When UO student Mercedes Wright first considered traveling abroad to study, she remembers all the worrisome questions that popped into her head. Where would I stay? What will life be like? How expensive will it be? Will I be safe? The list was endless.
That worry, though, turned into confidence after she attended the UO Study Abroad Fair, an annual event sponsored by Global Education Oregon, a unit within the university’s Division of Global Engagement.
This year’s Study Abroad Fair will be held from 10:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Nov. 19 in the Erb Memorial Union ballroom. Students who are exploring ways to enhance their college experience or who have plans to travel during their time at the UO are encouraged to attend the event.
Wright, a School of Journalism and Communication student with public relations major and a minor in Italian, recalled how the fair helped her establish connections that framed her decision to study abroad.
“It’s super exciting to be in a place where so many people want to see the world and travel,” she recalled. “Going to the Study Abroad Fair was great for me to see that this is where I belonged. It was where I needed to be in order to start my future in going abroad and traveling.”
Wright was able to talk to advisors about scholarships, living arrangements, and all the courses and credits she could attain. She met with coordinators from Global Education Oregon, including one who encouraged her to attend a program in Ghana.
The coordinator helped her think through where she wanted to go and develop an action plan around getting her trip set. She eventually traveled to both Italy and Ghana.
“The Study Abroad Fair solidified my decision to go abroad,” Wright said.
Lisa Calevi, assistant director of institutional relations for Global Education Oregon, said the fair serves as a one-stop place for students to gather all the information they need on the dozens of programs available.
It’s “like going to every country you’ve ever wanted to visit but without leaving the EMU,” Calevi said. “It’s like a gigantic global buffet where you can get a taste of hundreds of options.”
She said UO alumni who have studied abroad, graduated on time and established careers are on hand at the fair to share their travel stories. Other information includes a bevy of scholarship resources to pay for trips. New scholarships cover roughly $3,000 to $5,000 for students who study abroad in spring 2020.
To learn about study abroad programs, drop into the Division of Global Engagement from 1:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. Monday through Friday at Room 300W, Oregon Hall. For more information, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call the study abroad office at 541-346-3207.
—By Kavita Battan, University Communications