Study Abroad Fair set Oct. 8 in breezeway
The Study Abroad Fair will be held from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 8 in the Student Plaza breezeway.
The fair allows Florida Gulf Coast University students to talk to study- abroad organizations directly and is a great opportunity to seek options to study abroad. There will be approximately 20 provider programs tabling that day, and most of the upcoming programs for summer 2015 will be announced.
According to Brent Spencer, assistant director of study abroad, around 200 students at FGCU studied abroad last year.
Studying abroad is seen by many students as an excellent opportunity to grow as an individual and explore one’s potential. A studying-abroad experience can improve your cultural awareness, and help you build a broader perspective of the world.
Students can study abroad in four different ways. They can join a Faculty-Led Study Abroad program, which usually involves staying in another country with a faculty member and class.
Business students can study abroad through Lutgert’s exchange program. There are also non-credit volunteer, intern or work abroad programs available. The fourth way students can study abroad is through provider programs, which include third-party companies or other universities. Students can go to almost any country in the world with these provider programs.
“Currently, there are seven students studying abroad with these programs,” Spencer said.
Kayla Hinnenkamp is a junior majoring in political science who studied abroad last year. She went to Paris for a semester and stayed with a host family. She went there with a provider program and studied at the American Business University of Paris
The most valuable thing she learned in her time studying abroad was how to deal with people.
“Apply early, and make sure you ask a lot of questions,” Hinnenkamp said.
Daniella Escobar, a senior pursuing a major in sociology and a minor in gender studies, decided to take an adventure this past summer. She went to Ghana with a FLSA program and stayed with a host family.
“It made me think that people can still be human,” Escobar said. “In Ghana, they see you in the eyes and see you as you are.”
She believes the most important thing everybody who studies abroad should do is keep an open mind.
“You need to understand the culture before you judge,” Escobar said.
Spencer encourages students who are interested in studying abroad to attend an information session where a broad overview is given.
“Students can learn about how to get credits, financing options and what types of programs are available,” Spencer said.
Students can register for an information session online on the FGCU study abroad page. Sessions are usually held from 3–4 p.m. Wednesdays and 4-5 p.m. Thursdays n Merwin Hall.