Last month, UNO offered the first 3-week January Session as part of the academic calendar. The purpose for providing this new course format was fourfold: experiential learning opportunities, ability for students to catch-up/get ahead, enrichment outside degree requirements, and increased spring semester flexibility. 53 students took advantage of the new January Session to travel internationally and domestically through their coursework.
UNO Education Abroad worked in partnership with the College of Arts and Sciences, the College of Business Administration, the College of Education, Health, and Human Sciences, the College of Communication, Fine Arts and Media, the University Honors Program and the Office of Academic Affairs to offer 4 travel courses during January 2022.
Entrepreneurship in Austin, TX, USA | College of Business Administration
This January, the CBA’s Dr. Adidam and Professor Cermak traveled with 11 students to Austin, Texas, to explore the city’s entrepreneurship environment. Known for being a hub of technology, start-ups, and innovation, the group was able to meet with various businesses in Austin as well as enjoy some of the local flavor. While in the Texas capital, students spent two hours with Stephen Gold, co-founder of the Watson Computer at IBM, and CMO of SparkCognition, an artificial intelligence company that just raised $123 million in their Series D funding.
“I really enjoyed getting to know the instructors and the students that went on the trip,” said Josh Bartels, a student in the course. “I enjoyed visiting the different entrepreneurship communities and seeing what ways Omaha can be similar to Austin.”
Geography: Sustainable Ecotourism in Costa Rica | College of Arts and Sciences
For the first time since the fall of 2019, UNO sent a class abroad for hands-on learning. Dr. Peterson and his Geographical Field Studies course traveled to Costa Rica for 10 days to study ecotourism and sustainability. The group stayed in ecolodges in Monteverde, La Fortuna, and the La Selva Biological Station. Activities included visits to the Danaus Ecocenter, a bat sanctuary, and a boat trip through the Caño Negro Wildlife Refuge. Students traversed the cloud forest canopy on a skywalk of hanging bridges, and a half-day service activity at the Monteverde Institute helped in reforestation efforts.
“I really enjoyed going to the volcano, white water rafting, and hiking in the cloud forest. I got to see so many new things — plants and animals alike — and learned so much from our guide," said Zee Elmer, one of the 13 students to visit Costa Rica. "The overall highlight was the complete immersion; I learned so much more than if I was sitting in a classroom."
Public Health and Civil Rights in Washington, DC, USA | College of Education, Health, and Human Sciences; University Honors Program
The largest group to head outside Omaha for study this January was the Public Health and Civil Rights course, which spent 9 days learning in the nation’s capital. Dr. Jawed-Wessel and Dr. Coleman arranged for the 15 students to meet with national public health organizations and to visit sites important to the Civil Rights Movement, as well as historical landmarks and museums.
For Honors student Bri Parr, the Library of Congress and the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum stood out, as well as the opportunity to meet fellow students. “I would say the highlights of the program were meeting students and speaking with individuals from various public health and civil rights organizations,” she said.
Why the Arts Matter in Chicago, IL, USA | College of Communication, Fine Arts, and Media
The only general education course offering travel this January was CFAM’s Why the Arts Matter in Chicago. Dr. Zank and Dr. Jones arranged for a broad overview and sampling of artistic expression in the nation’s third largest city. A public art tour, the Museum of Contemporary Art, theatrical performances, poetry reading, jazz and other concerts were all a part of the itinerary.
Jonah Werthmann traveled to Chicago with his instructors and fellow students, finding many points of interest. “I enjoyed the Art Institute of Chicago. The last day there, I went to a jazz club…that was definitely a highlight. Also, Millennium Park and the bean. My favorite part was seeing The Play That Goes Wrong.”
Affiliate Study Abroad
7 UNO students chose to study abroad in the January session with UNO’s Affiliate Partners around the world. These Mavericks went to Austria, France, Germany, Hungary, and Italy and studied topics from Entrepreneurship and Startup Culture or Holocaust Studies in Berlin to Music in the Age of Mozart in Salzburg and History, Culture, and Architecture in Paris. Prior to the January Session, UNO Education Abroad worked with the colleges to pre-approve 40+ courses for transfer from partner programs and institutions in 15 different countries.
January Session 2023
Students interested in UNO Education Abroad’s offerings for January 2023 should keep an eye on the January Session Study Abroad page and the Global Courses page. Faculty interested in teaching a January course with domestic or international travel should submit the Initial Interest Form to UNO Education Abroad by March 31st to discuss their program ideas.