GVSU hosts Fall 2018 study abroad fair

Courtesy / GVSU

Courtesy / GVSU

Rachel Matuszewski

Each year, approximately 800 Grand Valley State University students will participate in the study abroad program. GVSU and additional providers offer more than 60 programs for students to chose from in deciding where to visit.

This year, the Fall 2018 Study Abroad Fair will be held on Tuesday, Oct. 9 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. in Kirkhof Center 2250 Grand River Room. 

“We want students to know what all their options are before picking a program so that they are picking the best one for them based on a personal, professional and academic level,” said Study Abroad Advisor Meaghann Myers-Smith. “There are hundreds of study abroad programs GVSU students can choose from.”

This semester’s study abroad fair will showcase new destinations added for students to explore. This will include Iceland for the geology department, a trip to Chile for students participating in Trio, a new government organization toward first-time students going to college in their family, as well as a trip to Spain for athletes and their coaches. The most common destinations for students last year included the United Kingdom, Spain, and Ghana.

Furthermore, students have the option of choosing a GVSU study abroad program or non-Grand Valley led programs. Payment by use of GVSU financial aid is acceptable for students who choose to study with non-Grand Valley led programs. There is also a wide variety of scholarships and grants students have access to in order to lower their trip cost. 

“This opportunity really is for everyone,” Myers-Smith said. “This is not just for students who have parents who can contribute financially to their education, this is also for students who rely completely on financial aid in order to even be here at the university.” 

While studying abroad, students can explore the culture’s issues, global perspectives and general education, as well as foundation requirements including history or art. Students also have the opportunity to fulfill internship requirements.

“Students can do some double dipping (with general education courses) and sometimes the requirements in Allendale don’t exist when you go abroad,” Myers-Smith said. “For example, you don’t have to be in junior standing in order to fill your issues requirements when you are studying abroad.” 

After completing one semester at GVSU, students can apply to study abroad if they have maintained a GPA of 2.5 or higher. Study abroad trips can last from as little as two weeks in the summer or up to a full semester. During the summer, students are required to take about six credits during the six-week summer abroad. During the fall or winter semesters, or the entire academic year, students are required to be full time students, taking 12 to 15 credits. 

Open advising is available in the study abroad office as well as applications for students considering studying abroad. 

“We really encourage every major, even if students are undecided, to visit the fair and to come to our office. They can talk to us about how they can fit study abroad into their GV career,” Myers-Smith said.