Info fair to offer options

Ted Hamilton

Want to view the actual painting your art history professor is talking about? Want to see real Italian architecture instead of hearing lectures about it? Or do you just want to escape Northeast Ohio? Today students have the opportunity to learn about the various study abroad programs Kent State offers.

The Office of International Affairs is holding a Study Abroad Info Fair today in the Student Center to educate students about courses they can take in international destinations, said executive director Kenneth Cushner. The department attempts to hold an information event every semester.

The fair held this semester will be different than previous fairs.

“This one is more concentrated because people will be speaking about their program instead of sitting at a table waiting to be talked to,” said Judith Carroll, study abroad program manager.

Each faculty member will have 15 minutes to describe his or her program, she said.

During the past several years, Kent State’s study abroad programs have experienced a sharp increase in student participants.

“(The Office of International Affairs) has seen it increase from 300 students several years ago to 550 students last year,” Cushner said.

The increase is due to several things, including more faculty interest, student interest and more university attention directed toward overseas programs, he said.

Students who study overseas are usually “very enthusiastic about the experience,” Carroll said.

Senior architecture major Nathan Winfield spent a semester in Italy last spring. He said studying abroad is part of the third-year architecture program.

“If you have the chance to do it, it’s awesome,” he said.

During his art history class, Winfield often got to view the art on site instead of just learning about it.

Taking a course or spending an entire semester in another country can be very beneficial to students, Cushner said. They can earn credit toward their degree, be introduced to new ideas, learn about other cultures and learn about themselves.

“Even for the student who’s undecided, things can be crystallized through an international experience,” he said.

Some students have even made contacts, which have helped their careers when they returned, Carroll said. One student is working in D.C. because of contacts she made while studying in Geneva.

“It’s more than just taking some courses abroad,” Carroll said. “It’s an experience that will have an ongoing influence throughout their life.”

What? Study Abroad Fair

Where? Room 303 Student Center

When? 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Contact honors and international affairs reporter Ted Hamilton at [email protected].