Study Abroad Fair brings new opportunities for students


Courtesy / Padnos International Center

Clémence Daniere, Staff Writer

This week Grand Valley State University’s Padnos International Center will be concluding their series of in-person and virtual events as part of the Study Abroad Fair. These events aim to help students with deciding whether or not they want to study abroad during their time at GVSU.

To help show students how their time abroad could benefit their degree, as well as where to fit it into their schedules, the advising center will be hosting pop-up advising sessions in Kirkhoff on Tuesday, Nov. 9 at 1:00 and Wednesday, Nov. 10 at 11:00. Advising sessions for students on the downtown campus will be held at DeVos Place on Thursday, Nov. 11 from 12:00 to 4:00. 

“Essentially, (I help) students going from thinking about studying to guiding them to an identify a right program, academically, financially, and also as far as location is concerned,” said study abroad advisor Meaghann Myers-Smith.

Students are excited to attend the event to see what the studying abroad provides to students.

“I’ve been interested in studying abroad in France for my French minor for a few years now and I cannot wait to attend sessions online to hear more about what every program has to offer for me,” said an international relations major at GVSU Eric Calhoun. 

Calhoun is interested in attending the L’Ecole Supérieure des Sciences Commerciales d’Anger (ESSA) for their summer business program, which would not only fulfill his French minor requirements but also focus on some aspects of his major. 

GVSU partners with universities around the world to be able to provide opportunities for a wide range of majors and minors. These partners will also be talking at the fair and sharing information about their schools and programs with any interested students. 

Partnership universities will be speaking with students in live sessions on Friday, Nov. 12 at 9:00 a.m. These live sessions will hold important information about the specific programs and allow students to speak more privately with qualified faculty. 

Kate Holloway, a prospective study abroad student through the International Studies Abroad program (ISA), is hoping to spend her summer of 2022 in Cusco, Peru through the Language, Literature and Culture program. She is hoping that this opportunity helps build her Spanish language skills as well as exposes her to an important culture for the language.

“I am pursuing this program over any others as it provides me with a creatively structured approach to intercultural bilingual learning while also combining plenty of excursions and exciting experiences into an academic opportunity,” said Holloway . 

To attend the fair students will need to register to live sessions for their select programs. When registered for three or more live sessions, students will automatically be entered for a chance to win a $500 voucher for their study abroad experience. 

If financial concerns are one of the main deterrents for students to apply, there will also be a meeting on Tuesday, Nov. 9 to inform students of potential fellowships and scholarships that are available to support them in their journey abroad. 

Students seeking internships abroad rather than traditional classes abroad can attend multiple sessions on Wednesday, Nov. 10 from 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. clarifying any issues about choosing a certain program and beyond. These internships apply to any major that requires an internship credit as well as other majors who can benefit from the experience. 

“High impact learning experiences like studying abroad can be really beneficial for students even if the internship is not required for their major;” Myers-Smith said. 

The study abroad opportunities provided by GVSU will not only aim to help students with their degree but also expose them to cultures and ways of life that are different from the ones they are living in now.

“I am looking forward to using my Spanish skills in a real setting with real people who can help me grow not only as a Spanish speaker but also as a person,” Holloway said.

This journey, for her, will hopefully be highly educational and personally transformative.

For more information about the fair, visit the Grand Valley website and look for the study abroad tab, or contact the office at [email protected]