Northern State hosting meeting for abroad studies Sept. 12

ABERDEEN, S.D. (Press Release) – Northern State University students and community members have the chance to experience new countries and cultures this academic year thanks to faculty-led study abroad programs.

So far, three programs have been finalized, and more are in the planning stages:

  • Spring Break Service Learning in Guatemala, led by Dominika Blum, March 6-14, 2020


  • Culture and Language in Costa Rica, led by Dr. Juan Gonzalez, May 11-25, 2020


  • Culture and Government in Germany, led by Drs. Ginny Lewis and Brian Bengs, May 12-21, 2020


All three programs are open to students, alumni and community members, said Blum, Northern’s Study Abroad and CEIB Advisor. Interested students can start by filling out this online application.

Program Details

In the Germany program, participants will explore the country’s highest mountain, the Zugspitze, by cable car; tour the Linderhof Palace built by King Ludwig II; tour the German Parliament (Bundestag) and Reichstag Building, the center of Germany’s political life; and much more.

During the program in Guatemala, participants will be working with a village to build a local school so kids don’t have to walk two hours to school one way. The service learning experience takes place over Northern’s spring break.

The Costa Rica program will include a tour of San Jose, stopping at the National Museum, Plaza de la Democracia and National Park; a visit to the Doka Coffee Plantation and La Paz Waterfall; an intercultural exchange with local students; and much more.

‘It’s Life-Changing’

Gonzalez, who is leading the Costa Rica program, said he studied abroad during college, traveling to Peru in 1973. Now, he’s thrilled to lead NSU students on a similar experience.

“I’m so excited to help students share this experience,” said Gonzalez, professor of Spanish. “It’s life-changing.”

Students will get the chance to engage with the language and culture, practicing their Spanish language skills in a safe, stable environment.

“This brings the Spanish we’ve been studying in the classroom alive,” Gonzalez said.

Students will also gain other valuable life skills, such as the confidence to leave home.

“This can be a stepping stone toward further life experience,” he said.

Informational Meetings

An informational meeting for the Germany program is scheduled for 5:30-6:30 p.m. Sept. 12 in the NSU Library Creation Lab. Informational meetings for the other programs will be held at later dates.

For more information on NSU Study Abroad, contact Blum at