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Fair encourages students to study abroad

By Marcus Torrey

Oct. 6, 2010 2:08 a.m.

The allure of exotic and foreign lands drew in a large crowd of students Tuesday during the 24th annual study abroad fair.

Conducted by UCLA’s International Education Office, the fair presented students with information on various programs offered by UCLA and outside sources for abroad curriculums.

Sergio Broderick-Villa, associate director for study abroad at the International Education Office, said the fair is meant to expose the idea of studying abroad to those who may have never considered it.

In fact, Broderick-Villa said it is those people who have never considered studying abroad that should begin to mull over the idea.

“There are advantages simply beyond the academia or the travel (aspects),” he said. “It’s an experience where you learn about yourself and other parts of the world.”

Third-year anthropology and Spanish student Dani Moore echoed Broderick-Villa’s sentiments with her own experience.

She said being abroad immersed herself in a foreign culture in a way that could not be accomplished in one’s home country.

Moore, who is currently studying abroad in Spain through the UC Education Abroad Program, is not someone who needed convincing. She said the idea of travelling and learning a foreign language drew her in from the start.

And while Moore’s urge to study overseas is not entirely academically fueled, Becca Holt’s is.
The second-year international development studies student, who attended the fair, said she thinks she is obligated to travel abroad because of her field of study.

Although Holt said she is not sure exactly where she wants to go, she would like to get more experience under her belt, preferably outside of the U.S.

While Moore advocates the positive experiences of studying abroad, some students might be hesitant to study abroad, especially in European countries, following this week’s travel alert from the U.S. State Department.

The alert comes after U.S. officials received intelligence that terrorist organizations are possibly planning to continue attacks.

But Moore said that before departure, regardless of alerts, EAP officials stress safety and offer precautionary tips on how to stay out of danger while abroad.

While Broderick-Villa said he understands why some might not think studying abroad is for them, he stressed that with the correct preplanning, students could make progress on their degrees.

He added that if anyone interested is worried about the price tag, a student’s financial aid will generally follow them abroad.

EAP currently caters to more than a dozen academic disciplines, including engineering, biological sciences and English. The program also takes students to more than 30 different countries, such as Tanzania, Australia and Japan, throughout the academic year and summer.

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