Wednesday Oct. 1 from 10a.m. to 4p.m., the International Programs Office will hold its second Study Abroad Fair in the Encore of the Dreyfus University Center. This fair is open to any and all students and university staff interested in learning about studying abroad.
The Study Abroad Fair will represent 15 short-term summer programs, 12 semester programs, and 5 winterim programs, with faculty leaders and past student participants to share their stories, photos, and experiences with those who attend. In addition to University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point representatives, there will also be a speaker from La Trobe University in Australia, Educators Abroad, and Customized Educational Programs Abroad-Europe.
At the fair students will learn about how to finance their study abroad, how to market experiences abroad, and how to apply for a passport.
“Everyone in the office is very willing to help students,” said university programs associate Carol Grasamkee. “Students may feel intimidated coming to the office or feel like they can not shop around, but we invite students to come talk with us. We want them to come in and look at the programs offered, and we want to get them excited about studying abroad.”
Grasamkee encourages students to start planning their study abroad trips during their freshman year.
“All of the classes you take abroad count for UWSP credit,” Grasamkee said. “If you start planning during your freshman year, you can save the classes you want to take abroad and not have to worry about overlapping classes and getting behind on credits.”
Pointers with Passports will be showcased at the event. This club formed last spring and is a student extension of the International Programs Office. This club aims to get students educated and ready for their trips abroad.
“We formed because we believe in the study abroad experience and all the ways it will impact your life,” said Pointers with Passports Co-President Katie Olson.
Co-President Erin Baudhuin agreed that studying abroad allows students to experience a country in a different way.
“You are not a tourist—you are a student,” Baudhuin said.
This semester, Pointers with Passports will be holding meetings that will give students the tools they need to be productive and ready to travel abroad.
“We tentatively have planned how to choose a study abroad program, how to pack, blogging abroad, and photography tips,” Olson said. “We also hope to highlight a trip abroad every meeting so students can hear about other students’ experiences.”
These meetings are now beneficial to UWSP’s business students as well.
“Pointers with Passports meetings now count as School of Business and Economics events,” Baudhuin said. “This opens up opportunities for business students to get involved with international programs too.”
Grasamkee is passionate about getting students to attend meetings and come into the office. She encourages students to think about studying abroad, as all of the opportunities given to students are once in a lifetime opportunities.
“Linda Garski, budget manager in the International Programs office, has years of experience helping students understand, prepare and arrange for financing their study abroad program,” Grasamkee said. “Both Linda and the Financial Aid office staff work together to help the student with the financial aid revision process so that aid can be increased to cover program expenses. There is no other time in the student’s life that they will have the support, the financial resources or the time to even consider going abroad.”
For students unable to attend the Study Abroad Fair, visit the UWSP study abroad website for a complete informational meeting schedule, or stop in the International Programs office at 108 CCC on Wednesdays for walk-in advising between 1:00p.m.and 4:00p.m. Also “Like” the UWSP International Programs Facebook page and the Pointers with Passports Facebook page to read student blogs and receive updates from students who are currently abroad.
If you have any questions regarding Pointers With Passports, contact Katie Olson at Katherine.E.Olson@uwsp.edu or Erin Baudhuin at Erin.L.Baudhuin@uwsp.edu.