The first International Study Abroad Fair was held Nov. 15 in the Brower Student Center to promote the awareness of the International, off campus and summer programs offered at the College.
Karen Jenkins, assistant provost, allowed Matt Snyder, junior journalism major, “creative leadership” over the entire event. Snyder said the event was held “to get that campus excited about studying abroad”.
Snyder, who studied abroad in Tokyo, interns in the Global International office and was eager to hold an event where students familiar with the study abroad program could get other students excited about this opportunity. “Students might not know you can study abroad,” he said. “The experience opens your eyes to the world outside.”
The two hour event was hosted by former study abroad students and students who are guests at the college through the exchange program.
Hanna Sage, junior computer information system student at the University of West of England, said she became involved in the program because of course advertisements at her university.
Like many of the students who were present, Sage said the most appealing part of the program was the chance to appreciate different cultures. “It’s been great,” she said when asked about her experience in America. “Learn a lot about where you’re going before you go and make friends with the other exchange students.”
Traveling offers the opportunity for many exciting personal experiences. Jenkins, however, wanted students to be aware of the academic importance of the program by connecting the students to the universities abroad through the faculty. Faculty members were available and provided information regarding the academic portion of the program and how it adheres to the College standards.
Michele Tarter, professor of English, has taken students to England for the last three summers where they “live in a castle, study British Literature and bring it life.”
Mark Bartkiewicz, junior in English and women’s and gender studies major, was also enthusiastic to visit other countries because “It gives you the chance to become cultured.”
The program to study both abroad is available to all students and the costs for tuition and boarding are comparable to that of the College. In choosing where to study, many go to developed places such as Europe, Asia and Australia. Usually, students are hesitant to study in places such as Africa or India.
“I encourage students to get out of their comfort zone,” Jeniele Bennett, a graduate student who works as a study abroad counselor said. “They won’t get the opportunity again once they graduate because of employers.”
“We’re all interested in meeting different people and the challenge of a college like (the College) is to depict more accurately the diversity of the world,” Jenkins said.
“There’s life outside of New Jersey,” Bartkiewicz said, “and it’s fabulous.”