Study Abroad Fair provides opportunities to expand horizons

Students talk with other students and advisors from the Office of International Programs at the Study Abroad Fair held in Estabrooke Hall, Thursday, Jan. 28, 2016. Photo by Ian Ligget.

Students talk with other students and advisors from the Office of International Programs at the Study Abroad Fair held in Estabrooke Hall, Thursday, Jan. 28, 2016. Photo by Ian Ligget.

On the afternoon of Thursday, Jan. 28, the Office of International Programs (OIP) held their biannual Study Abroad Fair. The fair featured educational and service programs, as well as internship opportunities. Students who traveled as part of the University of Maine’s Direct Exchange program talked to students about studying abroad through the program. Also present were representatives from about a dozen recommended programs.

The OIP, which also coordinates Culturefest and the International Dance Festival, “offers quality international education opportunities to students, faculty and staff” according to UMaine’s International Program Interim Director Sarah Joughin. The OIP also offers support to international students and scholars from all over the world. Joughin cites that roughly 140 UMaine students study abroad every year.

One of the more UMaine-centered programs present at the fair was the Canadian Year program offered by the Canadian-American Center. Betsy Artzen, Canadian Studies education outreach coordinator, offered information on the universities in Canada at which Maine students are able to study for in-state tuition price. Information was also offered on studying French and direct enrollment at particular universities that are not in Nova Scotia or Quebec for out-of-country rates. Information on studying abroad in Canada can be accessed in person at the Canadian-American Center, which is housed beside the Buchanan Alumni House, and online at the Center’s page on the UMaine website.

Jake Silver, a third-year marine science student, who recently returned from a Semester at Sea program in Bar Harbor, Maine visited the fair in hopes of learning more about studying abroad. Silver said he “wanted to expand his opportunities and gain more connections,” as well as focus on what he wants to do with his degree.

It is these connections and opportunities that Amy Kumpf, the study abroad advisor, spoke of when discussing why she encourages students to study abroad. Kumpf herself studied in the Czech Republic as an undergraduate. While studying abroad, she said she received new perspectives and began to look at different cultures through these perspectives.

Those who wish to study abroad or find out more about doing so are encouraged to visit Room 240 in Estabrooke Hall. On Mondays through Fridays, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., students are able to meet with a study abroad peer advisor to discuss possible opportunities. The deadline for applications to study abroad in the summer, fall or whole academic year is Feb. 20.

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