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WRITER: ARIANNE NARDO
CONTACT: LOIS GRAY
International Programs
Iowa City IA 52242
(319) 335-2026
e-mail: lois-gray@uiowa.edu

Release: Sept. 14, 1999

Students can explore overseas opportunities Sept. 21

IOWA CITY, Iowa -- At this year's Study Abroad Fair, University of Iowa students will have the world at their fingertips -- literally. An assortment of pamphlets, packets and brochures detailing academic programs in countries around the globe will be available from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 21, in the Iowa Memorial Union Ballroom. The fair is sponsored by the UI Office for Study Abroad and is free and open to all students.

The goal of the fair is to provide information to students who are interested in study abroad but are not yet ready to meet with a study abroad adviser, said Janis Perkins, director of the Office for Study Abroad. About 40 booths representing hundreds of study abroad programs will be set up at the fair, representing nearly 50 UI-sponsored study abroad programs.

"This is like going window shopping for study abroad programs," Perkins said. "It's a great place to start. Students can pick up information, chat with students who've experienced a summer, semester or academic year abroad, and begin to explore the array of possibilities out there for them."

The appeal of studying abroad continues to grow, as steadily increasing numbers of both undergraduate and graduate students take time to discover different parts of the globe. In the 1997-98 academic year, 610 UI students studied abroad. Perkins estimates a five to eight percent increase over this figure, when the 1998-99 results are tabulated.

Much of the attention study abroad has earned on the UI campus has occurred within the last few years as faculty and administrators emphasize its role in education, Perkins said.

"There has been a conscious effort to demarginalize study abroad by affiliating it more directly with the UI curriculum," said Perkins. "We've developed programs that are closely knit into the fabric of the university."

These linkages to various academic institutions around the world work to give students access to a life outside Iowa. On the horizon are three new programs that will fulfill such a need. The University of Natal in South Africa has established a Winter School, which corresponds with the U.S. summer session and offers a wide selection of study areas. In addition, UI faculty members have initiated development of summer programs in Cuba, a nation in cultural transition. Exchanges in Hungary and Korea are also being established, and they don't require language proficiency, which is often a concern for students who are deciding to study overseas.

The Study Abroad Fair also features representatives from non-UI programs so that students can collect information from other institutions and expand their options.

Students do not have to be U.S. citizens but must be in good academic standing to apply to study abroad. For more information about the Study Abroad Fair, or to obtain information about studying abroad, call the Office for Study Abroad, (319) 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 120 International Center and is open to students from 10 a.m. to noon and 1 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.

Editors Note: If you would like to profile a student who has studied abroad, contact Lois Gray.