Explore, Expand, Educate: UConn Study Abroad fair

Students explore the UConn Study Abroad fair. (Jason Jiang/The Daily Campus)

The 2016 Education Abroad Fair captured students in an overwhelming display of amazing opportunities Thursday afternoon.  Countries like England, France, Italy and Germany were there along with programs in more nontraditional countries such Patagonia, Tajikistan and Tunisia.

There are many different programs with many different purposes.  Some are one semester long, while others are year long.  Some will take place during the fall and spring semesters, while others are only during the winter or summer.

Semester at Sea is during both the fall and spring semester.  You will visit 11 countries from four continents and rack up nine to 12 credits.

This program takes financial aid and awards approximately four million dollars per semester, according to Associate Vice President Enrollment Manager, Vincent Schaff.  They accept 575 students from 200 different universities.

“You’re basically taking a cruise ship, but instead of a casino, there’s a library,” said Schaff.

New opportunities are right around the coroner.  Patagonian Biodiversity and the Horse Culture is a program that is only two years old, while the same professor teaches a program that is 15 years old.  The two-year old program is geared more towards people with a passion for either the wildlife or the horses.

By doing this you “see a completely different way of living,” said a student who had previously been in this program.  He continued and told of how you see things happen right before your eyes. “This is climate change right here,” he said, when asked about the things to learn about in this program.

Students who previously traveled have fallen in love with the countries they explore.  Two students talked about exploring Europe during their month break instead of going home.  Another student spent the summer in Taiwan after her winter course in Geology and Geohazards in Taiwan.

You’re basically taking a cruise ship, but instead of a casino, there’s a library.
— Vincent Schaff

There were not only classes offered in many countries, but internships and research as well.  The School for International Training offers internship opportunities, as well as courses, in places such as Argentina, India and Kenya for multiple different majors.

Programs are there to help the students in any way they can.  The whole fair was giving away 150 free passports to some lucky students along with raffled off door prizes.

Many programs will take financial aid as well as distribute their own scholarships.

LuAnne Saunders-Kenabay said her program is geared to helping “first generation” students as well as students at a “lower economic standing.”

One student showed concern over being pushed back an entire semester, but still wishes to go abroad.  These students with similar concerns were relieved to discover that many of the programs during the semester were also offered in shorter versions over the summer.

There is a study abroad program for any student who wants it, as long as they have completed their freshman year.


Kayla Pallette is a campus correspondent for The Daily Campus. She can be reached via email at kayla.pallette@uconn.edu.