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The Antelope

Study Abroad offers once-in-a-lifetime experiences

Halie with other students who were in the Czech Republic program on the Cliffs of Moher.

By Lindsey Ruiz

A traveling enthusiast and business administration major from Omaha, Halie Platt knew she wanted to travel abroad in college, and UNK gave her the opportunity last spring. The University of Nebraska-Kearney, University of Nebraska-Lincoln, University of Nebraska-Omaha and Wayne State College composed a Nebraska Consortium that created the Nebraska Semester Abroad Program in 1992. The program’s purpose is to allow students the opportunity to study abroad with Nebraska professors and be taught by professors from the hosting institution.

Platt chose the Czech Republic program because she wanted to experience somewhere she had never been before.

“Before this trip I had never left the United States, so I was not entirely sure what to expect going to a different country,” said Platt.

Studying abroad gave Platt the opportunity to meet people from different countries and allowed her to experience many different cultures. The program also heavily focused on World War II, and Platt has always been interested in that specific time in history. 

“My roommate was a girl from France, and my other flat mates were from Italy and Spain. My roommate and I have had many conversations comparing the United States to France. She was very interested in American politics and wanted to know my views on Trump. When I asked her why she was so interested, she said, ‘America is very powerful.’ I started to realize just how much the rest of the world looks to the U.S. as a leader,” said Platt.

“When I was in high school, I always thought that someday I would study abroad. Well ‘someday’ is over, so I will just have to look forward to the next ‘someday’ when I can come back,” said Platt.

The group that went to Easter Vigil mass with the Pope.

The Czech Republic program allows students to travel to Italy, Germany, Austria and Poland on sanctioned field trips but allows for individual travel during specific times. Platt enjoyed all of these places but was unable to attend the first Poland trip due to being sick.

“Apparently, we just liked to travel on holidays, because it felt like every time we were in a different country or city, it was on a holiday,” said Platt.

One place Platt traveled was Berlin on May Day. Platt was able to stand above where Adolf Hitler committed suicide, and she spent her birthday there. The group then traveled to Rome on Easter and had Easter Vigil mass with the Pope in Basilica, and they spent an entire day at Auschwitz concentration camp in Poland. These were just a few of the many countries and cities that the Czech Republic program has to offer.

“If you’ve ever heard the quote, ‘It’s not about the places you go; it’s about the people you go with’ you might n-ot believe it. I didn’t. I thought there was no way that people could make the experience, but after this trip I can tell you that it is so true. Budapest was one of my favorite places on this trip, and it was because of the people I was with. Other people who visited Budapest later didn’t have the same amazing experience as we did. This entire experience would not have been the same if I would have gone by myself, or if I was traveling with different people. It’s crazy to think that I didn’t know anyone else on the trip before we left, but now I can’t imagine what I’m going to do at home, and I can’t see them every day,” said Platt.

Studying abroad is an amazing experience, and UNK helped make it happen.

“If you can dream it, you can do it.” -Walt Disney

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