By Maddie Harned, Staff Writer for The Current
At the University of Missouri – St. Louis Study Abroad Fair, information about study abroad programs held in countries from Chile to China was made available for UMSL students, faculty and staff. Study Abroad Fair was held in Century Room C in the Millennium Student Center on August 30. UMSL Study Abroad Office team members were available to answer questions concerning the university’s study abroad programs.
Mia Michael, senior, history, is a Study Abroad Assistant who worked on planning and preparing the fair.
“We hope to reach out to UMSL students and inform them of the many opportunities and benefits of studying abroad,” Michael said. “It truly is one of the most exciting opportunities available to UMSL students. No matter what your major, study abroad will enhance your studies and expand your viewpoint.”
A similar enthusiasm for studying abroad was found in the booths advertising programs available to students.
Eamonn Wall, Jefferson Smurfit Professor of Irish Studies, founded and coordinates UMSL’s Irish Studies Summer Program in Galway, Ireland. At the Study Abroad Fair, Wall manned a booth promoting the program.
“There’s a lot of people coming and going through the fair, picking up brochures and asking questions about which are good,” Wall said.
One of the main goals of the Study Abroad Fair was to create a forum for students interested in studying abroad to ask questions about logistics, financial aid and what the various programs have to offer.
“In general, I believe students responded with curiosity and motivation about the possibilities for study abroad,” Amy Fillo, Study Abroad and Faculty Led Programs Coordinator, said. “UMSL offers so many different types of programs, and for the students exploring their options, the wealth of programs presented was inspiring to them.”
Additionally, the fair featured a unique opportunity for prospective study abroad students to speak with students who had previously studied abroad. Overall, the students who had studied abroad attested to gaining personal insight and valuable knowledge from their experiences.
One such student was Margaret Gambaro, senior, art history, who spent time studying in London.
“My experience studying abroad was almost indescribable,” Gambaro said. “It was truly amazing and opened my mind to so many different cultures. I’m happy to share my experience with others who are interested in maybe studying abroad.”
With a steady stream of interested students flowing in and out of Century Room C, the Study Abroad Office staff found the fair to be an overall success.
“We welcomed a steady crowd of students throughout the event, many of whom were coming to learn about study abroad for the first time,” Fillo said. “It is especially important for our office to increase that general awareness of study abroad on campus, and the Study Abroad Fair is an exciting opportunity to do just that.”
The event aimed to give individual attention to students interested in studying abroad. Study Abroad Office staff answered questions one-on-one with students.
“I especially enjoyed talking with students about their dreams and goals for international study,” Fillo said. “So many students are determined to make study abroad a part of their academic experience at UMSL and it was great to speak with them individually about what they want to accomplish.”
Students who are interested in studying abroad are encouraged to stop by the Study Abroad Office located at 261 MSC or e-mail the office at firstname.lastname@example.org.