A Study Abroad Fair will be hosted on Sept. 12 by the Office of International Education to provide an opportunity for students to gain information about the various abroad programs.
Amy Bergmann, an adviser at the Office of International Education, has managed the Study Abroad Fair for the past eight years. Describing the preparation for the event she said, “Boxes are arriving in my office every day,” and pointed at her wall that was lined side-to-side with boxes filled with flyers for different programs being shown at the fair.
Bergmann said that there would be more than 75 programs represented at the fair. Michele Cox, the director of study abroad, said: “The main benefit is that students can meet other Richmond students from our partner institutions as well as Richmond students who have studied abroad. Talking to a peer who has been through the experience as well as meeting students from the host university is a wonderful way to learn more about what the experience was like for them and to ask questions about the city, housing, classes, culture, travel, etc.”
“Many of our partners are sending paid staff to the fair as well,” Bergmann said, “So they are experts at answering questions about program options, and we even have some UR faculty who are going to be at the fair, so you can see this is a ‘one stop shop’ for all your study abroad needs.”
Cox said, “It is the only time when we have all these universities and students in one room, so it is an event not to be missed.”
Students who have studied abroad will be at the event to answer questions from prospective study abroad students, Bergmann said. She added that students should be particularly excited about this because “they don’t need to send an email, they don’t need to find this person; they’re just right there at the table and they’re there to talk to you.”
One of the student volunteers who will be at the event is Jeff Schriber, a senior chemistry major.
“I will be talking and answering questions about studying abroad in Chile, third party programs like SIT, and studying abroad as a science major,” he said. He intends to attempt to convince students that they can have a wonderful experience abroad regardless of their major, Schriber said.
“I decided to volunteer in the fair to help remove the illusion that science majors can’t study abroad,” Schriber said. “While it can be difficult to get science credits transferred, I hope to urge students that study abroad isn’t measured by credit, and that with careful planning, any major can be completed even with no major credits from abroad.” His semester in Chile was one of the defining moments of his college career, Schriber said.
Unlike many other students who study abroad, Schriber didn’t go to a normal school, Schriber said. “I was in a program called SIT Chile: Comparative Education and Social Change. SIT has many differently themed programs across the globe, all centered on the pedagogical method of field based learning.”
Because he was a part of this program, Scriber will be representing it during the fair, and also representing trips to Chile, he said.
Another student representing multiple programs is Indira Selimovic, a senior who spent a year studying abroad. She spent one semester in Sweden and one in Korea and will be representing the schools she attended while abroad.
“It would be really helpful for other students to know about what we offer,” Bergmann said, “It goes beyond just Italy and Spain. We are doing a big push right now for Latin America.”
As an added incentive to bring students to the fair, Bergmann said, “We are having a photo trivia contest and there are door prizes as well.” Although she couldn’t delve into specifics on the door prize, she gave hints of a “sweet treat.”
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