so I decided to, geology was the route for me and I took the geological disasters course and I fell in love with volcanoes and so I decided to focus on volcanoes. Their real blast. Huh. What do you plan on pursuing after you graduate and how do you think your IGP experience will come into play? Yeah, after I graduate, I'm actually looking into different graduate programs at the moment, so I hope to go to Grad school. Um, and I think ITP is going to help tremendously with that because it definitely helps my resume stand out and not only because I've had experience with volcanoes, but I've had that experience in a different country, in a different language, which will definitely help me. I think.Speaker 1:
So before we finish up, we'd like to get some of your lumberjack tips for going abroad. So if you could go back in time and tell yourself one piece of advice when prepping for your year abroad, what would you say?Speaker 3:
Well for. So before I left, I actually kind of contemplated, it's like, oh , do I really want to do this? Do I want to add the extra year? And I decided to do it. So I would tell myself, do it. Just do it because you're going to make so many memories and you're going to experience things that you thought you would only experience in your dreams and you're going to meet a lot of amazing people.Speaker 1:
My advice, make that appointment. Study abroad is an opportunity of a lifetime that you will remember for the rest of your life and that you makes it affordable. It can cost the same as staying at Nau for the semester or the year. And there are plenty of scholarships and financial aid opportunities like Marcella and Mia said, immerse yourself in that culture the fifth year. Totally worth it from all of us here at Nau social. Boom. [inaudible] special. Thanks. This episode to Marcella Pino , [inaudible] , cogwheel Garcia and mia PK for taking the time to chat with us. See you next time.