Easier than you think to study abroad
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Studying abroad isn’t too expensive; it won’t push back your graduation date; and you don’t need to know a foreign language. These are some of the rumors that The University of Akron’s second annual Study Abroad Fair hopes to expel this Thursday, Oct. 27.
The fair, which will be open between 4:30 p.m. and 6:30 p.m. in the Student Union Ballroom, will be staffed entirely by UA students who have already studied abroad. They will be able to help interested students decide which program works for them.
Four different kinds of programs are available to students, according to Assistant Director of Study Abroad David Black:
- Faculty or Student Led programs usually involve a faculty member or trained student who accompanies the students abroad. These trips are typically safer, but tend to occur in the summer. An example is the Sant’Anna Institute Summer Program in Sant’Anna, Italy.
- Exchange Programs are with schools who have partnered with UA to exchange students. These are the only programs that allow students to use a portion of their UA scholarships to pay for tuition. Programs generally take place in the fall or spring semester.
- 3rd Party Affiliates are outside companies that fill in the gaps left by the limited exchange programs. Students can usually apply for scholarships ranging from $200 to $1,000 depending on the company.
- Direct Enroll Schools is a relatively new program that allows students to directly enroll at foreign universities. There are none of the usual agreements that need to be signed. It’s up to the school to support the student, so it is important to select the right option.
Jennifer Dixon, a graduate assistant for the Study Abroad Society, encourages students to be flexible when it comes to choosing a program. Students who are willing to “step off the beaten path” often end up discovering exceptional programs. Dixon, who says most programs end up costing a little more than a typical semester at UA, was actually paid to study abroad at an exchange program in South Korea.
But you can’t really put a price tag on the experience, Dixon admits. Her study abroad experience has allowed her to visit 12 countries in six different continents, meet friends from all over the world, and expand her worldview. It’s even opened up career opportunities.
“The benefits from studying abroad are endless,” Dixon says. “Students who study abroad tend to see improvements in everything from their performance in school, to their career prospects, to their personal lives…If students are looking to gain a little more independence, or looking for a way to make their resume stand out, study[ing] abroad is an almost foolproof method.”
For more information on the Study Abroad Fair and the types of program available, visit: uakron.edu/study-abroad/