According to a survey conducted by the Institute for International Education of Students (IES), 95% of the students surveyed said that studying abroad served as an incentive for increased maturity, 96% reported increased self-confidence and 95% said it had a lasting impact on their view of the world.
On Tuesday, Oct. 1, students gathered in the Student Center Ballroom to attend the Study Abroad Fair. They had the opportunity to meet with faculty, returnees, professional staff and offices on campus that can help them understand how they can fund their study abroad trip.
Benita Goldman, Senior Program Manager, coordinates all faculty-led programs and teaches multiple programs, including the Fall Cultural History Tour.
Goldman said she believes it is important for students to study abroad, as it allows them to learn a wide variety of transferable skills.
“Students should study abroad because [it gives them] an awareness of global interconnectedness, a knowledge of international diversity, specific knowledge of a geographic region, its culture and history, a tolerance for ambiguity and difference and can include language acquisition,“ Goldman said. “Students who study abroad are more likely to graduate than those who do not and are more likely to graduate within four years. The hiring rate of students with international experience far outpaces the rates of those without international experience.”
Goldman encouraged students that attended the fair, or those who are interested, to look online at what is being offered, consider what semester they wish to study abroad and for how long and where and for what credits.
“We have short 7-day programs and programs for a full year. So, chances are, if students plan, they can choose a program that offers them usable credits toward their graduation,“ she said.
Jacklyn Staffeld, a freshman at EMU, attended the fair to look for travel opportunities.
“I really want to travel the world, as I haven’t seen much of it,“ she said. "I want to live my college life to the fullest."
When asked where she wants to study abroad, Staffeld said she wants to visit Japan.
“Their criminal justice program sounds really cool,“ she said. “Having the chance to see the prisons would be so awesome.”
From May 5 to May 29, students interested in criminal justice will have the opportunity to visit Japan to learn about Japanese culture and history in a classroom setting as well as through cultural events and field trips to Tokyo, Kyoto, Nara and Hiroshima. Students will also get the chance to visit a juvenile detention center to get a first-hand glimpse of the Japanese system.
Jessalyn Titus, an EMU junior, studied abroad last semester in Florence and Rome for her Hotel and Restaurant Management Major.
“I loved it so much, so here we are again," Titus said. “This year I will be visiting London and Paris for the same program.”
The trip to London and Paris will take place from Feb. 21 until Feb. 29. Students will get the chance to experience the "tastes, sights and hospitality of London and Paris... to develop an understanding of the difference in European operations in comparison to U.S. operations.”
The opportunity to travel to another country doesn’t come often, so students are encouraged to break out of their shells and explore their dream destination.
To learn more about EMU’s Study Abroad program and the different programs available, visit emich.edu/abroad.