Editor’s note, Sept. 22, 5:15 p.m.: This story has been updated throughout.
Thinking of spending fall semester in Cape Town, springtime in Paris, or a summer in Bali? You can!
SMU’s semiannual Study Abroad Fair on Wednesday brought together students, administrators and program representatives to inspire Mustangs to expand the boundaries of their college career.
“I want to spend my whole SMU career studying abroad,” said freshman marketing major Cecilia Waigman, who attended the fair and is eager to begin the application process.
Forty students were circulating the Owen Arts Center Lobby from 11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. learning about 30 study abroad programs. The fair hosted ten study abroad program providers, two internship program representatives, and 18 SMU summer study abroad programs.
While SMU professors are only available to teach during summer study abroad sessions, there are over 148 other third party programs that offer courses to SMU students during the fall and spring semesters.
“In a semester you are on your own, you charter your own courses and become much more independent,” said Catherine Winnie, Director of Education for SMU Study Abroad.
Third party companies provide SMU-approved courses for those wishing to live and study abroad for an entire semester. With campuses in 50 countries including China, Australia and Denmark, the abroad fair allows these providers to help students find programs that best fit their interests, foreign language background, course requirements and location preference.
The School for Field Studies, for instance, offers a unique academic model and research-enriching curriculum rooted in fieldwork and community engagement. Its directed research projects enable students to design and implement their own solutions to environmental issues, and present their work to the community.
“Not only will students engage with their host communities, but they will also gain skills like critical thinking, communication, research design and leadership,” said School for Field Studies Marketing Coordinator Alyssa Irizarry, who had a booth at the fair.
SMU Students who previously studied abroad were at the fair to answer questions and shed light on their experiences.
Senior theater major Becca Rothstein has studied abroad in both London and Russia. Her time abroad enriched her understanding of theater and forced her into situations she never would have experienced otherwise.
“I found out a lot about myself – who I am as a person, how I interact with the world and how I interact with the people around me,” she said.
Perspective study abroad students understand the importance of expanding their horizons just the same.
Freshman creative computing engineer Olivia Beitelspacher has spent much of her life traveling and is currently interested in spending a semester in the UK or Spain.
“I understand the importance of living in different parts of the world,” she said. “Now I want to do it but with an academic lens.”
Representatives from SMU’s Student Financial Services were also in attendance to advise students about the financial logistics involved with studying abroad.
“It is important for students to know that there are many scholarships and financial aid options for various programs,” said Mineria Chihuanua from the Division of Enrollment Services.
To learn more about these financial services and additional abroad questions, visit abroad.smu.edu to learn more.