Study Abroad Fair Attracts Crowds

The Billings Student Center looked like a United Nations conference this past Wednesday, February 1st. The common room was filled with international flags, brightly displayed booths containing travel information, and swarming crowds of UVM students.

The large turn out was a testament to the fact that studying abroad is becoming an increasingly popular option for college students.

The programs available appear to have a trip for every academic area of interest, encompassing anything from learning about and participating in renewable energy workshops in the Caribbean, photo and film documentary trips to Ghana, attending a prestigious university in cosmopolitan Buenos Aires, or studying European Culture and History in Copenhagen.

The amount of options to study abroad is almost overwhelming. Besides traditional semester long studies, there are also summer and year-long opportunities available.

Some of the programs have selective application processes that involve academic references and GPA requirements, while others require only personal information and a down payment. Meetings with a UVM study abroad advisor are required and can help students to figure out which program is best for them.

Consistently echoed by representatives from each study abroad program were the benefits of experiencing life in another country.

One student, Jane Jarecki, who traveled to India with the Wisdom Tours program affiliated with Castleton State College said, “Going to India opened up a door for me…I discovered the world…I learned what it means to learn…I opened up knowledge that I had deep inside myself.”

Beyond the thrill of insight gained from living in a foreign country, some of the definite perks to studying abroad appear to be the small class sizes. Many trips contain anywhere from ten to twenty students.

This intimate group size has the potential to foster a great deal of discussion and friendships. Students are also able to obtain financial aid for the majority of trips, which in some cases reduces the cost to less than what a student would expect to pay for the equivalent number of credits through UVM.

Details about all of the programs, transfer of credits, financial issues, are given at the Study Abroad Info Sessions. The next session will be held Tuesday, February 7th at 3:00p.m.

Subsequent sessions will be held throughout February.

For more information students can check out the UVM Office of International Education Website at www.uvm.edu/oie.