The annual study abroad fair hosted by the Office of International Education was held Thursday, Feb. 7, and featured representatives from various companies and organizations informing Florida A&M University students of their programs.
Colleen Dondero, a senior course coordinator from the University Studies Abroad Consortium (USAC), encouraged students to study abroad because of the many benefits their program offers.
“We believe in global engagement and becoming global citizens. We want to give students the opportunity to study abroad and experience different cultures. In today’s world being a global citizen is very important. It breaks down barriers. People are always scared of what they don’t know, so venturing out of your comfort zone can alleviate that fear and make you stronger and more independent. It helps you personally, professionally, and academically,” said Dondero.
She has first-hand experience with the program, as she participated when she was a college student and said it’s the best thing she ever did.
USAC’s study abroad program offers low costs and scholarship opportunities to increase accessibility, and the program gives support such as enrollment specialists to assist with the application and resident directors on site to serve student needs and do adventurous things like organizing field trips.
Program representatives at the fair had courses available in Spain, Korea, Italy and England.
The U.S. Department of State also had a representative available for students interested in international affairs.
“Studying abroad is one of the best things you can do as a student. It’s a great time in your life to broaden your horizons and see what the world is like. It’s not as scary as you think to go overseas. You can really grow as a person and it might even open up other career paths for you,” said Amy Radetsky.
They offer scholarships for students studying abroad and assist with housing and finding a host family. They accept all majors and their most popular program is an unpaid 10-week internship program in Washington or in an embassy or consulate overseas.
Monterius Prince, a sophomore at FAMU, found opportunities he wasn’t expecting to find due to his major.
“Students should study abroad to venture out past what you know. If you study abroad you can learn a lot about another country and bring it back to teach other people. Even though I’m an engineering student, I see a variety of courses in different programs that offer what I need,” said Prince.
Even members of the Office of International Education staff, like Tori Terrell, have taken advantage of study abroad programs.
Terrell took two courses in Spain and learned about its history, language and how to increase her global leadership. She even stays in contact with some of the members of her program and says they became close friends.
“The food was the best part of studying abroad and being in a new environment. Exploring and experiencing things for myself was really cool and challenging. Getting around to different areas by myself and ordering food in a different language were all very new to me,” said Terrell.
Terrell and some of her friends in the program even took it upon themselves to travel while in Spain and took a trip to North Africa.
“In the middle of our program we planned a trip to Morocco and went to a traditional Moroccan bath house where they scrub you in the bath, got to see the ocean and the architecture, I loved it and can’t wait to go back,” Terrell said.