Eastern Michigan University’s study abroad fair offered students information on academic opportunities in four continents and 54 countries, many of which were laden with scholarships and financial aid, in the Student Center Ballroom on Tuesday.
Most of the trips will not commence until 2014, but the Academic Programs Abroad Administration is giving students a head start on applications, as well as a one-stop place to talk to faculty members and learn about different programs and countries, health and safety, advising and financial aid.
Students who are interested may apply online at emich.edu/abroad, where scholarship and financial aid information is also located. It is suggested that students looking to study abroad should also see a study abroad advisor and send in applications months ahead of time.
Many students believe that studying abroad is not an option for their educational experience because of financial expenses, language barriers or lack of multicultural experience. This is inaccurate, as Most students qualify for financial aid and/or scholarships, no language experience is necessary for most trips, multicultural experience can be earned, and many members of EMU’s faculty are willing to diligently help students who are interested in academic programs abroad.
One faculty member is Benita Goldman, EMU Academic Programs Abroad program coordinator and senior advisor.
“Get out of town as fast as you can get out,” Goldman said. “Study abroad is going to invigorate and energize your education. It’s going to be something that you have with you for the rest of your life. It’s knowledge that you own because you are physically there earning it, and it’s the best thing you can possibly do to learn.”
Many students support EMU’s Academic Programs Abroad just as staunchly.
“Fantastic is not even the word to express study abroad,” said Kelly Bryant, an EMU senior and business management major. “It’s a life-changing experience. I’ve been at Eastern since 1998. When I was a freshman and a sophomore, I thought about study abroad, but I didn’t realistically consider it until someone pushed me. Eventually a close friend convinced me to go to Spain with her. It was amazing, and I loved it. It’s something I would recommend for everyone to do.”
Besides having four study abroad programs in Spain, EMU also offers programs in Italy, France, Germany, the Czech Republic, the United Kingdom, China, Korea, Argentina, the Galapagos Islands, Mexico and many more popular destinations. A common choice among EMU students is to study in Japan.
“I love how community-oriented Japanese culture is, but at the same time it’s very contextual,” said Marian Kandler, an EMU sophomore double-majoring in Accounting and Japanese. “You have to really know a person to get what they’re saying and I like that it encourages people to get closer to each other. I want to study abroad there because I love to learn about new cultures, and I like to bring people together. A lot of people don’t understand that we’re all human, and we all have shared experiences. I want to learn about the things that we have in common.”
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