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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


Fair flaunts international options

Kevin Brost
Kevin Brost / Daily Wildcat Students converse and learn information from representatives showcasing the different study abroad programs at the UA on Thursday.

Students explored study abroad options, including three new programs, at a fair hosted on Thursday.

The UA’s Study Abroad Fair, which ran on the UA Mall from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., hosted a variety of booths from every program where students could gather information.

The Study Abroad Fair brought together advisers, international students and alumni, all experienced in programs ranging from South America to Australia.

In the summer of 2012, the UA will begin three new programs, according to Harmony Defazio, assistant director of the Office of Study Abroad and Student Exchange. The new programs will be based in Paros, Greece; Irbid, Jordan and Costa Rica. Faculty will lead all three programs.

Defazio said the fair is beneficial for students because the fair offers a broader perspective on abroad programs.

“If you come and have advising with us we give you the logistics and we give you as much information as we can, but that’s not the same as talking to one of your peers, so having that opportunity and having all those people in the same place is what makes the fair special,” Defazio said.

Benjamin Schutt, a sociology senior, spent five months in South America. Schutt lived in Chile for four of those and completed a minor in Spanish. Schutt spent the remaining month backpacking through Peru and Ecuador.

“I went down to Chile to learn Spanish and coming back here, I use it almost every day,” Schutt said. “There are really two worlds here in Arizona — there’s the Spanish world and the English world — and now I incorporate myself in both and it’s been really beneficial in that regard.”

One of the UA’s largest study abroad programs is based in Orvieto, Italy. Alba Frascarelli, administrative coordinator of Arizona in Italy, lives in Orvieto and visits the UA annually as a representative of the program.

Frascarelli said Orvieto’s small-town persona makes it easy for students to adjust.

“Students want to come back, and they do come back,” she said. “They really keep good memories of their time in Italy and that’s the best reward for me.”

David Soren, regents professor of anthropology and classics, and founder and director of the Orvieto International Institute of Classical Studies, said students often don’t realize that studying abroad can cost the same as, if not cheaper than, UA tuition.

Soren said the program’s central location is surrounded by 30 restaurants and two major museums and is only a 45-minute train ride from Rome. He expects the Orvieto program to reach its capacity this year.

Bryan Avila, a junior studying molecular and cellular biology, said he plans to study in Ecuador, where his parents are originally from. Avila, who has never been to Ecuador, said he views this as an opportunity to visit and stay on track with school.

“It’s really amazing because I can go back home, visit family and get my college credits,” Avila said. “It helps my education, it helps me get out of here (and) it helps me go places.”

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