Students explore experiential learning and service opportunities at Expand Your Horizons Fair

By Brionna Scebbi and By Brionna Scebbi

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Who: Senior Shelby Smith

Where: She has an internship at the RIDGE Project, a faith-based nonprofit organization that works to strengthen the relationship between incarcerated parent

s and their children.

Favorite thing about volunteering: “Right from the start, I was able to be hands-on.”

Advice for students looking to volunteer: “I would say if you’re not sure about taking an internship with [a nonprofit] to volunteer first. … Volunteer, try it, and if you don’t like it, try a different nonprofit because they’re all really different.”

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Study Abroad

Who: Kayla Pennington, representative for University Studies Abroad Consortium

Where: She studied abroad in Italy her junior year at University of Nevada, Reno, through USAC, a nonprofit organization dedicated to giving students an affordable experience abroad.

Favorite memory: “I wa

s kind of homesick around Thanksgiving, and we ended up having this massive ‘Friendsgiving’ with all of my new friends from studying abroad. It was just this giant potluck, and everyone came together to do our best to make American food and then brought in some Italian food. It was such a lovely home-away-from-hom

e experience.”

Advice for students looking to study abroad: “Go. If you are thinking about it at all, I have never met anyone who regretted going abroad. … You’re going to grow so much. It’s really just a once-in-a-lifetime experience. It’s the greatest thing that I’ve done.”

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Bowling Green Alternative Break

Who: Senior Phil Rich

Where: He traveled to Richmond, Virginia, during spring break to help with refugee resettlement efforts.

Favorite memory: “Being able to actually speak to refugees who have gone through a lot was really a powerful experience. … We were in refugees’ homes and they were serving us food as we were helping them create LinkedIn accounts or apply for jobs, so it really felt like we were getting to know them and help them.”

Advice for students looking to do bGAB: “Totally do it. It’s just as much the fact that you’re doing good work and doing something interesting as it is meeting a ton of other BGSU students who value similar things you do, which is really great.”

On Wednesday, students looking for more information about volunteer opportunities, education abroad programs, alternative breaks and more visited the Expand Your Horizons Fair held in the Lenhart Grand Ballroom of the Bowen-Thompson Student Union. 35 different education abroad programs, 65 community organizations and several tables for related offices filled the room, giving participants in the fair plenty of experiential learning opportunities to choose from.

Raffles for prizes such as a plane ticket voucher, luggage set, free alternative break trip, or Starbucks gift cards as well as ice cream was available to students who got a certain number of stickers on the passport they were given at the door. Different tables gave out different colored stickers depending on if they were an education abroad partner, key campus resource or a community partner.

Post-fair workshops are also being offered next week. These workshops will cover topics such as active citizenship, education abroad, undergraduate research and resources offered by the Career Center.