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Student Opportunities Grow to Learn Abroad

These students walk through ruins in Siena Italy while participating in the "From Minoan to Modern Times" program.

Sept. 6, 2012—Students at the University of Utah have new opportunities to travel to foreign lands and enhance their educational goals as the newly reorganized and renamed Center for Learning Abroad reaches out. The first step in this process is the Learning Abroad Fair to be held at the Union Plaza on Tues., Sept. 11th from 10 am to 2 pm. Students, faculty, and staff are welcome to stop by the fair and find out what’s new.

Giveaways and prizes will be raffled off throughout the day, including a scholarship drawing, where two winners will be awarded up to $3,500 for use on any approved learning abroad program for the spring, summer, or fall 2013 semesters. Students can enter the scholarship drawing at the Center for Learning Abroad (Olpin Union room 159) through Monday.

At the fair, students can meet face-to-face with faculty directors and returned students from the Center’s many international programs and explore academic and budgetary options. Experts will offer advice on what program would fit best into each student’s academic career and how the travel can be financed. Representatives from University of Utah partner universities in other countries as far away as China, Japan, and Germany will be available to answer questions.

The renaming of the Office of International Education/Study Abroad to the Center for Learning Abroad is intended to better convey to students the enhanced academic experiences available in other countries—a chance to embark on exciting learning and cultural opportunities through partnerships with foreign government leaders, universities and private companies.

“Our goal this year is to strongly convey three primary messages to University of Utah Students. The first is that learning abroad is essential to a well-rounded college education and preparation for the new global economy,” says Mark Bean, director and associate dean of the Center for Learning Abroad. “Secondly, we want students and parents to know that with scholarships and other aid and some creative budgeting, learning abroad is financially feasible for most students. Finally, the Center for Learning Abroad has a wide variety of program options available to meet student’s academic and other goals.”

The push for a more visible role stems from the belief that students are not aware of the many international learning options that are available here at the University of Utah. The Center offers hundreds of programs in more 50 countries across the globe. They range from short-term faculty directed programs of just a few weeks, to full semester or year-long student exchanges at foreign universities.

The costs of learning abroad programs vary depending on a number of factors. Some things for students to consider include the length of the program, their destination, and the type of program they select. Students are often surprised to learn that studying abroad is not as expensive as they think. While there are additional costs associated with learning abroad programs, careful planning, financial aid and scholarships, and tuition reductions on many programs, make these experiences accessible to most students. For example, more than $262,000 in learning abroad scholarships was awarded to students last year.

For students unable to attend the fair, more information is available through regular workshops, stopping by the Center for Learning Abroad, or visiting the Center’s web page at