Students explore travel options at study abroad fair

On Thursday, Sept. 12, the Study Abroad and International Offices hosted the fall study abroad fair.

Faculty members and study abroad companies invited students to come and explore international travel possibilities.

Ash, the study abroad coordinator, said the fair positively impacts campus climate by “facilitating connections between my office, faculty, study abroad providers, study abroad alumni and prospective education abroad students.”

Erik Byron, a political science senior, spoke about his upcoming trip to Germany and France in the coming spring.

“You should absolutely attend the study abroad fair because it’s so diverse,” he said.

Erik described the trip he will attend as “cosmopolitan and awakening you to a lot of history.”

Ash hoped that the fair would clear up misconceptions regarding studying abroad.

“[I hope] that students leave the fair thinking study abroad is a realistic option for them,” she said. “There are so many misconceptions that surround study abroad. For example, students believe that studying abroad will break the bank, but we have programs with our partners that are extremely inexpensive.”

She mentioned a trip that allows students to study at SVSU’s sister school in Taiwan.

“Students can study for a semester at Ming Chuan University in Taiwan for only $500, and that includes their airfare, student visa, tuition and housing,” she said. “I hope the fair clears up these misconceptions and gets students excited to start planning their study abroad experience.”

Izza Ahsan, an international student from India, explained she loved the fair because she “enjoyed seeing students learn about different cultures, which promotes tolerance.”

The Study Abroad Office offered incentives for attending the fair, including a drawing giving away free passports, a $160 value each.

Maddy Bochenek, a premedical freshman, won a free passport.

“I was interested to see all of the different study abroad options for my major,” Bochenek said.

Ash offered advice for students who were unable to attend the fair.

“Students who cannot attend the fair should stop by and see me or one of my peer advisers in Wickes 230,” she said. “We are happy to discuss the application process, program options, scholarship opportunities and more, either through an appointment or walk-ins.”

She encouraged students to be openminded and flexible in choosing to study abroad.

“Not everything will go as planned, and you need to manage your expectations accordingly,” she said. “Also, don’t let fear and homesickness get in the way of new experiences and opportunities – put yourself out there as much as possible.”

Another study abroad fair will be offered in either late January or early February.

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