If you're like a lot of students, perhaps you've already written off studying abroad. Maybe you've decided it's a fun idea, but not a serious possibility. Once you attend the 2012 Study Abroad Fair, however, you just might walk away with a new attitude about spending a little time studying outside the country.
Scheduled from 10 a.m. until 3 p.m. on Wednesday, Sept. 12, in the University Ballroom at the MLK Jr. University Union, the Study Abroad Fair is designed to arm students with all the necessary information about studying abroad. For some, it'll involve making some final decisions about where to study, while for many others it will serve as an eye-opening experience about just how feasible studying abroad can be.
"We're really working hard to dispel all these myths about why students don't think they can study abroad," said Sarah Grandstaff, interim coordinator in the Office of Study Abroad.
"They tend to think it's too expensive or unrealistic for all sorts of reasons. We're pretty creative, though. We can usually figure something out."
Students who've already decided they'd like to study abroad still have plenty of incentive to stop by, especially if they still need a passport. The Chicago Passport Authority will be on hand to distribute and process passport applications. Students can even get a passport photo at no extra cost. More details about this feature are available here.
This is the first year these passport services have been made available at the fair; another first will be the organization of informational booths. Programs will be arranged geographically by region, and identifiable by color. Students will receive a map when they enter the room and can navigate their way around the various regions, depending on their interest.
"Many students have a pretty good idea which part of the world they'd like to visit," explained Grandstaff. "This helps them find the program they're looking for more quickly."
"You can come in any time between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m.," added Grandstaff, pointing out the five-hour window gives students plenty of opportunity to work a visit around their classes. "You can really go at your own pace. Some might spend an hour and some might be here 10 minutes. It all depends on what you want to get out of it. It'll be busy, but we're ready for that."
In short, this is an event offering something for students of all interest levels.
"Really it's for anyone," said Grandstaff. "It's good for people who just want more information, but it's also a good opportunity for students trying to decide between programs to speak to program representatives."