Tuesday, April 24th, 2018

Students explore interests in studying abroad

Alex Lyscars, a senior French major, stops by a study abroad table and signs up for more information.
Abigail Johnson-Ruscansky
Alex Lyscars, a senior French major, stops by a study abroad table and signs up for more information.

Posted on January 27, 2015 in Community
By USM Free Press

By: David Sanok

Students interested in studying abroad crowded the Brooks Dining Center last week, to explore opportunities to travel for a semester overseas, at an informational fair hosted by the office of student life.

Freshman Riley Laflin spent her time at the event looking for abroad programs that featured art major as an option.

“I’m looking into taking a semester in South America. Spanish is my second language so I won’t have a problem with communication if I attend there,” said Laflin. “South America has always been someplace I’ve wanted to visit because it’s so warm there and I’ve always been fascinated by their ancient culture and art.”

When it came to deciding what South American country, Laflin did not have anything specific set in mind.

“Countries like Peru and Bolivia have a lot of art history in their culture, but it really doesn’t make that big a difference what South American country I go to as long as it offers an art program,” said Laflin. “The challenge for me right now is looking at all these different abroad programs and deciding which one best suits me.”

The fair featured many different abroad programs such as Capa, Education Abroad Network, CIS Abroad, USAC abroad, SIT Abroad, AIFS, and Set Sail Around the World. To promote the abroad programs, tables were lined up across the cafeteria that had guides, brochures and pictures of potential global destinations that the students could browse through, before deciding to ask any questions.

Manning the tables were campus volunteers and teachers. Like Nancy Clarke for example, who sat at a table as the campus relations director for the Education Abroad Network.

“Our abroad program is primarily comprised of students looking to major in education,” explained Clarke. “The countries our network offers as destinations include New Zealand, China, Australia, Southeast Asia and South Korea. We want to give students who live on the east coast the opportunity take classes in the Pacific.

Tabling for the API Study Abroad was Cary Ann Bailer. Bailer had taken a semester abroad working with API. After graduating from college, Bailer became a teacher for API where she now teaches classes in Colombia.

“I joined API as a student during my junior year of college, and I went to Madrid in Spain,” said Bailer. “I’d been taking Spanish ever since middle school and always the opportunity to take classes while in Madrid for a semester. The experience gave me the opportunity to interact with Spanish speaking people on a daily basis as well as visit some beautiful sites and make new friends.”

When reflecting on her experience, Bailer said she believed that despite the challenges of living in a different country and traveling overseas, she felt it was worth the time and money for a semester abroad.

“I was homesick at the beginning of my semester abroad and had difficulty     making friends,” said Bailer. “But it was definitely worth the money because it was opportunity to go someplace I had never gone before. That’s also why I choose to table for API because I want help present students a chance to experience a part of their college life in a foreign country and in the process; meet new people, see exotic sites and gain new experiences.”

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