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Study Abroad Fair attracts students interested in taking their education global

K’Von Jackson
Academic Manager Craig Sigele gives a presentation for a marketing course offered during J-Term on Wednesday, Sept. 13, 2023. The study abroad fair gives students a chance to receive information about J-term courses.

Students were quick to arrive at the Student Center Wednesday, Sept. 13, for Columbia’s Study Abroad Fair, keeping the event busy throughout the first half it was running.

Many booths were set up on the first floor to explain study abroad programs ranging throughout the U.S. to across the world, including Argentina, Mexico, L.A., New York, Texas, France, United Kingdom, Italy, Morocco, Czech Republic and Scotland. Programs include “Studying Topics in Advertising” in New York City to “Strategic Global Marketing” in Prague.

Sophomore graphic design major Trinity Sutton searched for an abroad program that would best suit her and what she wanted. She said the study abroad program is “really awesome.”

“They have a variety of different people and groups that come in so you can go for your major, your minor, or an elective, so they give you a variety of [options] for what you want to study abroad for,” Sutton said. “I think that’s really great because some schools are very selective of only a certain major and only a certain minor, so there really isn’t a lot of variety for people to choose from.”

The International Theatre Workshop that will take place in Morocco over spring break is still running but may be modified because of the powerful earthquake that struck the country on Friday, Sept. 8, killing more than 2,000 people in the Atlas Mountains outside of Marrakesh. Susan Padveen, one of the two faculty who will lead the trip, will coordinate with the tour agent to ensure the safety of students traveling there.

“It’s a really big issue, and we’re very devastated to hear,” Padveen said. “Our tour goes all the way through the country, so we may just make an adjustment of where we go in the country.”

Columbia’s Study Abroad program benefits students in more ways than one.

Students are able to receive credit for their majors or have financial aid apply to the abroad programs. First-year communications major London Johnson is not only excited about the immersive experience, but also about learning how beneficial it can be.

“I’m hearing that a lot of my financial aid can help pay for this and the only thing I have to pay for out of pocket seems like the flight – and maybe some other expenses,” Johnson said. “But if I take courses out there, it [applies] for my humanities requirement, so it definitely helps me out. It’s not as burdening to study abroad.”

Faculty are in charge of the organizational aspects of the programs.

“I think since the pandemic it’s been hard to set back up again, but it seems like travel is back on and the programs are setting back up again,” said Craig Sigele, academic manager of the Communication Department.

Senior musical theatre major Aria Endhal and junior ASL interpretation major Rachael East stumbled upon the fair together after walking into the Student Center.

“I feel like I haven’t heard about a lot of these things that are happening, but it is super cool to browse and see that there are this many options that I wasn’t even aware of,” Endhal said.

They both had not heard about many of the opportunities to go abroad in the past. Endhal says that global education is “so smart” and “exposing people to other cultures and other ways of learning is genius and very important.”

“I’ve never considered it seriously until now, but now that I’m approaching my last few years, I don’t want to graduate before experiencing something like this,” East said.

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About the Contributors
Allison Shelton
Allison Shelton, Reporter
ashelton@columbiachronicle.com   Allison Shelton is a sophomore journalism major, with a minor in advertising and fashion communications.  She primarily reports on Columbia's Student Government Association but has also written about sustainability, campus events and the college's unions. Shelton joined the Chronicle in August 2023.   Hometown: Kansas City, Missouri
K’Von Jackson
K’Von Jackson, Former Senior Photojournalist
kjackson@columbiachronicle.com   K'Von Jackson is a senior photography major. Some of his work includes campus crime writing, social justice and changes within Columbia. He worked for the Chronicle from August 2020 through December 2023.   Hometown: Chicago, Ill.