Creighton Global Scholars Lauren Ramaekers, left, and Mia Naselaris-Custis stand outside the Great Hall at the University of Sydney. The two freshmen were among 23 who began their college studies abroad as part of Creighton’s inaugural Global Scholars cohort.

The inaugural cohort of the Creighton Global Scholars program has returned stateside after a thrilling fall semester in Sydney, Australia.

After winter break, the freshmen will start courses on campus in Omaha, getting their first taste of the traditional Creighton experience.

The group of 23 students began their first semester at the University of Sydney in July and recently completed final-semester examinations.

Joe Ecklund, PhD, director of Academic Success and Educational Opportunity programs, serves as the group’s Ratio Studiorum Program (RSP) adviser. RSP advisors help first- and second-year students plan their courses, careers and lives.

Ecklund, Global Programs Coordinator Lizzy Curran and other Creighton staff communicated with the students throughout their semester abroad via videoconferencing — providing one-on-one support, counseling and advising, as needed.

John Oberst, a freshman from Raleigh, North Carolina, describes his semester abroad as amazing. Though he did get a bit homesick, frequent chats with his family back home helped, and his mom and sister flew out to visit him in Sydney.

Now that the group is back in the northern hemisphere, they will take their first classes on Creighton’s Omaha campus after winter break.

“I’m really looking forward to finding out everything that is happening on campus, from clubs to going to Creighton basketball games,” says Oberst, who plans to study political science.

Curran, who works in Creighton’s Global Engagement Office (GEO), says there has been “astronomical” growth in study abroad programs at Creighton. In 2013, there were only four study abroad programs offered; today, there are 17 and counting.

“The campus is getting used to the mobility of the student,” Curran says. “It won’t be so odd for a group of students to come back.”

Next up? The Global Scholars will spend either the fall or spring semester of their sophomore year at Creighton’s Institute for Latin American Concern (ILAC) in the Dominican Republic.

Oberst says he would highly recommend the program to future students. “It is a great opportunity to be with amazing people and make a close group of friends before you get onto campus.”

Curran and her colleagues in the GEO are already preparing to select the next Creighton Global Scholars cohort. Discover more about the Global Scholars Program.

“We are always excited to meet future Creighton students who have a global-minded focus,” Curran says.

To apply to Creighton, click here.

Creighton University offers a top-ranked education in the Jesuit, Catholic tradition — and a welcoming, supportive environment to a diverse community of educators, professionals and support staff.  Read more about the university, and connect with Creighton on  Facebook,   Twitter  and  Instagram.

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