Study abroad fair offers diverse opportunities

By Ariel Steinsaltz
Staff Writer

Giving students the opportunity to explore different options the school provides for studying in other countries, the College held its study abroad fair on Sept. 5, in the Education Building Room 212.

The fair represented a variety of destinations. Students could study anywhere from Dublin to the Galapagos Islands, Peru or Paris. The trips included semester-long programs, summer programs, winter programs and trips during the “Maymester,” which are the weeks immediately following the end of the academic year.

Students pore over the various study abroad options provided by the College (Meagan McDowell / Photo Editor)

Some of the faculty-led trips offer courses that are taught in short periods of time. Other programs offer multiple classes in areas such as foreign language or international studies.

One program available to students is the Spring Hill College Italy Center. Spring Hill College is located in Mobile, Alabama and has a campus in Bologna, Italy, according to Mary Hutti and Jordan Byrne, representatives from Spring Hill College, which began its partnership with the College in 2012.

The School for Field Studies, which allows students to do field-based, environmentally focused work while living in a research center. It was founded by ecologists in 1980 and has worked with the College for 15 years. They offer semester courses and summer courses.

The College has also been partnering with the Foundation for International Education for over 10 years to run the TCNJ London Study Center, according to Erika Richards, the vice president of institutional relations at the foundation. The program combines study with an internship and allows students at the College to earn transfer credits.

TCNJ Spain offers both a five-week summer option and a semester-long option to study in Madrid.

Isabel Kentengian, the College’s faculty director of the spring semester program for TCNJ Spain, said that students should seek to maximize their study abroad experience. 

“Students who are studying abroad should ask themselves, ‘what is it that you want to get out of study abroad?’” Kentengian said. “The reasons people give often include getting to know another culture and language, wanting to travel, wanting to have fun and wanting to discover who they are.”

Students can also enroll in the College’s exchange programs, which give them the ability to attend another school for a semester or a year and allows students from other colleges to attend the College in their place.

Kiersten Newkirk, a senior communication studies major and the college enhancement intern for the Center for Global Engagement, was at the fair representing various faculty-led programs. Newkirk said that she studied abroad in New Zealand during her sophomore year. She explained that it was an extraordinary experience for her, and the Center for Global Engagement was a huge asset throughout the process.

When she returned to the College, she felt motivated to work for the Center for Global Engagement and have “the opportunity to help (her) peers go abroad and have similarly wonderful adventures,” she said.

Newkirk was happy to see that there were a lot of programs tailored for different majors, because it gave more students the chance to study abroad.

Julie Bang, a freshman elementary education major, had been interested in studying abroad but didn’t know she could have the opportunity to travel with her major.

“There are a lot of places you can go,” Bang said. “Students of every nature can go anywhere that interests them.”