OIED promotes studying abroad for FAMU students

Photo by Shan’T-Erica Pugh

This past Thursday, FAMU’S Office of International Education and Development (OIED) hosted a Study Abroad Fair in the Grand Ballroom of Florida A&M University’s campus.

Aleksandra Benedict, FAMU’s Study Abroad Coordinator, believes that the study abroad experience is a must.

“Studying abroad will give you a meaningful experience and it’s time to start thinking long term,” said Benedict. “In today’s competitive world, this is the time to stand out. Five years from now, it’ll be harder.”

The fair was a success for the OIED because although students weren’t sent directly abroad, interests were piqued, and eyes were opened.

Senior Broadcast Journalism studentMack Green attended with prior interest.

“I am interested in studying abroad because I figured I could study abroad and get the knowledge and have stories to tell, just as my friend from St. John’s University did once he got the opportunity,” said Green.

The OIED works daily to increase the number of FAMU students that study abroad, not only to give them a chance to stand out,but a chance to see more than they thought possible. Scholarshipsare available to FAMU students to Study Abroad as well asdiscounts that are given by Direct Enrollment Universities.

Many of FAMU’s students have not taken advantage of the opportunity to study abroad for a variety of reasons,yet this fair was hosted in order to showcase availablestudy abroad opportunities. Notable attendees were present such asthird-party providers, international universities, and faculty-led study abroad opportunities.

“We live in a global world,” said Benedict. “Studying abroad helps to build bridges with other countries and to build intercultural competence.”

According to International Business Seminars, 90 percent of students who study abroad find jobs six months after graduation, in contrast with the statistics for students who don’t study abroad being 49 percent.

Janet Mingo, Regional Director of the Knowledge Exchange Institute, advocates for the experience’s long-term benefits.

“It makes you more marketable,” said Mingo.”You learn how to articulate different experiences, you obtain different perspectives.”

It is only beneficial for study abroad programs to show diversity, so there are plenty of opportunities for students at FAMU to apply for financial aid. For example, the Semester at Sea program providesscholarship opportunities for students who attend HBCUs and MSIs (Minority Serving Institutions).

Studying abroad isn’t the only way for students to get immersed within cultures and experiences internationally. Students are able to find internships abroad and earn the opportunity to experience the life of a Foreign Service Officer with the US Department of State.

For any questions regardingopportunities that may await them abroad, students can visit the Office of International Education and Development in the Perry-Paige building, room 302.