From 10:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. on Tuesday, September 18, the main lobby of Strosacker Hall will be filled with representatives of and information about study abroad opportunities around the world that are available to Baldwin Wallace students. This is the main feature of the fair hosted by the Office of Explorations/Study Abroad.
“Study Abroad is being a student elsewhere, so you can go to different schools throughout the world,” said Mackenzie Bowen, LHE graduate intern from the Study Abroad Office.
“It’s a chance to gain independence,” she said “take courses you might not be able to here, broaden your horizons, and also open your eyes to different cultures and different ways of life.”
According to Kristen Catrina, advisor in Explorations/Study Abroad, there are two types of study abroad programs available through BW: faculty-led seminars and independent programs. Faculty-led programs consist of a course followed by a trip during the Spring Semester and are typically cross-listed, allowing students to choose which of the two areas they will receive credits for.
Independent programs last a full semester and allow students to attend courses at one of more than 30 partner institutions around the world, with all earned credits transferring back to BW.
Most of BW’s partner institutions will be represented at the Study Abroad Fair by BW students who have attended them or by students of those partner institutions currently attending BW, said Catrina. There will be additional tables for the Spring 2019 and Spring 2020 faculty-led seminars, Bowen said, along with tables for other recommended study abroad program providers such as Webster University and Semester at Sea.
Also on display, will be the entries into this year’s photography contest for photographs taken by students in study abroad programs, said Catrina.
The faculty-led seminars for Spring 2019 include a theater and communications course going to Zambia, a business and political science course going to Ghana, a psychology and communications course going to Japan, and a business and HPE program going to Brazil, said Catrina.
The seminar offerings for Spring 2020 include a sociology and business class going to China, a communications German language course going to Germany, a theater course going to London, and an HPE course going to Ireland.
The independent study programs offer even more opportunities to study around the world.
“We have exchange partners in South America, Africa, Europe, Asia, and Australia,” said Bowen. “The only continent we don’t have is Antarctica.”
The Zambia and Ghana seminars are both new opportunities in 2019, Catrina said. So are BW’s exchange partnerships with two more universities in the UK: Sheffield Hallam, which offers a humanities exchange program, and Edge Hill, which offers expanded theater program options.
Both Catrina and Bowen mentioned Study Abroad’s strong connection to BW’s mission to help students “become contributing, compassionate citizens of an increasingly global society.”
“When students study abroad, they’re learning about themselves. They’re learning about the world. They come back being more compassionate about the world,” said Catrina. “Going and experiencing these cultures firsthand helps to bring new light to those cultures.”
Students who want to explore the possibilities and benefits of BW’s study abroad programs can drop in at the fair to explore the programs and opportunities that interest them.
This is a great opportunity for students to talk to actual peers who have studied abroad, learn about the study abroad options that work best with their major, ask questions, and clear up common misconceptions about study abroad, Catrina said.
One of the most common misconceptions about studying abroad, according to both Catrina and Bowen, is that it is very expensive. However, Catrina explained that students pay the same tuition, room, and board for a full semester with the Study Abroad program that they would for a semester at BW and get to keep any scholarships they have. The Study Abroad office will be present at the fair to talk about affordability and financial aid opportunities, as well as other student questions about the opportunities and programs present.
For those interested in studying abroad who may not be able to attend the fair, the Explorations/Study Abroad Office is located on the second floor of Strosacker Hall.
“Come see us,” Catrina said. “Our door’s always open!”