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UA study abroad fair brings in over one thousand visitors

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Maimoonah Naji

UA student gets his questions answered about study abroad programs, scholarships and various opportunities available for them at the study abroad fair Tuesday Oct. 4, in the North Ballroom in the Student Union Memorial Center. The fair is UA Global Iniatives’ biggest event of the year.

The annual UA Study Abroad Fair, an event where students can attend and learn about the different international programs offered at UA, was held Tuesday in the Student Union Memorial Center.

The fair is UA Global Initiatives’ biggest event of the year, with over 60 exhibitors presenting at the fair. Alumni, faculty and staff presented and promoted their programs and answered questions students’ questions about studying abroad.

“The biggest benefit is that the fair gives students the opportunity to see all of their options at once,” said Frank Camp, global initiatives director of marketing and communications. “Our biggest priority is making sure students know that studying abroad is for them—for every student on campus regardless of their major, interests or where they wanna go in the world, there are opportunities for them.”

Camp said he is seeing a more diverse population of students coming to the study abroad fair, not just ethnically but also by students representing different areas of study.

“It’s grown significantly every time,” Camp said. “Three years ago, about 400 people attended the fair, two years ago 900 and last year 1,100.”

There are a wide range of benefits students get from studying abroad according to Camp—cultural perspective, career opportunity and professional development are just a few.

“This is an option to go shop. You can ask any question about any program; you can just come and ask about everything. You don’t have to go all the way to our office in the University Services building,” said Lisa Turker, associate director of study abroad operation and engagement. “It’s a great opportunity to really figure out where you want to go.”

There were informational tables promoting programs from all over the world, including countries like Mexico, Taiwan, Spain, among more.

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“Nowadays, universities are really concerned with [the] internationality of our campus just as our world and businesses are being globalized,” Turker said. “Multinationals are everywhere, so it’s very important that the campus reflects the world around us.”

UA graduate student Elena Chin came from Taiwan and studied abroad at the UA last year. Because of her experience at the UA, Chin said she made the decision to stay in Tucson to finish her graduate degree in agricultural economics.

“Taking a step out of the U.S. and experiencing a culture is really different,” Chin said. “If you want to experience a culture more, it’s great to study there.”

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One of the biggest problems that students face is financial status, according to Carina Mendoza, public health senior and former study abroad student. Mendoza advises students to apply to all the scholarships possible.

“You see the world,” said Mike Mikolajczyk, public health senior and former study abroad student. “When I came back, I had such a different view, because as a culture, we are so centered around the U.S. … It just opens your mind up to the word and you start paying attention to more issues.”


Follow Angela Martinez on Twitter.


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