Study Abroad Fair provides options for everyone

John Melendez

Students filled the Gregory Gym Plaza for the fall study abroad fair Tuesday, visiting the tables of more than 80 different study abroad programs offering destinations around the globe.

The fair was held from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. and is the biggest study abroad event of the year at UT, according to Laura Kaplan, study abroad program coordinator.

Kaplan said she experienced firsthand how studying abroad can offer life-changing experiences and wants students to experience the same. 

“I studied abroad my junior year in Prague, and it was the best experience I had in college,” Kaplan said. “It’s really transformative, and I felt like I really grew into the adult that I was going to become.”

Various exchange partner schools, such as the University of Melbourne in Australia, were there to represent their universities and are looking for students who want to spend a whole semester in a different country studying at a university. Although there were only a few of these partner schools at the fair, UT has exchange agreements with over 100 universities around the world, according to the UT International Office website.

Psychology and bilingual education freshman Nazlee Khadjeheian said the condensed amount of information at the fair offered a way to learn about the different opportunities available to her.

“It’s a little bit overwhelming, but (the fair) was definitely helpful,” Khadjeheian said. “Now I know what resources to go to get more information that will actually put me on the path to studying abroad. It made it a more realistic option for me.” 

Faculty-led programs were also showcased at the fair, with options such as Switzerland, Ireland and South Africa. Students have the option to take these kinds of classes in the summer or in a four-week study abroad semester starting in May, according to the office’s website. The fair also had information on internships that come through a variety of organizations and can be personalized by major and country of preference.

Students who are interested in studying abroad but are scared of the program being too costly may not be aware of the amount of financial aid options available to them, said Bridget Gonzalez, academic records and scholarship administrator. Students can find information about scholarships, loans and grants on the International Office website.

“The biggest misconception among students is that study abroad is not affordable,” Gonzalez said. “Our office is dedicated to ensuring that study abroad is feasible for any and all students. We are always available to help alleviate students worrying about paying for this.”