Planning Your “Ultimate Adventure” with a Study Abroad

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(Photo by Chris Samuels)

(Photo by Chris Samuels)
(Photo by Chris Samuels)

 
Students embarked on a learning adventure at the Global U Expo Wednesday afternoon.
The Expo, held in the Union Ballroom, was a chance for students to learn about study abroad trips. Mitch Conti, a junior in engineering, talked about his study abroad trip in Italy, calling it the “ultimate adventure.”
Megan Behr, a senior in sociology, went to Germany for a summer program and was there when the country won the World Cup. She said being with German students cheering on their team was a special experience.
The Expo also showcased numerous study abroad destinations and programs as well as resources available for students who wish to study abroad. Breanne Davies, a learning abroad coordinator, began preparing for the event in Februrary. She said this expo was the best opportunity for students to talk to experts and get a feel for what learning abroad is really like. It gave returning students a chance to share their experiences.
Career Services, the U’s Office of Financial Aid and the Bennion Center were just a few of the many resources there. Faculty-led programs included several majors, such as health and business. Affiliate and exchange programs were present as well.
Mariah Tuzar, a sophomore in anthropology, did a study abroad trip over Spring Break in Costa Rica. Tuzar was able to interact with the people of Costa Rica as well as complete various service activities such as painting a cemetery.
“You don’t realize what you’re going to get out of it until you’re there,” she said.
She said this experience gave her a new view of the world and found it to be a shocking transition. The disparity of civic resources surprised Tuzar the most. She said the nearby clinic only had one doctor, but at the same time people had modern cell phones.
Not only did the trip have service activities, but Tuzar also participated in sightseeing the beauties of Costa Rica and ziplining. She said study abroad trips are for those with a “spirit of adventure.”
Jasmine Barlow, a freshman in communication, and Katie Stokes, an undecided sophomore, hope to find an experience like Tuzar’s where they can expand their perspectives and experience a new culture.
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Five things you didn’t know about studying abroad:
1. You’ll Become Independent
Whether you live at home or you come from out of state, Mitch Conti, a junior in engineering, said venturing into a foreign place without your parents brings about a feeling of confusion, but also a taste of independence and freedom.
2. You’ll Try Delicious New Food
Jonathan Lykins, a junior in civil engineering, traveled to Nepal, fulfilling a life-long dream of seeing the Himalayan Mountains. Through the cultural emersion and eye-opening perspective, he found the food to be one of the best parts.
3. You’ll Find New Friends
Nicholas Redmond, a senior in history, went to Greece. He said he was on his trip with a variety of people from students studying mechanical engineering to some from the College of Humanities and discovered how to “deal with people for thirty days straight.”
4. It Differs From Classroom Learning
Conti went to Italy for a film program and was surprised at how little classroom learning there was. He said he learned more just from the experience.
5. It’s Affordable
Redmond said the U makes studying abroad cheaper than going out on your own. While in Greece, he said he ran into a group of students from Kentucky who were paying three times as much as U students.
For Megan Behr, a senior in sociology, going abroad was about the same price as paying tuition at the U and living on campus.
The U also offers scholarships and financial aid. One scholarship is offered to students who have a high social media following, and another is for students who have a great blog.
For more information on studying abroad, meet with an advisor or visit learningabroad.utah.edu.