6 things I learned at the Study Abroad Fair

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Studying abroad inspires spontaneous thumb wars with photographers

For some, our school is so near and dear that the idea of spending a semester off campus comes with some reluctance. Even so, studying abroad can certainly be an enlightening experience: an opportunity to develop one’s worldview through some bona fide cultural immersion and to have a great time in the process. The Study Abroad Fair held yesterday by the Brown Office of International Programs (OIP) offered Brown students a sample of those delights, as well as information on specific programs available to students. For those who couldn’t make it over to Simmons Quad, here are a few take-aways that I think you’ll find helpful:

1. Talk to Ned! I learned this one very quickly. Ned Quigley, Associate Director of the OIP, is incredibly approachable and knowledgable. He will help you with any questions you have about the study abroad process and will probably also resent me for distributing his e-mail address here: ned_quigley@Brown.edu. The OIP also has many other helpful advisors who will help guide you through the steps of applying to study abroad.

2. You can study abroad through Brown or through a Brown-approved program. You aren’t limited to programs facilitated directly by Brown. In fact most of the booths at the fair presented Brown-approved programs (e.g. Danish Institute for Study Abroad, Peace Corps, etc.). Additionally, if there is a program that you would like to see approved by Brown, but is not yet approved, you can submit an appeal to have your desired program approved by the Brown OIP.

3. Financial aid extends to study abroad. If you’re receiving financial aid, your full package, including scholarship aid, will transfer to your program. A study abroad advisor will also sit down with you individually and help you to come up with a budget for the trip. There will be more info sessions in October, so keep your eyes on that good old Morning Mail.

4. The credits you earn abroad can transfer to satisfy your Brown requirements. Guess what? Studying abroad doesn’t need to sidetrack you from your academic path at Brown. Representatives from the study abroad office mentioned a few times that going abroad, in their eyes, should be less of an “extra semester” kind of deal and more of an incorporated international experience. They want you to see it as another potential portion of your Brown education. The way that credits transfer and the amount of credits that you can transfer depend on your concentration. Your concentration advisor will be more helpful guiding you through this part of the study abroad process.

5. You can study abroad for a semester, a full year, or over the summer. Most people think of studying abroad as a semester-long experience, which is indeed the most common kind, but you can also pursue programs with different lengths and during different points of the year.

6. Taking a visit to the 4th floor of J. Walter Wilson will you give you some study abroad clarity. The OIP office provides you with a group of peer advisors, a resource library, and a team of professional study abroad advisors (including Ned) ready to eagerly answer your questions. Walk-ins are welcome so if you please, stop by the OIP during some downtime and check out the opportunities available to you.

Not feeling the walk to JWW? www.brown.edu/OIP might do the trick.

Buon Viaggio!

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