Valerie Pokorny and her friends were on a midnight walk. They quietly crept through the trees, keeping their eyes fixed on the Alaskan night sky. They had received an app alert that it would be a good night to see the northern lights.
She was in a place quite unlike Indianapolis—and that was just what she had been looking for.
“I wanted to go somewhere very different,” she explains. “The United States is huge and has so much to offer—why not look here?”
Pokorny, an O’Neill Sustainable Management and Policy major, was spending her spring 2021 semester at the University of Alaska Southeast in Juneau thanks to IUPUI’s National Student Exchange program.
They’re called “study away” programs—a more domestic version of study abroad opportunities—and they allow IUPUI undergraduates to spend a semester or academic year at one of its partner schools around the country, in U.S. territories, and in Canada.