The world opens up for NKU students

Students from all majors and years turned out Wednesday for the annual Study Abroad Fair where they could browse through several booths representing places in the world that NKU sends students for global education and the experience of a lifetime.

The fair took place from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. and encouraged NKU students to explore the global community.

Alyssa Roby, student abroad advisor, said the event fosters global environments and encourages international connections.

“My main hope here is first for students to know their study abroad options and know that studying abroad is for all students,” Roby said,“My second hope is for international students to interact with local students.”

William Petetin, exchange student and business major, sat at the entrance of the Student Union Ballroom with other international students and welcomed visitors. Petetin shared with others about his homeland and life in France.

Booths included information on studying away, studying at sea, exchange programs and major specific studies abroad which span five continents and the new LGBTQ study abroad.

A new booth in the ballroom this year was the LGBTQ program.

Bonnie Meyer, director of LGBTQ programs and services, has spent the last three years organizing and planning a study abroad where everyone would be safe, accepted, and welcome, adding that it is a cutting edge program not found in other places.

“[It] is all about the curriculum, the students will concentrate on education, art, and activism,” Meyer said.

Meyer hopes that this program, which travels to Amsterdam, Brussels, Bruges and Paris, will be a model for other universities.

Freshman Drake Roberts, an electronic media broadcasting major, came to check out the study abroad programs on his University 101 professor’s recommendation. Roberts was surprised by all the options available, including a domestic study in Panama City, which he hopes to attend.

Studying away, which has been offered for two years allows students to study away from NKU campus while staying in the United States.

“NKU has a large population of commuters who want to get away from home but aren’t yet comfortable going out of the country,” Candace Gibson, the special projects coordinator for study away domestic programs, said.

The study away program is for opening the doors to new cultural experiences and experiential learning, according to Gibson.

Locations this year include both Washington D.C. and South Dakota.

Selecting a destination and courses that fit students’ majors can be challenging, according to Roby. The fair displayed all the options and Roby will help students select a program and get funding.

“There are a lot of options and scholarships,” Roby said. “Some are competitive but if you are willing to work, I’ll do all I can to help.”

Roby said that the world market is changing and a study abroad is how to go about changing  education to better fit the global job market.

“Every student should experience a study abroad,” Roby said.