Contact: Anne Seitzinger, NIU Study Abroad Office
September 3, 2008
DeKalb, Ill. — Students who would like to learn more about the possibility of studying abroad are invited to attend the 16th Annual Study Abroad Fair at Northern Illinois University.
The fair will be held from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 18, in the Duke Ellington Ballroom of the Holmes Student Center. It is free and open to NIU students, as well as to students in high school or community college.
All attending the fair will receive free goodie bags and have a chance to win one of several raffle prizes. Fair participants can also cast a vote in the Study Abroad Office Photo Contest. Raffle and photo-contest prizes have been donated by several area businesses and offices on campus.
Students will have the opportunity to meet with representatives of study abroad programs in about 75 countries. During the 2008/09 academic year, NIU faculty are scheduled to direct programs in Austria, China, Costa Rica, Cyprus, England, France, Ghana, Italy, Ireland, Kenya, Malaysia, Poland, Russia, Spain, Switzerland, Thailand and Turkey. These faculty-led programs provide faculty development while also promoting internationalization of curricula.
Students also will be able to talk with representatives from independent study abroad organizations working with the Study Abroad Office to offer programs that earn NIU academic credits.
Student Financial Aid Office staff members will be present to answer questions about financial aid and to provide information on loans and scholarships. Representatives from NIU Career Services, the Center for Southeast Asian Studies, the Latino Resource Center and other campus organizations also will be on hand.
“The fair is a great opportunity for students to find out everything they ever wanted to know about study abroad all in one place,” said Anne Seitzinger, director of the Study Abroad Office.
“There are programs available for every major and various lengths of time, from Winter Break to summer to a full semester or academic year,” she added. “Some students will prefer programs that offer a variety of courses, while others might want to focus on a topic such as information technology in China, the history and culture of Malaysia or Spanish language in Spain. It’s imperative that NIU students understand their areas of study from a global perspective.”
Each year, the Study Abroad Fair draws about 500 NIU students seeking study abroad experiences outside the United States. The Study Abroad Office helped more than 300 students to participate in such programs this past year.
“Students who attend the fair will learn how to make the dream of study abroad become a reality,” Seitzinger said. “Past study abroad students will be participating in the fair and can give students first-hand information on how beneficial studying abroad has been for them as well as tips and encouragement on how to make it a reality.”
The fair is geared for faculty and staff, as well as students.
“The fair gives faculty members an opportunity to learn more about creating their own study abroad programs,” Seitzinger said. “It's a chance to talk with the Study Abroad Office staff and current faculty program directors to learn just how personally and professionally beneficial directing a program can be. In addition to the faculty-development opportunities, conducting a study abroad program is also a means for internationalizing on-campus courses. We hope more faculty will consider attending this year’s fair.”
Students who aren’t able to attend the fair can plan to attend “Study Abroad 101: First Steps to Study Abroad.” The informal presentation, followed by a question-and-answer session, is designed to provide information to students who are considering studying abroad or who are in the first phases of the process. Content is the same at each session, so students need only attend once to learn the basics. Study Abroad 101 will be offered every Wednesday and Thursday at 3:30 p.m. in the NIU Study Abroad Office.