UW students: Explore international opportunities at 2013 study abroad fair

Coming to the University of Wisconsin–Madison opens new doors to a world of learning possibilities and experiences.

For more than 2,000 students each year, that means leaving campus—for a few weeks up to a full year—to take advantage of educational opportunities beyond the U.S. borders. Nationally, UW–Madison ranks among top 10 universities in sending students on academic programs in other countries.

It all begins with a question: Where in the world do you want to go?

Many students begin seeking answers to that question by attending the annual Study Abroad Fair – a one-stop marketplace where they can learn about the variety of international academic opportunities, ask questions, and get practical information about pursuing educational experiences abroad.

This year’s Study Abroad Fair will be held Wednesday, September 18, from 4 to 7 p.m., in Varsity Hall, at Union South.

Organized by International Academic Programs (IAP), this fair features more than 90 exhibits that provide comprehensive information for anyone interested in study abroad and international internship opportunities.

Photos from the 2012 Study Abroad Fair

“With more than 200 programs to choose from, we suggest walking through the fair at your leisure,” says Susan Lochner, IAP assistant director. “Talk with past students, program partners, and get more information on all your options!”

This year, a special program on “Study Abroad for Biology Majors” will be offered prior to the start of the fair (3:30-4 p.m.). Academic and study abroad advisors will offer guidance on how study abroad works with the major; then biology students can join others in exploring their available options at the fair.

During the fair, IAP also will be offering Study Abroad 101 seminars—short sessions that provide a general overview on finding the right program, fulfilling individual academic needs, and identifying funding options and other resources.

“Deciding to study abroad can be difficult, especially given the number of programs available,” says Dan Gold, IAP director. “To assist students in finding the program that works best for them, it is important to plan ahead and consider the academic and financial fit for the program they are considering. “

Considerations also include language of instruction, preferred type of accommodations, and program duration (from a week to a full year).

“Ultimately the best program for each student is one that can fit right into the individual’s academic degree plan and enable the student to continue making progress towards a degree, even while studying abroad,” Gold says.

Throughout the year, IAP has study abroad advisors available to help students evaluate program choices to find the best individual fit, as well as many other informational events.

Students still have time to apply for spring semester programs, including such destinations as: Coimbra, Portugal (September 20); Aix-en-Provence, France (September 20); Paris, France (October 4); Varanasi, India (October 4); Sesto, Italy (October 4); and London, England (October 11).

Other study abroad opportunities include summer programs— such as Tianjin, China (January 31)—and full-year programs—such as Freiburg, Germany (December 13).

Also, IAP is offering a three-week winter intersession Spanish language program at the Costa Rica Spanish Institute in San Jose (October 4 deadline).

Information about these and other programs, as well as general information about studying abroad and assistance, are available at IAP’s Study Abroad Resource Center in Room 106 of the Red Gym and on the IAP website: http://www.studyabroad.wisc.edu.

– by Kerry G. Hill