BYU’s David M. Kennedy Center hosted its annual Study Abroad Fair in the Garden Court of the Wilkinson Student Center at the beginning of the Winter 2015 Semester.
Professors, students and BYU alumni were stationed in booths representing various countries. Students received information regarding costs, available programs and experiences from former students.
Membership in the program during 2014 reached an all-time high of more than 3,000 students attending 140 different programs in 50 countries.
“Traveling outside the United States is something that gives you a better perspective of your own country,” said Timothy Lynn Elliott, director of the Study Abroad program.
BYU’s Study Abroad program functions similarly to a semester of classes on BYU’s campus. Most programs last the entire semester and can range from topics such as environment, ecology and geology to business and architecture.
Elliott said there are three main goals for the program. The first is for “students to understand different cultures. We think there is academic and intellectual value to that. We want to articulate the differences in our own culture. And we want them to gain a perspective and help the international Church.”
Costs of a semester abroad vary, but they usually compare to or are less expensive than a typical semester at BYU, according to the Kennedy Center website. Costs also include travel, housing, food and other expenses.
“BYU is truly invested in their students having a good experience,” said Lucas Patton Jones, a senior from Athens, Georgia, majoring in French. Jones has completed three study abroad programs during his time at BYU. “If students really want to go, they can make it happen,” Jones said.
BYU offers numerous methods of financial aid through scholarships and grants. More information can be found on the website’s FAQ page.
“If students really want to go, they can make it happen. I’ve lived abroad, I’ve worked abroad, and it was cheaper for me to do that than be here,” Jones said.
The Kennedy Center celebrated its 30th anniversary last year and continues in its vigorous commitment to expanding and enriching the experience through new countries, new fields of study and internships.
A complete list of available programs can be found on the website at www.kennedy.byu.edu/isp.