The Continuing Education and Community Service Department put together an information fair Wednesday in the Shepherd Union Building to enlighten students about study-abroad programs offered through Weber State University.
“Studying abroad brings the classroom and everything you’re studying to life,” said Kayla Farr, a 2011 study-abroad participant, who took part in the interior design trip to Italy, Greece and Turkey. “You could never get these experiences from a textbook. It’s awesome, and is something that you’ve never experienced before.”
At the fair, representatives from many departments came to show the different study- abroad opportunities offered within their colleges. Department representatives answered questions and handed out information packets and brochures about the summer 2012 trips.
With destinations all over the globe — including China, England, Italy, Ghana, the Galapagos Islands, France and Costa Rica — departments hope that there is something for everyone.
“We want this information fair to peak students’ interest, “ said Craig LaRocco, the Study Abroad and International Programs administrator at WSU. “I want students to know that there are different summer study opportunities out there for them to try and experience.”
Each program is about two to four weeks long, and both students and community members 18 and older are eligible to apply. Each applicant must complete the appropriate forms and return them to the program’s specific department before the due date in the spring to be considered.
All programs’ fees include college credit, housing, sightseeing and excursions, local transportation, and most meals. In some programs, including those for China and Ghana, the airfare is also included. Some necessities, however, are not included in the fee. Most financial aid, loans, scholarships and grants can be used toward a study- abroad tuition. Students can contact the Financial Aid Office for more information about financing the trips.
Prior to leaving the U.S., every study-abroad program holds their own pre-departure orientations, in which all participants get the chance to ask questions, meet fellow students they are traveling with and learn about the country they are visiting.
“The purpose of these trips is to get students’ feet wet, and get them excited about international travel,” LaRocco said. “Study abroad broadens their horizons and exposes them to new foods, languages and ways of life.”
Former study-abroad student Kami Gutierrez took part in the anthropology department’s trip to Peru last summer.
“The best part of the trip was seeing Machu Picchu for the first time,” she said. “It made me cry, because it was so beautiful.”
As a result of this trip and the influence from her anthropology professor Susan Young, Gutierrez said she is hooked on studying abroad and is looking forward to a summer in China next year.
Farr and Gutierrez are not alone in saying that studying abroad has been one of the best experiences of their lives.
“I would absolutely recommend study abroad to Weber State students,” Gutierrez said. “Being with a group of people, experiencing the world is life-changing, and I have created memories that I will carry with me forever.”
For a list of summer 2012 trips or more information, students can contact LaRocco at 801-626-8740, or go to www.departments.weber.edu/ce/studyabroad, or find them on Facebook at www.facebook.com/weberstudyabroad.