Study abroad fair hopes to expand worlds

Brooke Schwartz, Contributing Writer

Students can catch a glimpse into other cultures at the Study Abroad fair from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Wednesday at the University Ballroom of Martin Luther King Jr. University Union.

The fair is designed to give students information on the different programs and places Eastern features in its study abroad opportunities.

The fair will include tables from many of the third party organizations Eastern uses to send students to as many places as possible.

Lizzie Bridges, a senior who works as the peer adviser in the Office of Study Abroad, hopes that the fair will be able to reassure anyone who has any doubts about studying abroad.

“Hopefully we’ll just be able to get a lot of interest in studying abroad, and maybe students that weren’t sure before are now a lot more excited for it and feel better having some more information and getting to see all the cool things they could do,” Bridges said.

Bridges studied abroad during the spring of 2016 in South Korea.

“It wasn’t my original plan at all,” Bridges said. “I originally wanted to go to England, but ending up in Korea was the best change of plans that I could have made.”

She said studying abroad gave her a global perspective that has proved invaluable in her life since.

There are a variety of programs that run at different times, ranging from summer programs to semester-long programs.

“There should be options that fit into everyone’s schedule,” Kurt Olausen, director of Study Abroad said.

Last year, 152 students participated in a study abroad program. This was an increase from the year before, despite the drop in enrollment.

The benefits of studying abroad are invaluable to students of any major or background, Bridges said.

Bridges has experienced both being an exchange student and helping others become exchange students.

She said it is important to open students’ eyes to cultures other than the ones they have previously been exposed to.

“I think one really important thing students get out of studying abroad is being able to get a more global perspective,” Bridges said.

Bridges said studying abroad provides students with the ability to adapt to many different situations, which could help students with their future interactions and jobs.

The different programs all have a different cost. Some are the same as what a student pays for tuition at Eastern, while others can be cheaper.

Olausen and Bridges both said they hope that the fair will calm any fears or nervousness students may have about studying abroad.

“Don’t let fear be the thing that holds you back,” Bridges said, “Because the experience is worth it.”


Brooke Schwartz can be reached at 581-2812 or [email protected]