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Study Abroad Fair showcases travel opportunities for students

Study Abroad Fair showcases travel opportunities for students
EN Photo / Tammy Falcon

This isn’t your usual fair. It’s a fair of pamphlets, books and representatives each at their respective tables, waiting to tell students about the opportunities they can have abroad.

It’s the study abroad fair, a yearly event hosted by International Services on Wednesday, Oct. 5  alongside Matthew Ryan, the assistant director for study abroad.

This is where students are given the opportunity to find the study abroad program that will fit their needs.

“Coming to these types of things are critical,” Brent Kirkland, a University Studies Abroad Consortium program advisor, said. “It’s all about the research, and the pre-departure process starts here. You want to make sure you choose a program that suits you well.”

FGCU’s study abroad fair houses programs that are faculty-led, private, big company programs to get students the right information they need.

Some of these programs only do summers and one week, while others go from semesters to a whole year even on a cruise ship.

Usually, students first choose the country they would like to study at and then go from there.

Europe and New Zealand are popular among students studying abroad.

With stacks of booklets and pamphlets in hand, Connie Valli and her friends walk from table to table looking at each program.

“I’m Italian, and I like learning and being with my heritage,” Valli said.  “Probably some more cultural knowledge, maybe learn a new language, meet new people and have fun.”

Students are encouraged to visit Ryan’s office in Reed Hall 122.

“We have lots of organizations we call third-party providers that, although most are not-for-profit, are still competitive and want students to choose their program,” Ryan said. “The benefit is that there are so many options, but it can also be a negative since it can be overwhelming.”

Ryan also mentions that students who are planning on studying abroad for the first time should take part in the international services weekly information sessions.

There, students will be given information such as the barriers and reasons to study abroad. After that, they can choose one of the programs they were able to see during the study abroad fair.

If you were unable to attend the study abroad fair, or would like more information, the different providers and countries that FGCU has to offer for study abroad are easily accessible online at fgcu.edu/international.  There is  a section on their website for studying abroad, from scholarships to the providers affiliated with FGCU.

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