Study Away Fair offers students opportunities abroad and home

Rebecca Mohr

Event to take place in Student Center today

Today, students will have the opportunity to explore their options for studying abroad at the annual “Study Away Fair.” The event will be held in the Student Center Ballroom from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. The fair will consist of about 34 tables, including Kent State study abroad opportunities, financial aid, banks and other university study aboard programs.

“The fair gives students a chance to talk to the Office of International Affairs about Kent programs,” said Jane Battisson, study abroad program manager. “They can learn about other programs and ask program representatives all their questions in person rather than just looking at catalogs or the Internet. They can see and consider all their options at once.”

The fair comes with perks for students who attend.

“We have door prizes, an iPhone and a Flip Video (Camcorder) to give away,” said Bob Springer, academic adviser in the School of Journalism and Mass Communications. “Come have fun, listen to music and eat free popcorn.”

African ethnomusicology professor Halim El-Dabh will perform in Risman Plaza from noon to 1 p.m. He has written for African instruments and African themes. He composed the music for the Sound and Light show preformed at the Sphinx and Great Pyramids of Giza, Egypt.

“Students should be exposed to other cultures,” Springer said. “It would cut down on the xenophobia we have in this country and allow students to broaden their horizons.”

Carolyn Sampson, coordinator of admissions and advanced placement in the Honors College, said Kent State offers a wide variety of opportunities.

“I like the fact that the 35 or so coordinators involved in the fair represent a variety of short-term and long-term programs,” she said. “Some programs are major-specific, some run during semesters or all all-year long, some occur during intersession, spring break or during summers.”

Not all study away options at the fair will be abroad. The National Student Exchange program allows Kent State students to go to other colleges throughout North America. Students have the opportunity to study away while not necessary going overseas.

“Many of our students seem to be unaware of the incredible opportunities offered by the program,” Battisson said. “NSE is a great alternative for students who are not prepared, either financially or personally to go abroad, but would still like to benefit from the chance to live in an atmosphere and culture different from their own.”

Discovering a different atmosphere than the usual may benefit students when looking for a job.

“In an increasingly competitive job market and shrinking world, students with experience abroad will be viewed much more as global citizens,” Battisson said.

Studying abroad can be a life-changing experience, but only if students know what options they have.

“Only about 1 percent of Kent State students study abroad,” Springer said. “I want to do whatever it takes to entice students to consider studying away. Students need to know living is fun.”

Contact Honors College and international affairs reporter Rebecca Mohr at [email protected].