Fair to showcase study abroad options

By By Jamie Bowen, Staff Writer

By Jamie Bowen, Staff Writer

The study abroad office and international center are putting on their semi-annual study abroad fair Wednesday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. in the Union ballroom.

There will be 35 programs represented, including volunteer and internship programs, said Alison VanDerWege, a study abroad counselor.

“The nice thing about the fair is there are reps from all the study abroad (programs) we offer,” she said. “It is beneficial to be able to talk to reps from the actual program.”

There will be representatives from around the world, including one from Sogang University in Korea, said Jesse Pugh, a study abroad adviser.

The attendees of the fair will also have the opportunity to talk to students who have studied abroad, VanDerWege said.

Rachel Turner, a senior in speech and hearing science, said that her study abroad experience in Oviedo, Spain, during the summer of 2007 was a once-in-a-lifetime experience.

“It allows you to gain U credit while learning culture, languages and communities from all over the world,” she said.

Pugh said that students also gain a lot from a study abroad in terms of international awareness and gaining an appreciation of cultures.

“Students who leave the country will return with a better understanding of their new culture and with this knowledge, they will be able to reflect on their native culture,” he said.

VanDerWege said that by studying abroad, students will have the opportunity for personal growth.

“One of the most important (aspects) is the personal growth from a study abroad,” she said. “You learn your personal strengths and you learn about what you like and what you are interested in.”

There are scholarships available for students who have been accepted into the program but lack funding, said Mark Bean, head of the office of international education, which recently assumed responsibility for study abroad programs.

This semester, seven students recieved scholarships, Bean said. There is still $63,000 left to be dispersed in $1,000 and $1,500 scholarships for the summer programs.

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