Education abroad expo educates the curious

Chelsey Milkovich

Students filled the Kent State Student Center Ballroom balcony on Wed, Jan. 22, in hopes of furthering their education and interests in study abroad program options for summer and fall 2014 at the spring 2014 Study Abroad Expo. The Office of Global Education staff, International Affairs experts and former study abroad students came to inform and succeeded by encouraging and educating the students desiring more knowledge about their traveling options.

Ediz Kaykayoglu, Assistant Director for Education Abroad at the Office of Global Education described some of the upcoming programs for Summer 2014 and Spring 2012 semesters.  “There are so many programs and countries for students to choose from.  There is an option for everyone,” he said.

Brazil, Japan, Israel, South Korea, Switzerland, Spain and Korea are a few countries among many that students can choose from with an abundance of options of courses to take.

“If you are interested in studying abroad in Korea, for instance, all of the University’s in their program offer free dorm and housing.  Almost all of them offer to reimburse your flight and give you free meals. So when you think about it, it’s almost completely paid for and essentially it’s fully funded,” Kaykayoglu said.

Christopher Englehart is a senior Spanish major at Kent State who volunteered his time at the Education Abroad Expo to get students motivated and interested in traveling to study abroad.  He studied abroad in Spring of 2012 in Madrid, Spain.  Englehart described study abroad as a once in a lifetime experience.

“It is without a doubt, something you will value for the rest of your life,” Englehart said.  He encouraged all students to ask plenty of questions and become educated with a program that could change the way they look at their lives.

Margalit Schindler, senior art history major and Nina Mikulandra, senior electronic media production major, Kent State alumna met each other while studying abroad in Florence, Italy in Summer 2013.  They were placed together as roommates and have been best friends since.  They now work together as Peer Ambassadors for Study Abroad at Kent State.  “The possibilities for opportunities are endless after you study abroad,” Mikulandra said, “look at us now!”

“It was the best experience I’ve ever had and the best decision I’ve ever made.  It was worth five weeks of my summer, worth every penny I paid,” Schnidler said.

Why do most students shun the idea of study abroad right off the bat?  This is because of the financial standpoint.  Most students are unaware of all of the funding opportunities and scholarships that are available to pay your way through your entire trip. As Kaykayoglu stated when speaking of the programs in Korea, some of the study abroad options can be almost fully funded, you just have to go out and do your research.

“I used loans, and I had scholarships, so there are many options for all students,” Mikulandra said.

“Being an out of state student, I did have a little trouble finding scholarships so my trip was a bit of an expense.  That being said, I’d go into debt for study abroad in a heartbeat.  It’s one of those things that make you appreciate value over time.  Spending five grand on it now, it enriches your entire life for the rest of your life.  When deciding to study abroad, look past the money situation and look forward at the long term experiences,” Schindler said.

She wants to get students excited about studying abroad and expand the program by informing students of all the options available.

Kathryn Ranieri, a junior exercise physiology major attended the Education Abroad Expo in hopes of furthering her curiosity and getting her questions answered.  “I’ve always wanted to go Italy and study abroad, so the Florence program looks like it will be perfect for me,” said Ranieri. “The expo was a huge help in getting my interest up about going forward with study abroad.” 

For more information on funding, financial aid forms, scholarship lists and any other questions planning your study abroad trip visit the Office of Global Educaton in Van Campen Hall, located across from the Ice Arena and in front of College Towers apartments.  Advisors and international experts would be pleased to assist you as well in answering any further questions.

For more information, check out the following sites:

Contact Chelsey Milkovich at [email protected]