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Study Abroad Fair encourages international student travel

On Oct. 3 the multi-purpose room was home to the study abroad fair offering those interested in travel, language, and new cultures the opportunity to explore all the study abroad opportunities made available by the university. The fair provided extensive information on the options for study abroad and all the third party companies that work with the university students who want to study in countries not currently offered by the university.

The study abroad office offers the possibility of studying in 19 counties ranging from the United Kingdom to the Czech Republic. Within many of the countries there is a choice of institutions allowing you to choose where within the chosen country you wish to live, and if you would like to use university scholarships while abroad. There are 13 third-party study abroad providers that the university recommends and helps students work with. Many of these third party companies offer access to countries not available through the university and sometimes at a lower cost.

Companies such as CAPA International offer university students $600 off a semester abroad and discounts for summer programs, as well as scholarships. The majority of programs offer scholarships that can cover part, if not all, of the expense of studying abroad. For those not wanting to commit to a full semester there is the option to do a summer program for one month or the entire summer.

Other options are travel courses lasting from one to three weeks. Language requirements in Brazil and Chile have led to them having low rates of student travelers to these countries, but good relations still exist. The study abroad fair’s abundance of internal programs and external third party options were a constant reminder of the study abroad possibilities at the university.

Hayley Johnson, junior, studied in Great Britain and felt she had a lot of great options as a Communication Studies major in London. Currently, she works for the study abroad program. Johnson said, “Adapting to life in London wasn’t difficult after living in New York, typically London is the most popular destination for [university] students to travel. While I was abroad I left early and got to explore Europe a little bit. It was one of the best things I’ve ever done.”

Ezra Massey, freshman, intends on studying abroad in France or England in the coming years. Ezra hopes to receive international training as an actor and to compare and see how the method of acting is different abroad. “My favorite actor, Idris Elba, is English and I would love to just learn the British style of acting that I think he perfected,” says Massey. “I’ve never left the country before but after the study abroad fair I’m super excited to learn more about the program and eventually go abroad.”

Chris Hoffman, study abroad office director, has been at the university for two years and was in constant motion during the fair. He explained that he and the university are working for students to make the most out of study abroad and works with students directly finding what works best financially and suits their interests.

“We try to get people to go for very cheap,” Hoffman said.

If the university is unable to accommodate students in the country they want, Hoffman will work with students to find the right third party company.

Hoffman says the benefit of studying abroad is how it affects students. He said, “Students who have gone abroad come back as a lot better learners because they have experienced learning in multiple ways.” Students have less busy work while abroad and are more focused on working on their major and the language they are studying in a totally new place. Hoffman stressed that students who study abroad “Have a story to tell” and encourages all students to visit the office and explore all the fantastic travel opportunities that await them.