Study abroad fair gives students the opportunity to explore the world

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Hannah Snider, Club Sports Reporter

Students filled the USU plaza on Sept. 22 with excited chatter, crowding around the annual Traveling Tukwut Study Abroad Fair.

Thirty program providers such as Semester at the Sea, ISA (International Study Abroad) and faculty-led programs like Cal State University International Program (CSU IP) attended the fair, helping students find the perfect group for them and their busy schedule.

Study Abroad Coordinator at CSUSM, Tiffany Gabbard, said the main purpose for the event was to get more students involved in study abroad programs and realize the different possibilities that are available to them.

“The Study Abroad Fair is to try and encourage our students to go away essentially, to study adventures through the school … to really open up the world of opportunity to our students to study, work, intern, or volunteer abroad.”

Gabbard has been working for CSUSM for 8 years; she too was a study abroad student and traveled to Italy and England.

“It was such a transformative experience it changed the trajectory of my life,” Gabbard said.

Gabbard also said that study abroad is a lot easier than students may think, often times their financial aid follows them and tuition is relatively the same.

“The student’s financial aid travels with them for the most part even with programs outside the school, certainly the study abroad through the school is really the most affordable way to go abroad … definitely our faculty led programs are incredibly affordable … and really our tuition stays the same for all the programs.”

One student, Sanam Abedini, studied abroad in Sweden for a year. Abedini volunteered at the CSU IP booth, which is a yearlong program giving students an opportunity to change places with another student studying in another part of the world.

Abedini enjoyed her time in Sweden and hopes other students will get involved in a study abroad program.

“Study Abroad is honestly such an amazing experience … it broadens your range of thinking and experiences and the way you think about the world. I would definitely recommend it to anyone who is thinking about it, it’s totally possible to do.”

The fair’s giant presence brought in several wandering students one of which was Jasmin Hernandez, a third year here at Cal State. Hernandez is a pre-med major and was interested in the Ecuador Intercultural medicine in the Andes booth set up at the fair.

“I was talking to her [the booth] about anthropological medicine, I am pre-med and want to get into med school, she was telling me about how you learn about other cultures and their different ways of doing things … I think it would be a really cool way to get a new perspective.”

Although studying abroad may not be for every student, the Traveling Tukwut Study Abroad Fair gave all students a chance to explore the possibility of getting an education in another country.

 

The Cougar Chronicle The independent student news site of California