CONTACT: LOIS GRAY
Iowa City IA 52242
Students can get taste of study abroad experience at fair Sept. 23
IOWA CITY, Iowa -- Students can learn about opportunities to study in
foreign countries at the University of Iowa Study Abroad Fair Tuesday,
Sept. 23, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. in the Iowa Memorial Union Main Lounge.
The fair will showcase the wide variety of study abroad programs available,
with exhibits set up by both the UI Office for Study Abroad and other U.S.
universities and agencies. About half of the 40 tables set up at the fair
will promote UI study abroad programs. Students can pick up pamphlets and
information on different programs and register for a variety of door prizes
with an international theme. The event is free and open to all students.
Organizers in the Office for Study Abroad, which is hosting the event,
hope that once students get a taste of the experience in a fun, convenient
and informational atmosphere, they'll be hungry for more.
"This is like going window shopping, with the whole spectrum of
study abroad experiences on display," says Janis Perkins, director
of the Office for Study Abroad. "Students who come will be able to
talk to students who have previously studied abroad as well as professional
representatives of study abroad programs. They'll get a feel for the variety
of programs that are available--the options academically, geographically
and in terms of program structure and activities."
Perkins says one of the chief concerns for students is the cost involved
in studying abroad. Study abroad staff members hope to address these concerns
at the fair by hosting exhibitors who offer a variety of short- and long-term
programs with differing costs. They will also offer academic and financial
advice, as well as health and safety information.
"Studying abroad is often possible for students who aren't sure
that they can't afford it." Perkins says. "Many of our study
abroad programs cost very little more than a semester, academic year or
a summer at the University of Iowa, and students are able to apply financial
aid toward the costs of participating in a study abroad program.''
Another concern students have about studying abroad is that the experience
won't count toward their academic degree or will cause them to have to
spend an extra semester or year in school.
"Any carefully planned study abroad experience can fit very neatly
into a student's curriculum. If students plan carefully, select the right
program and choose the right courses in that program, it won't slow them
down," Perkins emphasizes. "Study abroad should be seen as an
integral part of a student's academic program--not as time away from the
Studies have shown that students who study abroad are often more desirable
candidates to businesses and companies when hiring in an increasingly competitive
global job market, says Deanne Hurst, director of the business and liberal
arts placement at the UI.
Perkins says students gain valuable attributes from their experience
that are highly attractive to employers. "They become better decision
makers. They learn to face challenges and take risks," Perkins says.
"They don't see the world in terms of black and white as they may
have before they had a cross-cultural experience. These qualities prepare
them well for their entry into the work force, whether or not they hope
to work in the international sector."
English- and Spanish-speaking countries top the list of study abroad
destinations, Perkins says.
"Overall, the largest number of students go to Western European
countries," Perkins says, "although we're seeing an increase
in study abroad participation at less-traditional locations such as Africa,
Latin America and Asia. We encourage students to look at the entire globe."
More than 500 University of Iowa students studied abroad in the 1996-97
academic year, according to Perkins.
Students do not have to be U.S. citizens to apply to a study abroad
program. However, all students must be in good academic standing to apply.
For more information about the Study Abroad Fair, or to obtain information
about studying abroad, contact the Office for Study Abroad at 335-0353.
The UI Office for Study Abroad administers study abroad programs and
exchanges for the University of Iowa and provides advising services for
students interested in an international educational experience. The office
also administers several scholarship competitions for international study
and research. The office is located at 28 International Center and is open
to students from 10 a.m. to noon and 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday.
The International Center is located at the end of Ferson Avenue in Iowa
City, off of Park Road or by foot up the stairway from Riverside Drive.
The UI Office for Study Abroad is part of UI International Programs,
which consist of a number of offices, centers, degree programs, academic
programs, research projects and services. Organized under the associate
provost and dean for international programs, these units serve to further
internationalize the campus and community and promote global scholarship,
research and teaching.
(Editor's Note: If you would like to profile a student who has studied
abroad, call Lois Gray, international programs media relations specialist,