Students attend Study Abroad Fair to learn about opportunities for international studies
Tables with various study abroad programs at the University of Arizona's 2017 Study Abroad Fair at the Student Union Memorial Center.
The University of Arizona Office of Global Initiatives welcomed students to its annual UA Study Abroad Fair this week, where students came to familiarize themselves with the hundreds of travel programs offered and ask questions of students and staff available at booths.
“Studying abroad is something we want all students to consider a part of their four-year degree here,” said UA Study Abroad Coordinator Danny Vander Ploeg. “This fair is a great opportunity for students to think how to incorporate their study abroad experience into their studies. It's also really fun to consider all of your options for travel.”
This is Vander Ploeg’s third year working with UA Global Initiatives; he said each year the number of attendants has gone up significantly — a reflection of fair's broader promotion.
“A lot of hours and a lot of people,” Vander Ploeg said. “As it's getting bigger, it takes more people to put the fair on.”
This year, the fair has expanded enough to use the entire North Ballroom of the Student Union Memorial Center, as opposed to previous years, where they only used half.
Harmony DeFazio, director of Study Abroad & Student Exchange, said the fair takes about six months to plan out and prepare for.
“It’s our one big event every year to showcase all of the opportunities that students have for studying abroad at the UA,” DeFazio said. “It's a chance to give that broad splash of everything at the same time and place for people to look at everything all at once.”
Approximately 1,200 students attended the fair this year, according to DeFazio.
Ciara Daniels, a French and German senior, studied abroad in Germany both semesters of her junior year.
"I think deciding to study abroad is one of the best things you can do for yourself while in college,” Daniels said. “It's really important to have knowledge of other languages, cultures, religions, really anything different than your own upbringing so we can be more globally-oriented citizens.”
Jade Marmorstein, a computer science freshman, has traveled to China three times and Europe once. She said she considered herself a "travel bug" and is interested in studying abroad in Japan during her time at the UA.
“I think it's nice to have a place where you can wander around and see everything and ask questions,” Marmorstein said. “I've been on the online program search, and that's great, but it's easier to ask questions in person and be more interactive.”
In order to give students a broader view of how they can study abroad, this was the first year Global Initiatives added financial advisers with their own booth, ready to answer specific financial questions for students.
“It really sets you up for an interesting life and career, and we really want more students to take advantage of this amazing opportunity that they may have not considered before,” Vander Ploeg said. “They might think they’ll miss out on things at the UA, but they don't realize how much they're missing out on if they don't go abroad.”
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