By Nicole Bersani, Office of Education Abroad Publicity Assistant
“I want to be fully immersed into another culture,” said Danielle Limon, OHIO freshman majoring in journalism, French and Spanish.
Limon came to the Office of Education Abroad’s Study Abroad Fair on Oct. 10, 2011 with the intention to find not only one but two study abroad programs. Always intrigued by languages, Limon looked for opportunities where she can travel during her first and second years of college. She walked away with a free Study Abroad Fair T-shirt and a bag full of education abroad program brochures.
For the past 23 years, the Office of Education Abroad has held the annual Study Abroad Fair for students to discover their abroad explorations. Not every student who comes to the fair knows what and when they want to go abroad like Limon; however, the fair provides all students a chance to explore the endless possibilities.
In one day and in one room, the fair gives students access to hundreds of programs in more than 50 countries and the chance to talk one-on-one with representatives from both Ohio University study abroad and exchange programs but also outside organizations that offer study abroad options.
Whether students wanted to find a program where they can study, teach, work, volunteer or intern abroad, it could be found at the Study Abroad Fair. OEA’s new abroad partner, International Education Programs (IEP), was one of the larger tables there and offers students new destinations and abroad options.
“IEP offers programs for credit, but also specializes in creating customized internship and volunteer experiences abroad,” said Kari Beall, study abroad adviser for IEP.
Kevin Aspegren, program director for the Simonyi Consulting Program in Pecs, Hungary, encourages students to find study abroad programs where they can gain the best experience for them, no matter their major.
“Studying abroad gives students the opportunity to gain critical thinking and meaningful experiences,” Aspegren said.
Last year, more than 700 students traveled abroad through Ohio University, many of whom began their journey at the Study Abroad Fair.
Gina Mussio, OHIO junior studying magazine journalism, went to her first Study Abroad Fair in 2009. She found her dream destination, traveled the following year to Italy and became an OEA peer adviser, all because she attended the fair her freshman year.
“The things I learned abroad are things I wouldn’t have learned in the classroom here,” Mussio said.
If students could not make it to the Study Abroad Fair, all are welcome to walk-in advising hours from 1-4 p.m. on Monday-Friday and the Study Abroad 101 sessions on Tuesdays from 5-6 p.m., both in the Walter International Education Center.