Vikings Overseas


Setting their sights beyond the Berry bubble this summer, 124 students travelled to 17 countries ranging from Norway to Kenya to Costa Rica for various Short-Term International Programs and independent study abroad programs.

Students were able to interact with different cultures and customs, take classes, and gain worldly experience. For many students, their majors or minors encourage them to study abroad, while others are just feeding their inner travel bug. 

For students like rising junior Joe Torkelson, study abroad programs can open multiple unbelievable opportunities. Torkelson originally left for a three week short-term program to Tanzania and Zanzibar, but was able to extend his trip and continue his learning and adventures in Africa. Torkelson and fellow student Andrew Nix joined Associate Professor of Geology Tamie Jovanelly in Kenya to learn more about geology and water testing. They worked at Impala National Park to help save free-roaming impala and zebras from getting sick due to water contamination. 

“It truly was an incredible trip and I believe it was a once in a life time opportunity to be able to go,” Torkelson said. “I feel blessed to have this chance to see and experience the drastically different culture and nature Africa has to offer. The drastic change from the easy American life was difficult but I feel accomplished having survived it.” 

Other short-term international programs gave students like Amanda Eaves, who spent seven weeks in Costa Rica and lived with a host family, a more in-depth cultural experience. Eaves, a rising junior majoring in Spanish and early childhood education, was able to put both her majors to use by teaching English four days a week to students ranging from pre-k to sixth grade. For her this was not just a course her major required, but a once in a lifetime chance to make cherished memories with unforgettable people. 

Study abroad offers students a unique and specialized opportunity to gain firsthand experience in their desired fields, which will help equip them for the real world after their time at Berry.           

Written by Public Relations Student Supervisor Liz Bradford