By Stefan Snijders, Contributor
The International Studies offices will host a Study Abroad Fair onJan. 28 from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m.in Criss Library. It will provide an opportunity for students to find out about the various exchange and travel programs offered through the university system.
“Students are going to be able to drop in to the fair and get information from alumni and other sources about the various programs that are offered,” said Emily Hassenstab, manager of Education Abroad and Global Partnerships.
Hassenstab set up the event with the help of her staff. She said there are up to 30 different tables where one can speak with current exchange students, as well as UNO students and alumni who have previously attended Study Abroad or exchange programs. There, students can find out more about the experiences, what to expect, where they can get involved and what types of programs are available.
“We have application deadlines that are coming up for spring and summer for next school year, so now is the time to look into these,” Hassenstab said.
This includes the Mid-America Universities Exchange, or MAUI Utrecht network, a large-scale exchange program that offers study abroad opportunities to 27 different countries. The application deadline is Feb. 15, the same for the direct exchange programs.
Hassenstab said that in addition to the traditional exchange programs, the Study Abroad fair will host information for several third party programs, some private for-profit and others non-profit. Many of these third party programs incorporate language acquisition course to better prepare the student who intends to study internationally, she said.
“The fair is wonderful because it brings together a tremendous amount of experience from students to third party representatives who can answer questions and just chat about studying abroad,” said Hannah Gill, a senior journalism major in the School of Communications.
Gill works part time in the Study Abroad office as a Peer Marketing Advisor, and has traveled on multiple student excursions. Gill said one thing important to note are the success statistics for students who engage in overseas study programs.
“The Institute of International Education has found study abroad alumni are more likely to graduate in four years, be accepted to a graduate school of their choice, gain employment they see as beneficial to their career goals and have higher starting salaries,” Gill said.
This should encourage students who strive for positive growth in their budding adult careers as they progress toward graduation, she said. She noted with the succession of each of her three trips abroad, her international experience paved the way for future success. It also allowed her to share her experiences by assisting others who are less experienced in study abroad programs.
The Study Abroad Fair also hosts several faculty-led opportunities for students to attend. Dr. Chris Allen, newly appointed manager of Maverick TV and professor in the School of Communication, has hosted a trip to London for 14 of the past 15 seasons and is excited and proud to host a new trip this summer of 2015 to Oman. Dr. Allen spent nine months in Oman asa Fulbright Scholar and is looking forward to leading a group of students there. He said this trip is a great opportunity for the university to expand its outreach within the Middle East.
“The bottom line for any of these programs is simply to expand students’ horizons,” Dr. Allen said of his desire for the students to see and experience the differences of culture abroad versus at home.
This, among other reasons, is why Dr. Allen said though a program may have a particular educational focus, it shouldn’t deter non-major students from attending. He also stressed that it’s important for students to take this opportunity while it’s available.
“Think of it as an investment in your education, your future and yourself,” Gill said. “There is no better choice you can make.”
Study Abroad will host its Fair on Wed. Jan. 28 at the UNO Criss Library on Dodge Campus. The fair will run from 10 a.m. until 1:30p.m.