Study Abroad Fair aims to make students ‘fall in love with study abroad’

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Students hoping to study abroad next semester got a chance to start their journey on Wednesday.

Held in the first floor lobby of the Brown-Lupton University Union near Union Grounds, the Study Abroad Fair offered students an opportunity to look at programs available in the 2019 fall semester.

There are seven semester-long programs managed by TCU based in London, Spain, Italy and the brand new Stellenbosch program in South Africa, in addition to over 200 approved programs through other agencies.

For some students, the fair offered a chance to continue their passion for traveling, and for others it provided an opportunity to try new experiences.

First-year political science major and Fort Worth native Anna Baggs said her love for travel has influenced her greatly.

“I love living in different cities and getting a vibe for a different culture that you may not have experienced growing up,” she said.

Baggs had family members go to colleges in different countries, which she said influenced her decision to study abroad.

“Growing up, it was really nice having a large family that came from very diverse backgrounds because I think you just learn so much more about yourself and what you value,” Baggs said.

For students like sophomore marketing major Idahosa Robinson from Dallas, the fair offers an opportunity to experience something he never had the chance to before.

“Where I come from, it’s kind of a bad place,” said Robinson. “Just being here at TCU is nice, and definitely going out of the country would be crazy to me.”

Robinson said he is most interested in going to London and is excited to meet new friends while abroad.

“Interacting with people who live in different places and different environments with different backgrounds and different walks of life,” Robinson said. “What is life like through their perspective? I know for a fact I’m going to learn new tactics on how to learn.”  

Sophomore marketing student Idahosa Robinson reads a pamphlet regarding study abroad opportunities at the Study Abroad Fair in the Brown Lupton University Union on Feb. 13, 2018. (TCU 360/ Brandon Ucker)

Robinson said he has been interested in studying abroad since his first year at TCU but that academics and life can get hectic.

“You get so caught up in school you might forget about it every now and then,” Robinson said. “I’m trying to make sure I do it now since it’s my spring semester of my sophomore year, and I’m trying to utilize that opportunity.”

Program coordinator at the Center for International Studies Jesica Severson said study abroad offers many opportunities for students to grow.

“The cool thing about study abroad is that you really make it what you want it to be,” said Severson. “It’s so much more than traveling to another country.”

Severson graduated from TCU in 2009 and said her study abroad experiences in Beijing and London greatly impacted her college and professional life.

“There is definitely a great professional opportunity when you study abroad,” Severson said. “When I studied abroad, I did an internship in London that allowed me to work with an international organization and get so much experience working with people from other cultures and countries.”

The Center for International Studies also offers peer advising boards every Monday through Thursday from 2 to 4 p.m., where students can meet with fellow students who have studied abroad.

Severson said the best thing for students interested in studying abroad to do is to stay on top of deadlines and discuss their plans with an advisor.

The next study abroad sessions will be held at 4 p.m. and 4:30 p.m. Feb. 18 discussing the Madrid and Seville programs. The application deadline to study abroad during the fall semester is Mar. 15.