LA CROSSE, Wisconsin (WXOW)-- The UW-La Crosse ranks 30th in the country for students studying abroad. That's according to the Institute of International Education, which is funded by a State Department grant.
The University allows students to travel almost anywhere in the world for j-term, a semester or a whole year. Jonathan Wise is a junior and one of 435 undergraduates studying abroad this year. He heads to Frankfurt, Germany in February.
"I don't really have an idea and I'm really excited to go in to the unknown and to just go full force in to it, 110 percent and just experience it and just have fun," Wise said.
Jonathan is going through his athletic training program and will spend six months in his host country.
"I'm excited to get some European medicine and learn how they do thins over there, but also just to encompass and be surrounded with the German culture," he said.
The UW-L promotes studying abroad in classes and events on campus. Seventeen percent of undergraduates spend time overseas, above the national average of 14 percent.
"Having students who are graduates who have a global component to their education, will make them more viable in the job market," said Sandra Sieber, assistant director for the Office of International Education. "They become able to work and problem solve from a different angle."
Katie Vanwyk is now a graduate student but studied in Spain her junior year and after she got back she decided to change her career path. She now works in the UW-L study abroad office and encourages others to take advantage of the university's overseas programs.
"If you have the opportunity to, go for it," Vanwyk said. "A lot of students, maybe their major doesn't coincide with going a whole semester or year, but take advantage of those short term programs and get out of the country. There's so much in the world around us and it's so beneficial to get out there and see it."
Wise says he always planned to study abroad and says part of the experience is traveling and he hopes to visit a variety of countries around Europe during the semester.
The UW-L also has the fourth largest international student population of all colleges and universities in Wisconsin.
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