UGA hosts study abroad fair

UGA hosts study abroad fair

Athens, Ga. – The University of Georgia will host the 23rd annual Study, Work and Travel Abroad Fair on Oct. 3 and 4, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. in Georgia Hall of the Tate Student center. Representatives from Cortona, Oxford and Costa Rica programs along with close to 100 other program exhibitors will participate in the fair. Interested students can attend the fair for one or two days, as their schedule allows, but most of the booths will differ between Wednesday and Thursday with the larger and year-round UGA programs available both days.

Study abroad is a great educational tool as it helps to increase student’s maturity, independence and decision-making ability, according to Kasee Laster, director for study abroad in the Office of International Education.

“Students learn a great deal about themselves when they go abroad,” said Laster. “They learn about their strengths and weaknesses and problem-solving abilities they haven’t tested before.”

More UGA students than ever are taking advantage of study abroad opportunities. At UGA, an average of over 28 percent of undergraduates study abroad during their course of study-more than 2,000 students a year. The number has increased so much so that the university already has surpassed its previous goal of having 25 percent of the student population study abroad by the year 2010, and is now ranked ninth in the nation in the number of students participating in study-abroad programs, according to national “Open Doors” data.

Kornelia Probst-Mackowiak, fair coordinator, attributes study abroad’s growth to the fact that it’s easier than ever to go abroad due to the Office of International Education’s increased presence on campus and the abundance of scholarship and financial aid. The office offers an “Options Abroad Session” three times a week to help students learn about program choices for international study. It also offers study-abroad advisors, many of whom have not only studied-but lived-abroad.

Studying abroad is also increasingly affordable. According to the Office of International Education, there’s a study-abroad program for almost every price range-with program costs depending on the exchange rate, the cost of living in the country and the length of the program, which vary from a few weeks to a full year.

For UGA programs, the HOPE scholarship can cover tuition. For out-of-state students, in-state tuition rates are applied to tuition.

In addition to studying abroad, students also can work and travel abroad. Teaching English and volunteering for organizations such as the Peace Corps are also popular options for UGA students.

For more information on study abroad opportunities, visit http://www.uga.edu/oie/studyabroad.htm.