This year, UW-Eau Claire students and staff can learn about the study abroad program from the comfort of their own homes.
The virtual fair will take place from 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Oct. 27 and 9 a.m. to 6:45 p.m. on Wednesday, Oct. 28 over Zoom.
Jenna Krosch-Bouchard, a study abroad coordinator, said students can meet with various people experienced with the study abroad program.
“Everyone can expect to (virtually) meet a wide variety of Center of International Education staff members, student interns, study abroad partners from around the world and study abroad returnees,” Krosh-Bouchard said.
Sophia Schecklman, a fourth-year elementary education student and CIE study abroad intern, said there will be multiple detailed presentations about the program.
“The presentations are categorized by locations, terms and internships,” Schecklman said. “We’re having sessions on summer programs and winter programs and sessions for regions like Asia, Europe and Oceania.”
Krosch-Bouchard said the returnee panels are the perfect way to hear from students who previously studied abroad and how their experiences impacted them.
Schecklman said studying abroad is a great opportunity for students to become global citizens.
While she studied abroad in South Korea, Schecklman was able to learn about the country’s approach to education. She said she was able to compare their approach to educational philosophy in the U.S.
Schecklman said she can take everything she learned while abroad and apply it to her future career in the United States.
Abigail Mathison, a third-year education student and advising intern, said students who study abroad will understand their field of study in a whole new way.
“Experiences abroad expand a student’s understanding of their field by taking it into a new context, looking at it from a new angle, and showing how it fits into the global picture,” Mathison said.
Not only will students abroad learn more about their field of study, Krosch-Bouchard said, but they will also gain characteristics employers are in search of.
“Studying abroad builds characteristics such as: independence, flexibility, cross-cultural communication, intercultural awareness, confidence, time management and language acquisition,” Krosch-Bouchard said. “Which is what employers are looking for.”
Mathison said Krosh-Bouchard put in hard work to organize to-do lists, schedules in the U.S. and other countries to ensure the fair could happen digitally.
Mathison said she encourages anyone who is even a little bit interested to participate in the fair.
“We really do have options for everyone,” Mathison said. “We have presentations on a variety of topics. ‘How do I fund study abroad?’ ‘How do I pick a program?’ If you’d like to learn about study abroad generally or get specific questions answered, we have plenty of fun options for you.”
Students can register here for as many sessions as they like. Each session is specific to a country and runs about a half an hour to 45 minutes long.
Most sessions will also be recorded and posted to the fair website. For those not recorded, virtual advising is also available for students who want to learn more.
Olson can be reached at [email protected].