Students learn about other countries at Study Abroad Expo


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From Australia and Jordan to Ireland and Africa, students learned about the many countries they can travel to and learn from at the Study Abroad Expo.

The Office of Study Abroad held the Study Abroad Expo Wednesday in the Charles V. Park Library corridor, where students could socialize and ask questions to the study abroad staff and other students who have returned from foreign countries.

Sarah Barnard, the study abroad advisor and outreach coordinator, has done her share of traveling around the world.

“I have studied abroad in Australia, Thailand and Germany. After you go once, you get hooked,” Barnard said. “There is just so much to learn, and your mind becomes blown by the big world out there.”

Barnard also encourages students to stop by the Office of Study Abroad to discuss any concerns about studying abroad.

“Money is a main worry, but many students do not know that there are low-cost options available,” Barnard said. “Financial aid and scholarships can be used toward studying abroad as well.”

Poster boards made by the study abroad staff were on display, composed of pictures and information about various countries, which Central Michigan University students have traveled abroad to.

Study abroad staff members filled the corridor, offering students information and providing them with study abroad viewbooks.

Laura DuCharme, a Grand Blanc junior, was one of the staff members excited to spread the word about studying abroad in hopes of getting more students involved.

“I studied abroad in London at Kingston University, which gave me that small-town feel, rather than the city nightlife,” DuCharme said. “It was such a great experience as a journalism major, because London gave me different views on journalism.”

Chicago senior Natilie Williams studied abroad in Singapore, and stresses what an opportunity it was.

“I was the only student from CMU who studied abroad in Singapore,” Williams said. “Initially, it was intimidating, but I was really successful, and it made me stronger.”

As students walked through the expo in the library corridor, many of them couldn’t help but stop by the colorful displays, which offered free candy, pens and guides. Some of the more eager students conversed with staff members about how to plan to study abroad, as well as the individual experiences that each country offers.

One of those students, South Lyon freshman Abby Sigler, is interested in studying abroad in either Germany or Japan at some point in her collegiate career, but wants more time to prepare.

“I would love to study abroad for the experience, but I was going to take a language credit first which would be beneficial,” Sigler said. “I’m not worried about the money aspect as much as not knowing the language, and not knowing where to go.”

Grand Rapids sophomore Sarah Zywiczynski said she's also not ready to study abroad right now, but is looking forward to it in the near future.

“I have to get more information on a program before I sign up, and I’m saving up money too,” she said. “I would love to study abroad for new experiences, and traveling is something that everyone enjoys.”


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