International Education week showcases students’ study abroad experiences

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Elizabeth Worthington, Staff Writer

On Monday Nov. 16 the Office of Global Education hosted a study abroad fair entitled “Oh the Places You’ll Go” as part of International Education Week (Nov. 16-22). Also known as “Worldfest”, the events held during this time period are created with the goal of cultivating an appreciation of diversity and making students both cultural and global learners.

 

This particular event, “Oh the Places You’ll Go” aimed to inform students about the study abroad opportunities available to them and provided a forum to hear about students’ personal experiences abroad.

 

“The students who studied abroad are showcasing where they’ve been and what they learned from their experiences. This event is a great opportunity for students who plan to study abroad/off-campus to find out about programs. Last year over 450 students studied abroad. They gain so much academically, professionally, interculturally and personally.” said Anita Casper, a Study Abroad Advisor within the Office of Global and Off-Campus Education.

 

Dean of Engineering Keith Buffington “rang” in International Education Week by ringing an Austrian cowbell, a keepsake from his own abroad experience.

 

The event was held in the Terrace Room. Students, stationed at tables with information about the country they travelled to, talked about the program they studied with, and brought a variety of mementos and souvenirs from their experiences abroad.

 

Prospective study-abroad participants spoke with these students questions about what to expect from living in a foreign country and gaining exposure to a new culture and way of living. Students could also learn more about specific countries and specific programs available to University students.

 

About 80 students took advantage of this event. Some of these were first-year students who attended for FYIS credit and were required to fill out a sheet with student responses to questions like “What did you learn about your host country’s culture?” or “What did you gain from the experience?”

 

“The event is helpful for learning about where we can go and seeing the abroad possibilities” said Suzie Ting ’19.

 

Allie Raplee ‘16 works in the International Education office and was involved in the planning for this week. She said, “This event is an important opportunity for the underclassman to learn about different abroad opportunities. Everyone I know who went abroad loves talking about it so combining the two great way to connect.”

 

University students can choose either to travel and study through an approved program offered by another university or one of the “Bucknell in…” programs. The University offers semester and full-year long programs in countries like England and Denmark, and summer programs in places like Bali and the Caribbean.

 

“I always encourage students to do a full semester over a three-week program but if their schedule doesn’t allow it or they want to taste something first and then decide if they want to do a full semester, this is a great way to get a small taste of a different part of the world.” said Dr. Lynn Breyfogle, one of the professors for the Bucknell in Bali program, offered in June 2016.

 

The students who have studied abroad are eager to share and encourage other Bucknellians to go.

 

“I literally love London so much and want everyone to go there.” said Caroline Schaffer ‘16.

 

Amanda Fazio ‘16, who studied Environmental Studies in Atenas, Costa Rica, said of her experience, “It lets you get out of your comfort zone. It’s really scary at first but once you do it, it’s super rewarding.”

 

Kelsey Pilchman 16, a Markets Innovations & Design major, studied in Brussels, Belgium. “I learned a lot about who I am and who I like to surround myself with. I think that we value things differently than people do in Europe so it was cool to immerse yourself in a different culture.”

 

Polly Englot ‘16 studied in both Tours, France and Amman, Jordan.  “You get to learn so much about yourself. You get to meet students from other universities. Why would you not?” she said.

 

Jennifer Brady ‘16, an Animal Behavior major, studied in Cairns, Australia and pointed to the resume-building power that studying abroad has when applying for jobs and internships. She said, “It lets you learn academically while also learning about yourself and your world.”

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