Students took a trip around the world on Thursday without ever leaving the BYU campus.
The David M. Kennedy Center’s Study Abroad Fall Fair was held Thursday afternoon in the Marigold Quad south of the library. Students had the opportunity to visit with dozens of directors and representatives of over 50 International Study Programs that go to nearly every corner of the globe.
These programs are divided up into four types: study abroad, international internships, direct enrollment and field school.
Many students at the fair visited each booth, picked up several flyers and said a study abroad would be a dream come true. The Kennedy Center’s International Study Programs Director, Lynn Elliot, said he believes these programs give students more than just an enjoyable experience.
“BYU students should see the world, because it broadens their horizons and expands the way they think,” Elliot said.
Director of the Whitmore Global Management Center, Bruce Money, utilized a beloved BYU motto as he described why students should not pass up the opportunity to study abroad.
“If the world is our campus, then we need to get out there,” Money said. “I never get tired of watching students discover the world with these programs. It makes students better learners, better citizens, and better church leaders.”
Several students who had been on at least one BYU study abroad were present at the fair to offer advice and encouragement.
Marissa Getts, a junior studying Middle East Studies and Arabic, ran the Malawi International Development Internship booth. She said study abroad programs offer valuable insight into other cultures that is difficult to gain in a traditional classroom setting.
“A lot of our college classes are focused on ourselves, but with a study abroad, our eyes are opened to the fact that people across the globe have incredible intelligence, cultural customs, and potential that we can learn from,” Getts said.
Nicole Vance, an Art History graduate student, reminisced about the Nepal Art in the Himalayas study abroad that offers students the chance to study Buddhist and Hindu culture in Nepal, Tibet, and India.
“When I went on this study abroad, we attended a teaching by the Dalai Lama, which was incredible,” Vance said. “We also attended a prayer service for those affected by the earthquakes in Nepal.”
Many representatives discussed the strong relationships students build with their classmates and professors on these study abroad programs.
The Co-Director of the Rec Management Europe Study Abroad program, LouAnn Taniguchi, said these friendships last long after the trip has ended.
“These groups really bond,” Taniguchi said. “The students and professors still get together often, and they’re just like family.”
Comparative Arts and Letters Professor, Michael Call teaches classes for the Paris Study Abroad. He echoed the sentiment that study abroad programs offer both cultural experience and lasting relationships.
“My wife and I met at a performance of Swan Lake at an opera house on a study abroad,” Call said.
The Kennedy Center Financial Aid office was also at the Fair to answer students’ questions about how to afford a study abroad. Financial options include scholarships and grants awarded by both BYU and the International Study Programs.
Students can discover more about their dream study abroad at kennedy.byu.edu, or by visiting the Kennedy Center.