2018 UMKC Study Abroad Programs Now Accepting Applications

Spring and Summer 2018 faculty-led study abroad programs are now accepting applications. UMKC faculty and staff develop, direct and teach these UMKC credit-bearing programs. You will learn and travel with UMKC faculty member(s) and students, exploring common interests. Program lengths vary from one to six weeks  and cultural activities and excursions are included.

Faculty-Led Bloch MBA Capstone Taipei

One of the four Asian Tigers or Asian Dragons, Taiwan is an economic power in the global market. Known for its industrial & high-tech manufacturing (especially semiconductors), it has become one of Asia’s biggest traders. Students will have a unique opportunity to experience its exceptional history and culture in both casual and business environments, while working on a real company consulting project.

Faculty-Led Bloch Summer: Urbania, Italy

The UMKC Summer Program: Urbania, Italy is three weeks of total immersion into Italian culture while taking UMKC courses from UMKC instructors. Urbania is located in the Le Marche region between Tuscany and the Adriatic coast of Central Italy. The region is best known for its beaches and its art and culture. Urbania will be our “home base” as we explore other cities in Italy, including Rome, Florence, Gubbio, Pesaro, and more. Classwork is brought to life by utilizing Italy as the lens through which new topics are explored. To further enhance the experience, students will take part in a conversational Italian workshop. Students will learn the basic linguistic elements of “survival Italian” used in real-life situations outside the classroom (i.e. asking for directions, ordering a meal, shopping, etc.). Prepare to be transformed by an authentic experience of Italian life and culture.

Faculty-Led UMKC Bloch Summer London

International Study in Business: London, United Kingdom, is an integrated class investigating management practices of HR and leadership in the United Kingdom. Not only will participants visit one of the most modern yet historic cities in the world, they will learn how management policies and practices differ between the US and the UK. The Brexit context makes this course a particularly relevant and informative experience for graduating students of all levels.

Faculty-Led UMKC French Language Summer in Lyon, France

The UMKC Lyon Summer Study Abroad Program is a six-week, homestay experience, June 4 – July 13, 2018. Students from UMKC or any other university should have completed the equivalent of at least one year of college French and should have a minimum French GPA of 2.5. At the end of program, students will have engaged significantly with aspects of Lyon history and culture, including its UNESCO world heritage sites and famed Guignol puppet theater. They will also have improved their French communication skills through extensive practice and coursework.

Faculty-Led UMKC Geosciences Spring Break Bahamas Program

Dr. Tina Niemi is a Professor in the Department of Geosciences at UMKC. She has been leading this Field Methods course in the Bahamas since 2007. The class will also take part in Dr. Niemi’s ongoing research with UMKC graduate students investigating the paleolimnological record and changes in the coastal morphology due to recent hurricanes.

Faculty-Led UMKC Honors Summer Program in Ireland

Our home base will be the seaport city of Cork, a community of 125,000 people. Founded in the 6th century, Cork soon grew into an urban commercial center heavily involved in European trade. Cork has seen it all—medieval feuds, the Black Plague, the English War of the Roses, and eventually the modern movement for Irish independence.  Although nicknamed the “Second City,” Cork residents consider their city the real hub of Irish culture and politics.

Faculty-Led UMKC Spanish Language Summer in Buenos Aires, Argentina

Participants will be housed with host families who are specifically chosen for their interest in sharing Argentinean life and culture with foreign students. Students generally eat breakfast and dinner with their host families. By living with families, students not only communicate in Spanish with native speakers, but also eat Argentinean food, live in an Argentinean home, etc. The home stay is an invaluable aspect of the UMKC program in Buenos Aires and sets it apart from other summer study abroad programs. There will be 1-2 students per home stay location.

2017 #RoosAbroad Photo Contest Finalists

If a picture is worth a thousand words, then the photographs UMKC students brought back from studying abroad during the 2016-2017 academic year speaks volumes about their life-changing experiences. First and second place finalists were selected by a panel of judges in each of the four categories; Landscapes, Portraits, Cross-Cultural Moments, and Roo Pride. First place finalists won a $75 Amazon gift card and second place finalists won a $25 Amazon gift card. See the full contest guidelines for details.

Browse all photo contest submissions on the 2017 Roos Abroad Photo Contest Pinterest board. Thanks to everyone who participated!



First Place: Erica Prado

This photograph was taken at Eilean Donan Castle in the Scottish Highlands. My study abroad group and I, stopped here during our road trip throughout Scotland during our last week in the country. The medieval castle founded in the thirteenth century, is considered one of Scotland’s most cherished historical sites. Its original name Eilean Donan derives from Gaelic, and means “Island of Donnan”.


Second Place: Christopher Shinn

Taken in Germany while participating in the UMKC Kempten semester exchange program




First Place: Gabrielle Rucker

Photo taken in Shanghai, China while participating in the Alliance Shanghai semester program


Second Place: Alyssa Dinberg

This photo depicts a local resident walking his dog on a cloudy day in Lisbon. I really like the juxtaposition between the traditional cobblestone sidewalks and architecture and the modern yet relaxed vibe he gives off.


Cross-Cultural Moments


First Place: Jessica Sliger

Her First Dental Appointment taken in Falmouth, Trelawny, Jamaica


Second Place: Bayley Cawthon

Taken in Paris, France while participating in the Missouri-London semester Program at the University of Roehampton


Roo Pride


First Place: Kelista McGraw

Representing UMKC on an Elephant in Jaipur, India. Painting elephants is a tradition upheld by Indians for years. Decorating the elephants with bright colors during festival seasons is one of the ways to celebrate the Hindu deity Ganesha.


Second Place: Emily McIntyre

Enjoying the view at the top of Arthur’s Seat in Edinburgh.

How Study Abroad Has Impacted Me

So, I’ve been back in the States for about two months now. During the time I have had plenty of time to sit back and think just how life changing my experience was. It has been a little hard for me to get back into the “American” way of doing things. You know, the get rich fast mentality as if setting down is some sort of huge accomplishment. During my time in Costa Rica I was able to explore myself on a deeper level than I ever have before. I was able to travel, learn a new language, enhance my social skills, and focus on strengthening my weaknesses. I miss it there so much.

Before I left to Costa Rica I was really stand-off-ish, introverted, and I wouldn’t ever approach people first. I made it a goal for myself to come out of my shell and be open to new experiences. By the time I left people couldn’t even believe I was ever shy. I realized that people would never get to know the real me if I didn’t give them the opportunity to. It was up to me to redefine who I was, and how I could have an impact on the people around me. I gave myself time to explore the endless opportunities the universe was giving me. For the first time in awhile I had clarity.

I decided that I would no longer live by the “American” way of doing things. I would major in whatever I wanted, I will get married and have children when I’M ready. I will take my time in school, and not feel pressured to hurry and graduate in four years. And I will live my life happily, the way I choose. I was a nursing major for my first three years because I knew I would always have money, and I wouldn’t be struggling trying to find a job once I graduate. But I was unhappy, and realised that the only reason I stuck with nursing was because it was the “safe” thing to do. I was limiting myself, and I knew it. So I went back to the drawing board. “Ok, What am I good at? What do I like doing? What do I want from my career?” After a lot of thought and prayer I decided I was going to change my major to Business Administration with an emphasis in Management.

A lot of my family and friends thought I was making the wrong decision. “What are you going to do with a business major?” “Do you even like business?” But let me tell you how much happier I have been since I started doing life my way. I pledged with an on campus business fraternity,  I landed an awesome internship, and I am loving my new class schedule! Studying abroad has been so beneficial to my personal life, and it is definitely a resume builder. I can’t exactly put in words how much my study abroad experience has impacted me, but I would do it all over again if I had the opportunity!

How it’s built (plastic container edition) and Gaudi’s master work

It’s Monday night, we arrived Saturday late afternoon and spent the weekend walking, seeing sights, eating and drinking. Caught the Chiefs playoff game against Houston in an Irish pub that was at least half full of Americans. Saturday night we were exhausted after being up for 36 hours to get caught up to the time zone quickly. Sunday we were equally tired from miles and miles of walking. So I decided to wait to post until we had finished our first day of business meetings.

Train to Matero

Spanish business meetings generally don’t start until 9am or later, our meeting was at 10. The train ride to Matero was sunny and ran right along side the beach on the Mediterranean Sea. Waves crashed up and may have hit the side of the train. Our host at Logoplasti explained that the water level in the Mediterranean do not rise and fall with the tides, so the tracks can be built very close to SEA LEVEL. It was gorgeous, and peaceful to watch the waves roll in on our morning commute.

Matero beach apartments

Matero is an industrial town, apart from a few shops and hotels serving the beaches, and a surprisingly large number of auto show rooms, we saw mainly large manufacturing plants. Logoplasti is a global company, specializing in plastic container fabrication and the “hole in the wall” manufacturing strategy, where their product is delivered to the client literally through an open hole in the physical party-wall between the two plants using an automatic conveyor system. We heard a presentation on company culture, history, and strategy. Then we took a tour through the container fabrication plant. Closing with a little more Q & A, we presented our hosts with some UMKC and Kansas City gifts to show our appreciation for their hospitality.

Factory tour

We then headed directly to the Sagrada Familia, Gaudi’s master work which is still under construction today (but does host mass). After an hour or so, the group was ready to head to the hotel to get out of our suits when we discovered the basement with the exhibits of Gaudi’s models and drawings. Another hour later we worked our way through twin souvenir shops and then found our way back to the hotel. Restaurants open at 8pm, dinner was Tapas at 9:30pm followed by churros and cups of thick hot chocolate or gelato.

Sagrada Familia, Barcelona

As I start writing this blog entry, it is midnight. I suspect that Spain more than any other country prompts the visitor to sleep fewer hours and burn the candle at both ends. But as an ambassador of our school, our community, and our country, we do have an obligation to not show up half asleep, so I will keep this short and grab some sleep.

Change is unavoidable when planning travel…

Just a quick word of introduction; I’m an architect in Kansas City, enrolled in the Bloch School’s Professional MBA program.  My journey to Spain is part of an international business perspectives course which includes an “immersion week” of touring Spanish businesses and cultural experiences.  I’m sharing the experience so others can see what the business school “study abroad” trips require and what they offer.

In November and December our class met several times for instruction and student presentations.  Now with just one week left before the trip, I’ve starting dotting i’s and crossing t’s on my preparation checklists.  Looking at the final schedule which came out this past weekend, I started seriously second guessing my decision to extend my trip beyond the required dates.  Several others who were initially planning to stay extra days have decided to leave on-time.  If I were to stay I would be by myself in a country where I don’t speak the language.  The Real Madrid football game is all sold out, except for a few $300+ VIP tickets.  right before I leave for Spain I’ve got to be in Chicago for work, so I will be leaving tired rather than rested.  And to be honest, 9 days of clothes sounds a lot more reasonable to haul around in my bags than 13.

So I called the airline and changed my trip to return with the rest of the group, rather than stay an extra 4 days on my own.

It will be interesting to see at the end of the 9 days whether I acclimate enough and pick up enough Spanish language to wish I had stayed a few days longer.  In business terms we call this “buyers remorse,” which  you can feel regardless of whether you made the right choice or not.  Mourning the loss of other options which had been on the table just before you made your decision.  In the study abroad planning guide they talk about anxiety often building up before the trip.  Either way I’m excited and nervous to be going, but glad I’m no longer extending the trip.

That’s all for now, other than that it’s all AC-adapters and photocopying records at the moment.


Before Spain…

This will be the second country outside my home country I will be visiting. My first was moving to the United States from Nigeria. When I found out I was going to Spain I was excited and confident. As I got to learn more and more about the country my excitement grew and my confidence weakened.

They speak an entirely different language and the only Spanish word I know is “Hola”.554744 


“¿Dónde puedo encontrar un taxi”

“¿Dónde puedo encontrar un teléfono”

I’ve learned how to say the above two sentences in Spanish. I figure, if anything goes wrong at the airport upon arrival, “where can I find a Taxi” and “where can I find a Phone” will be all I need.

I have so many decisions to make, my indecisiveness is having the best of me. I have to decide if I should;

  1. Pay extra to my phone company so I can use my phone in Spain or rely on hotel WiFi?
  2. Use my debit Card and incur potential fees or carry dollars in cash and change it to Euros at the airport?
  3. Check in my bag or go with just a Carry-on?
  4. Stay up all night so I can sleep on the plane or go to bed and also sleep on the plane?

Traveling to Europe for a week gives you even more new-world problems to deal with trust me.

It’s nothing compared to what I had to go through to get my Visa though. I had to go all the way to the Spanish Consulate in Chicago in the middle of exam week.

I am super excited about all the adventures we have lined up in our agenda; Museums, Castles, Palaces, restaurants etc. I am also excited to take pictures, I hear the architecture in Spain is beautiful.

I can’t wait to be in Europe. I leave tomorrow.


Absolutely Breathtaking

After a long trip which consisted of multiple layovers and cramped seating, I finally made it to Barcelona early Saturday morning, May 30th. I was immediately taken away by the amazing weather once I walked outside the airport. The sun was shining bright and there wasn’t a cloud in sight; all I could think at that moment was PARADISE.

We took a taxi to the hotel and once we got checked in, we decided to venture further into the city to get something to eat. I was excited to try some authentic Spanish food – mainly the Tapas (small appetizer plates) that they are well known for. As we were eating I couldn’t help but notice how passionate everyone was about futbol (aka soccer). No matter which street we walked down, there were hundreds of locals draped in their favorite futbol jersey chanting away in unison. After visiting a museum and some more walking around, we decided it was time to call it a night and get some rest since we had a couple more fun packed days in Barcelona before we headed off to Madrid.

The next couple days in Barcelona were amazing. We took a boat excursion up and down the coast of Spain which was really nice as we were able to sit on the top of the boat and see Barcelona from a distance. From there we went to get some lunch which consisted of even more Tapas. The great thing about Tapas is the luxury of eating a variety of different foods each and every time.

The day we had to leave Barcelona we decided to go and spend a few relaxing hours at the beach before our four hour train ride to Madrid. The day was perfect as usual with the sun shining bright with blue skies and not one cloud in sight. After awhile of basking in the sun, a few of us decided to purchase a small football from one of the local shops. We had fun throwing the football around for awhile, but had to hurry back to the hotel to get ready to get on the train to Madrid.

After spending a few days in Barcelona which seemed like a very relaxing city, I was ready to see Madrid which is considered to be more fast paced. Stay tuned for more…