Students attended the Study Abroad Fair last Tuesday at 4:00 p.m. to learn about the different travel programs Geneseo offers its students. Study abroad coordinator Emily Froom filled up the College Union Ballroom with various opportunities from all over the SUNY system to travel all over the world—even Antarctica. These programs included semester study abroad, semester student exchange, short-term faculty-led, and short-term host institution along with specific course internships in various locations.
The fair lasted until 7 p.m. as curious students piled into the Ballroom. Students are known to worry about how much a study abroad program costs, but Froom said studying abroad can be “easier on your wallet, but harder on your schedule.”
Programs are offered all over the world and can range in duration from two weeks to an entire semester. Western European study abroad programs have become increasingly popular in recent years. Professor of English and comparative literature Maria Helena Lima is teaching Black British Literature in London next summer and said that the benefits of studying abroad include “living the consequences of history in a very real way.”
Students’ interests in studying in South America have increased due to the various specialized science programs. African and Asian study abroad programs are less often traveled because of the distance, though Froom encourages students to apply due to the cost efficiency of studying in these continents.
Some programs are even more frugal than studying at Geneseo for a semester, as the host country’s cost of living can be significantly less expensive. Studying abroad in South Korea, for example, in a newly furnished dorm building, can cost up to $2,000 less than a semester at Geneseo. Studying in South Africa at the distinguished Rhodes University is even more frugal, as tuition, room, and board can cost $3,000 less than what students would normally pay at Geneseo.
Scholarships to help students pay for these expenses—such as the Gilman International Scholarship Program which sponsors students who receive the Pell Grant—scholarships from the host countries themselves and scholarships funded by the study abroad program all aim to make studying abroad a more feasible option for students.
Students who study abroad bring back an alternative perspective to the Geneseo campus. “Universally, no matter where you go, studying abroad changed the way I looked at our culture in Geneseo and America,” study abroad mentor senior William Jockers said.
Froom says, “Your problem-solving skills increase, you learn about the different ways knowledge is transmitted cross-culturally, and you learn about globalization—you’re a fish [out of] water.”
Froom encourages students to come and visit her for mentoring in the Study Abroad Office in Erwin Hall, room 217.