International Center to Feature Study Abroad Fair

The International Center gives students opportunities to visit and experience other cultures while earning credits toward their degree.


(Public domain image)

By Benjamin Bast, Reporter

 The University of Akron is hosting a ‘Study Abroad Fair’ on Wednesday, Oct. 31 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Piano Lounge, near Starbucks in the Taber Student Union.

There are four types of programs; the Exchange Program, the UA Faculty-Led Short-Term Program, Third-Party Programs and Direct Enroll Programs.

The Exchange Program involves students hosted from partner universities, where students are able to study at these universities in exchange.

Students are charged regular full-time main campus tuition rate and are also required to enroll in UA’s mandatory emergency medical insurance.

Heather Pollock, the Education Abroad Coordinator, said that this program is the most popular because all of a student’s UA money will transfer too. “I would definitely go with the Exchange because it gives you the freedom to have a little more money,” Pollock said.

Heather Pollock, Education Abroad Coordinator. (Image via The University of Akron)

The minimum eligibility requirements for the Exchange Program include: students must be at least 18 years of age, hold a minimum 2.5 cumulative GPA, be a full-time student in sophomore-class standing or higher at the time of participation, meet requirements specified by the host institution and meet language proficiency requirements, if applicable.

“We want your GPA to be 2.5 at least. What that tells us is that people can balance work, life and school,” Pollock said.

The UA Faculty-Led Short-Term Programs are less than a full semester and typically take place during the summer, winter break or spring break. Typically led by UA faculty, students can earn academic credit in some of these programs. Others are non-bearing credit opportunities. Student-led programs are also offered.

Third-Party Programs are coordinated and administered by outside organizations that are UA affiliated agreements. Students pay their program fees directly to the organization and may qualify for scholarships or grants. These programs tend to be more expensive than UA programs for in-state students.

Third-Party affiliates offer a wide variety of destinations. The best way to find an internship opportunity is to check with the affiliates directly.

The Direct Enroll Programs are opportunities for students to directly enroll in an institution abroad. For this program, it is advised to keep the International Center informed so the organization can assist on the necessary processes to earn academic credit for the courses while abroad.

In terms of the feedback from students in these programs, Pollock said she has received “positive feedback, every time” and has “never met one person that has regretted it.”

These programs are designed to be affordable for students. “Studying abroad is a good way to travel affordably,” Pollock said. “One of my goals for this position is to let everyone know that travel is accessible and affordable.”

As a UA professor for 18 years, Pollock said teaching is one of her passions while traveling is another thing she loves, which led to her interest in the Education Abroad Coordinator position.

“This is a great way for me to put two things I love in one place,” Pollock said.

To verify that the credits taken abroad will transfer back to UA, students should check with their academic advisors.

At the International Center, students can email e[email protected] to set an appointment. For financial aid, email Kathryn Vasko at [email protected] to learn about scholarships and other financial aid from the program.