WRITER: MANSI BHATIA
CONTACT: LOIS GRAY
Iowa City IA 52242
Release: Sept. 17, 2002
UI Study Abroad Fair Sept. 24 Promotes Global Opportunities
UI students aspiring to enrich their educational experience and gain a better
understanding of the world are invited to attend the University of Iowa Study
Abroad Fair from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 24, in the second floor
ballroom of the Iowa Memorial Union.
The fair is sponsored by the Office for Study Abroad and UI International
Programs and features educational opportunities in countries ranging from
Australia to Venezuela. It is free and open to all members of the UI community.
In addition to the more than 70 programs sponsored by the UI, there will
be information about more than 30 other institutions' programs for studying
abroad. Students will have a chance to meet representatives of these study
abroad program providers as well as those from international universities
like the University of Swansea in Wales and Monash University in Australia.
Returning UI study abroad students and advisers will also be present to
answer questions and share their experiences. Students can also register for
door prizes. Elizabeth Wildenberg de Hernandez, program coordinator and study
abroad adviser, emphasizes that this fair is for all students regardless of
their course of study at the UI or their nationality, and there are programs
for graduates and undergraduates alike. Information on discipline-focused
programs in engineering, business, nursing, liberal arts and sciences, public
and environmental health and many more will be available at the 54 tables
set up at the IMU.
"Our programs are of varied duration. Students can opt between summer
and short-term courses or semester and academic year programs. This gives
students more options and greater flexibility," said Wildenberg. "We
have students going abroad during winter break and making the most of their
time off from classes at Iowa in a new place with new people."
Some programs also work internships into their international curricula and
offer students an opportunity unlike those available in the U.S.
Tina Sherwood, an UI senior, has spent two summers studying and working
abroad in addition to being a peer adviser the Office for Study Abroad. She
went to London for a summer program in theater and stayed in the U.K. to complete
the first of two summers interning in Edinburgh last year.
"Studying abroad helped clarify my career goals. Working as an intern
at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, the biggest theater festival in the world,
was one of the greatest experiences of my life," Sherwood said.
The cost of attending study abroad programs should not be a deterring factor
for students, Wildenberg says. The Office of Student Financial Aid works closely
with the Office for Study Abroad, and there are numerous undergraduate scholarships
and graduate fellowships available for UI students. All financial aid and
scholarships students regularly receive at UI is transferable (and sometimes
increased) for students studying abroad. More information on scholarship/grant
opportunities for programs sponsored by UI, other U.S. universities and foreign
universities can be obtained at the scholarship information table at the fair.
After the events of Sept. 11, 2001, security for American students in other
nations has been a cause of concern, said Janis Perkins, director of The UI
Office for Study Abroad.
"Last year we had many parents calling up after Sept. 11, worried about
their children's safety, but the initial fear dissipated by February,"
Perkins said. "Since then students and parents have taken the initiative
to know more about other cultures and this shows in the increased number of
students going to study abroad this year."
The Office for Study Abroad anticipates the number of students enrolling
in various programs to be well over 750 this year, up from 694 in the previous
"I believe study abroad programs give students the opportunity to see
the world, to realize how they fit into it and, hence, understand themselves
better," Sherwood said.
For more information about study abroad opportunities or to make an appointment
with a study abroad advisor, contact the Office for Study Abroad,120 International
Center, (319) 335-0353. More information on specific programs or countries
is available in the Study Abroad Resource Room, 126 International Center,
which is staffed by peer advisors on weekdays from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Or visit
the study abroad web site at http://www.uiowa.edu/~uiabroad
The UI Office for Study Abroad is part of UI International Programs, which
consists of a number of offices, centers, degree and academic programs, research
projects and services. Organized under the associate provost and dean for
International Programs, these units serve to further internationalize the
campus and community and promote global scholarship, research and training.
EDITOR'S NOTE: To arrange an interview with a student who has studied abroad,
call Lois Gray at (319) 335-2026.