Myki Dee Kim, Staff Writer
On Sept. 17, 2019, the annual Study Abroad Fair was held on the third floor of Cebula Hall. The event was hosted by the Office of Study Abroad and the Office of International Programs and Development (OIPD). Previously held in the Trautman Union Building (TUB), the fair continues to improve in quality and grow each year. The Study Abroad Fair is an annual event that brings together sister universities, third-party providers, upcoming study tour opportunities, cultural exchanges, and overall study abroad resources, such as financial aid, to provide Saint Martin’s students with information regarding all aspects of studying abroad. The fair also educates students on the different types of study abroad opportunities that the university holds, such as semester-long study abroad, year-long study abroad, cultural exchanges, and short-term study tours. Study abroad alumni were also present to share their varying global experiences.
About 130 students from varying majors and class standings came to the fair in hopes of finding a study abroad opportunity that best suits their wants and needs. What makes the Saint Martin’s Study Abroad Fair so unique is having actual students who are either currently studying abroad or have studied abroad in the past share their stories and experiences of their home or visiting universities. Students created their own presentations, varying from poster boards to PowerPoints. Each student liaison provided informational and memorable experiences that they shared with students and guests. Sophomore Franchesca Ponce attended the Study Abroad Fair last year when it was held in the TUB. She always wanted to study abroad and has dreamed of either visiting a Spanish speaking country or somewhere in Europe. Throughout the fair, Franchesca looked at short-term study tour opportunities and semester-long study abroad sessions. Ideally, she hopes to experience a short-term, two-week program before she graduates. However, if the right semester-long opportunity presents itself, she may jump at the chance.
Joohee Kim is the new coordinator for the Office of Study Abroad. Kim believes that studying abroad is important for students, so they can explore different cultures and meet various people. With the Study Abroad Fair being an annual event, she hopes that students learn the vast study abroad opportunities that the department has to offer. A major thing that deters students from studying abroad is cost. Joohee notes that studying abroad could be financially feasible no matter the program students choose to enter. There are varying forms of payments such as scholarships and grants that students are able to receive to assist with their travel costs. Whether the funds come from the institution or outside organizations, there are ways for students to be able to travel abroad without breaking the bank. Joohee advises that students thinking of studying abroad should “make friends with students who studied abroad previously.” She believes that meeting peers who have studied abroad will give individuals a greater insight into what studying abroad really is and what it entails in a peer-to-peer setting.
The Study Abroad Fair continues to open doors to new and exciting possibilities for all. Missed your chance at attending the fair or have further questions? Contact Study Abroad Coordinator, Joohee Kim or swing by OIPD in Old Main room 430 to learn about all the study abroad opportunities that we have here at Saint Martin’s University.