UW students can explore international opportunities at Study Abroad Fair

Where in the world do you want to go? What do you want to see, learn and experience?

Students at the University of Wisconsin–Madison can begin finding their answers to these questions at the annual Study Abroad Fair. The fair provides a one-stop marketplace, where they can explore a myriad of international academic opportunities, imagine countless possibilities and get practical guidance about pursuing educational experiences abroad.

This year’s Study Abroad Fair will be held Wednesday, September 12, 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.

“With more than 200 programs to choose from, we suggest walking through the fair at your leisure,” says Lauren Worth, the IAP study abroad adviser who coordinated this year’s fair. “Look at the amazing photos, incredible videos, and interesting artifacts.”

And, Worth adds, be sure to talk with the people staffing the tables. Many of them have studied abroad and enjoy sharing their stories.

For many students, attending the fair marks the first step on a life-enriching journey that leads to a variety of destinations around the globe. UW–Madison ranks among the nation’s leaders in sending students to other countries.

“Deciding to study abroad can be a difficult process, especially given the number of program options that are 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. “

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

During the fair, IAP 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.

“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 advisers available to help students evaluate program choices to find the best individual fit.

Students still have time to apply for spring semester programs, including such destinations as: London, England (September 20); Aix-en-Provence, France (October 5); Paris, France (October 5); Varanasi, India (October 5); Sesto, Italy (October 5); and Coimbra, Portugal (September 21).

Other study abroad opportunities include summer programs— such as Tianjin, China (February 1 deadline)—and full-year programs—such as Freiburg, Germany (December 14).

Also, IAP is offering a three-week winter intercession Spanish language program at the Costa Rica Spanish Institute in San Jose (October 5 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.

— by Kerry G. Hill