Hosted for the first time in the renovated UW Husky Union Building, the Study Abroad Fair buzzed with students driven to discover new experiences Thursday, Oct. 23. Nearly 100 exhibitors, including representatives from UW departments, partner universities and affiliated providers such as Peace Corps, were on hand to answer questions and showcase leading-edge student experiences.
The UW Study Abroad Office offers four types of programs for students: direct exchanges with foreign institutions, thematic programs led by UW faculty, affiliated programs through other universities and IE3 global internships. Chris Rumer, a biochemistry senior, manned the table for University College London, which offers a direct exchange program for UW students. One of the most popular and competitive exchange programs, Rumer said his table had been busy all morning.
“[UCL offers] one of the best programs with the education and cultural diversity of London,” he said. Rumer had been close to attending UCL for his undergraduate degree, but coming to UW and traveling to UCL on exchange encompassed the best of both worlds. Fellow exchange students Victoria Dmyterko and Nikolina Stoykova, biology and international studies seniors, raved about experience, the educational opportunities offered and the friendships made. “I loved it,” said Dmyterko.
Funding options for travel and study were also advertised at the fair. Robyn Davis, Foreign Language Area Studies Fellowship coordinator, was happy to engage with new students. The FLAS, which offers funding for language learning, has historically attracted primarily graduate student applicants. “[The Study Abroad Fair] is a good opportunity to get the word out to undergraduates,” Davis said. Many of the study abroad experiences that work with FLAS funding were also at the fair, making it easier to directly refer students to other programs.
Nala Watters, a humanities sophomore, was surprised by the number of program and funding opportunities made available. “There are a lot of options,” Watters said. “[Students] will find something and the money to do it.” Though Watter’s area of interest is quite narrow — folklore and myths — she said she found some programs that could be tailored to fit her passions. “It’s an experience that pretty much everybody needs,” she said.
With program options spanning Argentina to Zurich, the choices and experiences for UW Study Abroad students are boundless. Visit UW Study Abroad to learn more!