Feb 092012
 
Authors: Nicolle Fagan

Students may be set to see the world, but they do have to do their homework first.

The Lory Student Center ballroom will host the Study Abroad Fair today, where approximately 80 tables will represent various programs set to help students go global.

Each semester, this fair, sponsored by the Study Abroad Office, will provide information to students about the opportunities available for studying internationally. CSU-sponsored programs, as well as other study abroad providers, are represented to expose students to the options they have.

“The Study Abroad Fair is a great opportunity whether a student is planning on going abroad in the next semester or not because it is a one-stop shop of all the places they can go in the world,” said Chris Churma, the Study Abroad Adviser for Africa, Asia, the Middle East and Oceania. “It is a great place to find out about affordability and other units on campus on how to make study abroad fit in your campus life.”

The Study Abroad fair was the first step for senior finance major Megan Gabriel, a peer adviser for the Study Abroad Office, who spent last spring in Barcelona.

“I went (to the fair) twice. The first time I gathered a bunch of information and the second time I actually had specific questions for the places that I wanted to go,” she said.

The process of studying abroad may begin at the fair, but the planning can take anywhere from six months to a year.

Some students have completed the extensive application process within days of deadline, Churma reported, but he doesn’t recommend it. The deadline for summer programs is Feb. 15 and the deadline for the fall semester is March 1.

CSU has 55 programs that vary from semester length to short-term, and the Study Abroad Office also works with 18 other affiliate programs.

“We can represent almost every country in the world,” Churma said.

Freshmen Emily Ryon and Brittney Tullberg are taking advantage of that fact, planning their own trip to Australia for the upcoming fall semester. The two friends are planning on studying at the University of Tasmania.

“I’ve always wanted to go there,” Ryon said. “I’ve always lived in a landlocked state, so I feel like it would be cool to go somewhere more coastal.”

The excitement of choosing a place to go is not without stress or serious planning, though. Ryon and Tullberg have been talking about their traveling for six months, starting the extensive process of applications and planning just two months ago.

Their biggest stress?

“Finding a place to live,” Tullberg said with a laugh.

Studying overseas is not an easy feat, but there is a program for every student and plenty of resources to get them there. Just stop by the Lory Student Center today from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. to begin exploring the possibility.

Collegian writer Nicolle Fagan can be reached at news@collegian.com.

Ten Steps to Studying Abroad: (*Courtesy of the Study Abroad Handbook)*
1. Read the Study Abroad Handbook
2. Attend an info meeting and talk to a peer adviser
3. Define your goals for study abroad
4. Research program options
5. Meet with your academic adviser
6. Meet with your study abroad coordinator
7. Build your budget and check out financial aid and scholarship options.
8. Apply
9. Prepare
10. Pack your bags, grab your passport, and get on the plane!

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