Studying abroad enlightens students

Stephanie Guigou and Stephanie Guigou

She fumbled for words.

Like many students who have studied abroad, Jonelle Green, senior, struggled to describe her experience of traveling to 10 different countries with the Semester at Sea program last year.

“I think I learned more in my 100 days at sea than all my college years combined,” Green said.

Because of positive experiences like Green’s, the Education Abroad staff is encouraging students to learn more about the benefits of traveling abroad by hosting the Education Abroad Fair today from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. in 201 Union.

Representatives from BGSU and other universities’ programs will be answering students’ questions about financial aid, college credits, internships, student teaching, work and volunteering abroad.

“It’s a great way to just come and check it out,” Nicole Myers, Education Abroad interim director said. “Even if you’ve only thought you might want to do it, you should come and get answers to your questions.”

Like Green, senior Brad Kogut described his sophomore Spring semester in Australia as “amazing.”

His favorite experience was sky-diving over glaciers and mountains in New Zealand.

“I don’t even ride roller coasters, and I went sky diving,” he said. “I stepped out of my comfort zone mentally and loved it. I’d do it again in a heart beat and recommend it to anyone.”

Besides the many opportunities to have fun, studying abroad can be an investment in the future because students are exposed to new ideas for future careers.

Students can specialize in classes that aren’t offered at BGSU, Myers said, such as learning about aboriginal tribes in Australia or doing marine biology experiments in Costa Rica.

Kogut, a sports management major, plans on returning to Australia after graduation to work for a rugby team.

He said his experience completely opened his eyes to that opportunity and made it more feasible than he ever thought it could be.

Whether or not the experience leads to a future job, Green said students will learn a lot about themselves and become more independent.

Students who have studied abroad recently, including Green, will be at the Education Abroad fair today to answer questions and point interested students in the right direction.

Door prizes and other items will be given away, including t-shirts, address books, pens, and a $100 travel voucher.