CNU’s Study Abroad Fair brought the opportunity to experience new cultures
Lederhosen, basket art and flag after flag filled the DSU ballroom this past Friday, Oct. 5 to convince students to step off of campus and into another culture. A part of Family Weekend activities, families of students were encouraged to attend the event alongside their students.
The packed room housed 18 internal study abroad programs at CNU and featured representatives from 14 external study abroad programs. The fair also had representatives from the offices on campus that could provide assistance when planning a trip, including CNU Financial Aid, CNU Study Abroad Scholarships, CNU Exchanges, CNU Study Abroad and Study Abroad Student Ambassadors.
Each program or office had a table and a chance to present themselves to students. With poster board, freshly printed brochures and props, they were able to connect with students and parents passing by. These posters became crucial during the height of the event when the ballroom was filled with eager students and families.
Ian Burke, interested in attending the CNU in Scotland program next year, is surprised by the magnitude of the event. “There’s a wide range of options and they all look really cool,” he explains. “There’s a class about Math and Physics during the French Revolution–that has something for anyone.”
Burke expresses that he wants to study abroad because he feels everyone needs multiple perspectives and going into a different country affords that opportunity.
Two student volunteers of the event, Jordan Clark and Nicole Molnar, express similar sentiments. “When you’re living here you’re used to the atmosphere… being in another country you’re the foreigner… a lot of people need that experience,” Clark says.
Molnar agrees, “it’s an experience everyone should have.”
Both Clark and Molnar have had a chance to study abroad in the past and they welcomed the opportunity to help another student along in that process.
Another student volunteer representing her study abroad program, ISA CNU, Arianna Santana says her experience being able to live with a host family in Spain over the summer was “amazing.”
“Ever since freshman year, I wanted to study abroad, and I chose this program becauses the classes were taught in Spanish, it was cost-effective and it was a longer program,” Santana says about her choice. “I got the full experience.”
So far, she has gotten to notice the slight differences between her learned dialect of Spanish and the Spanish that her host family spoke. “I still don’t know how to say straw,” she explains an incident where she attempted to ask for a straw in a restaurant.
Being able to be fully immersed in a culture to see these differences she says is why studying abroad is such an interesting experience.
She assuages fears of those thinking about studying abroad, “If you’re thinking about it, do it.”
“The people going with you will have the same fears. Bond with them. Lean on them.”
For many, however, the fear of being away from home is only one of the reasons stopping them from studying abroad. Funding for these programs can become costly and many have fears that these programs are out of reach.
Molnar gives students the advice to go to the study abroad scholarship event. “They have a whole meeting about it,” she says. Molnar also expresses doing it the simple way — just saving money.
Santana encourages people to not ignore small scholarships. because “they can add up.”
CNU’s Financial Aid Office also encourages students to take advantages of the scholarships that they have available to students and encourages people to stay on top of the application deadlines and to keep searching.
Lists of study abroad programs available can be found on the CNU Study Abroad website.