All students who would like to learn more about the possibility of studying abroad are invited to attend. Students will have the opportunity to meet with host representatives of study abroad programs in about 75 countries.
The representatives include NIU faculty members who direct short-term study abroad programs worldwide and agents from independent study abroad organizations. All NIU study abroad programs make it possible for students to earn NIU academic credit while participating in a program abroad.
NIU Student Financial Aid Office staff members will be present to answer questions about financial aid and to provide information on loans and scholarships. Representatives from NIU’s Career Services, the Center for Southeast Asian Studies, Center for Black Studies, Latino Resource Center, Health Services and other campus departments also will be on hand.
“The fair serves as a ‘one stop shop’ by providing opportunities to meet with key people who can make study abroad a reality for students. This includes the chance to talk to Study Abroad Office staff, NIU faculty program directors, and study abroad providers,” said Anne Seitzinger, director of the Study Abroad Office. “Representatives will help students identify programs that best fit their majors or career interests. There are dozens of options that allow students to find a program in their major area of study, or they can explore options where they might earn credit toward NIU general elective requirements.
“Some students prefer a summer, semester or academic year program that offers a variety of courses, such as programs in France offered by the Institute for American Universities, programs in China offered by the School for International Training, or programs in Australia offered by AustraLearn, just to name a few. Others might want to focus on a specific topic, such as a Shakespeare in Oxford, England, business seminars all over Europe, or mental health and community psychiatric health care services in Ireland,” Seitzinger added. “It’s imperative that NIU students understand their profession or area of study from a global perspective.”
The fair will feature voting for the Study Abroad Office Photo Contest, and all attending the fair will receive free goodie bags and have a chance to win one of several excellent raffle prizes. Raffle and photo contest prizes have been donated by program providers, area businesses, as well as several offices on campus.
Each year, the Study Abroad Fair attracts about 600 NIU students seeking study abroad experiences outside the United States. The NIU Study Abroad Office helped more than 300 students to participate in such programs this past year.
“Students who attend the fair will learn about programs and financial aid and loan options that will allow study abroad to become a reality,” Seitzinger said. “Students can also talk to study abroad alumni who will be present to provide first-hand information and offer guidance and encouragement.”
The fair is for faculty and staff as well as students.
“Faculty members will learn how creating their own study abroad programs can benefit them both personally and professionally,” Seitzinger said. “Directing an NIU study abroad program provides faculty-development opportunities as well as the means for internationalizing on-campus courses. We hope more faculty will consider attending this year’s fair.”
Students who aren’t able to attend the fair can plan to attend an informative presentation and question-and-answer session titled, “Study Abroad 101: First Steps to Study Abroad.” Study Abroad 101 content is the same at each session, so students need only attend once to learn the basics. The presentation will be offered every Wednesday and Thursday at 3:30 p.m. in the NIU Study Abroad Office.