Verena spent her 5th semester of her Bachelor's degree in Business Administration Online in the US. She told us about her experience abroad and her time at the University of Nebraska Kearney in a short interview.
Verena, how is your overall impression of your exchange university and your semester abroad?
Very good. I had an amazing experience at UNK. Especially the international office did an amazing job and welcomed all international students with a welcoming week in August prior the start of the semester. All staff was very supportive and helpful with any questions or inquiries.
The courses as well as the professors and overall faculty were very good. The course contents are very well taught by very competent professors, while most of the professors I had also had a lot of professional experience. Some courses were very practically oriented. For example, we had to establish an actual small business where products or services were sold. These businesses included every activity that a business has to go through, including to find funding, make a profit, create financial reports, etc.
Could you give us more information regarding the practically oriented content of the courses?
For one of the courses, namely the Entrepreneurship course I attended, we had to open, run, and close a small business. We were divided into teams and were allowed to freely choose a business idea as a team. The team I was in decided to produce hats in order to honor a fellow UNK student that was fighting leukemia, while the generated profits were put together into a scholarship for a UNK student in need. We ended up selling over 100 hats and reached a final profit of approximately 1.100$ for the scholarship.
In another course, called Creativity and Innovation, we worked in teams on actual board games, that we developed from scratch, from the idea to the final product. The board games were professionally manufactured and will be displayed in a coffee shop at the UNK College of Business and Technology.
Did you experience any language problems?
Not at all. However, I also did not expect any language problems as the language at UNK is English while the language in my study program at the MCI is English as well.
Did you encounter any problems? What did not work out as planned?
No major problems at all. I had a minor issue with my ordered bedding, which had nothing to do with UNK but with an external company. However, the international office at UNK was very helpful with this issue too and we solved it successfully.
What did you like most about your exchange semester? Did it pay off to go on an academic exchange semester?
I enjoyed the whole semester at UNK. A special thanks to the faculty as well as the international office. Anyone that I met there was very friendly as well as helpful. I met amazing people from all over the world thanks to the introduction week that the international office hosted for all international students, including people from Spain, New Zealand, Nepal, Japan, Columbia, Italy, and Germany, to just name a few. Overall new international students from 19 different countries started at UNK during my exchange semester. I was part of a food festival and got to try food from 11 different countries, a homecoming parade, game days as well as several other activities that were happening on campus. Therefore, it was definitely an unforgettable experience and my exchange semester definitely paid off.
What kind of tips, suggestions would you give future exchange students?
If you have the possibility to do an exchange semester, please do not hesitate to do it. It will be a life-changing and unforgettable experience while it also gives opportunity to meet a lot of people, expand one's horizon as well as networks and opportunities.
Some impressions of the semester abroad at the University of Nebraska Kearney. Photo: Verena Pendic