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Growth in Study Abroad Shows No Sign of Subsiding

Growth in Study Abroad Shows No Sign of Subsiding

The second successful Study Abroad Fair of the 2012-2013 academic year, held February 6th, demonstrated that momentum of growth in international education programs at WKU continues to build. With a record spring fair attendance of over 360 students, the lobby of Mass Media and Technology Hall stayed in constant motion for the duration of the event, described by one provider representative as “the best winter fair I’ve attended this year.” Others commented that the level of interest of students who visited their tables was notably higher than in the previous semester.

The Office of Study Abroad and Global Learning (SAGL) hosts a Study Abroad Fair each semester with the goal of presenting students with an array of options, ranging from short-term study abroad courses to internships and semester or year-long programs. So far, recruiting efforts have produced encouraging results: current study abroad enrollment numbers are up 10% from last year. The Study Abroad Office is working with faculty and providers to continue that trend into the summer and fall terms. Increasingly, students are recognizing the benefit of enhancing their education through “international reach.”

The bi-annual Study Abroad Fair is considered one of the most important recruiting tools for study abroad programs. While student attendance is the primary measure of the fair’s success, the event also depends upon the support and participation of the many program representatives who set up info tables and spend time in conversation with students. Participants of this semester’s fair include WKU Faculty-Led program leaders, supported by DELO Study Away, as well as other popular study abroad providers like KIIS, Harlaxton, ISA, and Semester at Sea, to mention only a few.

Students were encouraged to apply for financial support through various university scholarship funds as well as external sources such as the Gilman Scholarship. The SAGL Office, which provides the largest amount of funding toward study abroad of any WKU campus unit, hopes to continue building its World Topper Scholarship fund. The application deadline for the award is March 8, 2013. Students were also reminded about scholarships from DELO Faculty-Led Study Abroad, SGA, the Honors College and academic departments.

Each student who attended the fair had the opportunity to enter a drawing for a study abroad scholarship worth $250 toward a short-term program or $500 toward a semester or year abroad. The winners were Kelsey Wilson, a sophomore from Crestwood, KY majoring in Elementary Education, and Ellen Vice, a sophomore from Flemingsburg, KY majoring in Biology with an emphasis in Pre-dental. Ten other students were selected to win t-shirts and study abroad red towels. The scholarship winners have not yet selected a specific study abroad program.

Throughout the rest of the year, the Study Abroad and Global Learning Office will continue to host events and help all students who are interested in adding a life-changing international experience to their academic resume.

For more information on how to study abroad, please contact the SAGL Office at study.abroad@wku.edu, or call 270-745-5334.

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