The Advance-Titan

Students discover global opportunities

Ti Windisch

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Aaron Tomski | The Advance-Titan

Prospective travelers visited the Study Abroad Fair on Wednesday to learn about opportunities to earn college credit while taking classes in countries outside of the United States.

Study Away Coordinator Kelsey McDaniels said the Study Abroad Fair is meant to be a learning experience for the students who attend.

“The Study Abroad Fair is a great resource for students who aren’t sure which program is right for them,” McDaniels said. “It’s an open-house setting so they can visit different tables to learn more about each program. They also can talk to students who’ve participated on the trips and faculty who lead the trips.”

UWO junior Nate Jensen said he studied abroad previously when he attended Mankato, and he is looking to do so again this semester because of his experiences the first time.

Jensen said he learned about his host country in the classroom, but the best part of the trip for him was what he learned while traveling.
“I studied in Australia,” Jensen said. “So what I got was, I learned so much more about the world and everyone else’s culture as well as the culture in Australia. That’s what I got out of it the most, the outside-of-the-classroom [experience].”

Jensen said Americans don’t travel outside the U.S. much, but he thinks they should to get the most authentic experience.

“You got to go somewhere outside of where Americans and Canadians go,” Jensen said. “You don’t really get that culture aspect when it’s a big tourist zone.”

McDaniels said students who study abroad can learn skills that translate to future careers and job interviews.

“They gain independence, become more flexible, increase their communication skills, and are comfortable with the unknown,” McDaniels said. “All of these are skills that employers look for in potential employees. If students study abroad for a full semester, they really get to immerse themselves in their host country’s culture and view life from a different point of view.”

Jensen said he thinks the Study Abroad Fair was a useful tool for finding a study abroad trip that was for him.

“You can easily find a program in there,” Jensen said. “Just walk around, talk to a bunch of people, get a bunch of references of people you can go to.”

UWO freshman Brandon Lee said he likely won’t study abroad because of the cost, although the Study Abroad Fair did pique his interest somewhat.
“It’s a little bit more interesting than it was at the beginning of the semester,” Lee said.

McDaniels said cost is a typical concern for students, and, although the figures can be daunting, the Office of International Education offers programs to help with the cost.

“We have several exchange programs where students can pay UW Oshkosh tuition to attend other schools,” McDaniels said. “Some of our semester programs actually cost less than a semester at Oshkosh, even including airfare.”

McDaniels cited one program in particular, a USA Summer Camp Program in Japan, that involves students working for two months as camp counselors in Japan for about $700.

UWO freshman Eryn Schlotfeldt said she has not studied abroad previously, although she would like to.

“I’ve always wanted to get out of the United States,” Schlotfeldt said. “And to just see different cultures and broaden my perspective.”

Schlotfeldt said the Study Abroad Fair helped her identify the different kinds of programs available for students.

“They do a really good job of explaining semester-long programs vs interim programs vs summer programs, [and] just the wide variety of the different places you can go,” Schlotfeldt said. “They’re just very helpful.”

McDaniels said her main piece of advice to students considering a study abroad opportunity is to ask questions about the options available.

“If you’re not sure if a program is right for you, or how to get started, come see us in Dempsey 202,” McDaniels said. “We have several advisers on hand to help you through the process. We want to make your journey to study abroad as stress-free as possible. Also, if you don’t find a program through UW Oshkosh that works for you, we’re happy to help you find a different program that best meets your academic goals.”

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Independent Student Newspaper of the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh
Students discover global opportunities