Find a way to get away
at Study Abroad Fair
By Billi London-Gray
Ever dreamed of skipping town for several months to chase adventure in some exotic corner of the world? Next week, all Bobcats will have the opportunity to learn how to do so — through studying abroad.
The annual Texas State Study Abroad Fair will be from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 11, in the Quad. Representatives from the Texas State Study Abroad Office and other programs will provide information and answer questions for those interested in studying, teaching, working and researching outside the United States.
Study abroad programs range from faculty-led summer trips lasting a couple of weeks to semester-long exchange programs that immerse students in a foreign university. Both undergraduates and grad students from all colleges will find options that compliment their majors, interests, schedules and budgets.
“Students who have participated in study abroad programs often describe it as a ‘life-changing’ experience,” says April Castro, a member of the Study Abroad staff. “It provides self-confidence and an ability to take risks … Students also gain independence and maturity that helps them prepare to face challenges in the future.”
The Study Abroad website outlines some of the many options students can choose from. The Study Abroad Office will assist students in finding a program that meets their needs and provide guidance for those seeking to participate in independent and non-affiliated programs.
“This year, we have several new programs including Cuba, India, South Africa, Peru and a new Barcelona program,” Castro says. Other locations, just to name a few, include Australia, Belize, Cambodia, Canada, Chile, Costa Rica, most countries in Europe and the U.K., Japan, Korea, Laos and Vietnam.
Students may apply credit earned in study abroad programs toward a degree at Texas State. For those concerned about costs, there are a number of scholarships and fellowships available to students studying abroad, including the International Education Fee Scholarship and the Gilman Scholarship, among others.
For most programs, federal and institutional financial aid can be applied toward study abroad tuition and fees. Students with specific questions about financial aid can speak with a study abroad financial aid advisor at the Study Abroad Fair.
The main thing, says Castro, is to get the ball rolling. “We recommend that students start planning a year in advance. With better planning there is usually a more successful study abroad experience.”