By Kiyanna Noel
Pursuing your education at a college or university is a mission in itself, but what about studying in another city, state or even continent? The Global Education Office hosted its annual Study Away Fair Wednesday, Oct. 4, on the second floor of the Angell College Center next to the Warren Ballrooms.
There were different tables with flyers, students and staff with multiple kinds of study abroad and what to expect when deciding to study abroad. Along with this was a photo contest for study abroad students to participate and vote on which photo they believe is the best.
Senior Coordinator of Study Away Brooke Layhee said the location was perfect for this occasion because it allows for more foot traffic and for students who weren’t previously interested to potentially change their minds.
“Some students say they’re not going to study away right away, but then are able to see it and maybe pick something up and have a conversation that interests them,” Layhee said.
Layhee also noted how studying abroad can change one’s outlook and how it can improve someone’s future endeavors after graduation.
“One thing I’ve been saying a lot is that no matter what you’re going to do or what your plans are post-graduation, you’re going to be working with people that are not like you. And I think that a study away experience really helps you to expose yourself to that and try to see what you like in uncomfortable situations. ‘How do I meet new people? How do I make friends?’ Kind of putting yourself out there to learn more about you. I think it’s really tough after you graduate to live somewhere else for four or five months at a time, so college is a great time to do that,” Layhee said.
Junior communication sciences and disorders major Raquel White studied abroad in Barcelona, Spain this spring. White had lots of takeaways from her experience, but her main lesson in studying abroad is to start fresh.
“It was an amazing experience. I got to meet really cool people and I just always say it was like a clean slate to start and just learn things about myself that I didn’t know and just enjoy being in Europe for 5 months,” White said.
Senior hospitality management major Marissa Perry studied in Sydney, Australia, acknowledged that this trip helped her connect with people from different cultures and backgrounds from a variety of places.
“It was such an amazing experience, honestly. I got to meet people from so many different parts of the world. It was definitely a different learning experience,” Perry said. “I gained so much independence from it too, learned so much about myself that I wouldn’t have learned just staying here and studying in America.”
Junior majoring in biomedical sciences, Spanish and psychology Mina Fakir studied in Madrid and Valencia, Spain.
“The experience was absolutely incredible,” Fakir said. “I wouldn’t trade it for the world. I really grew as a person and it opened my eyes to experiencing something new and being open to change.”
Study Away programs can help students gain a different perspective on the people and the world around them. From languages to understanding new cultures, studying abroad can change how people feel about themselves and the diverse world we live in.
“For me, it’s really that global awareness and global understanding of other people because you have your whole life ahead of you and there’s so much that can happen and change,” Layhee said.