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The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

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Around the World [Fair] with Education Abroad

Photo by Cameron Johnson

The sign inside the education abroad office located in Pavilion Room 112.

Texas A&M welcomes students who are interested in exploring getaway options at the Education Abroad World Fair to further educational growth in an unfamiliar environment.
On Wednesday, Sept. 21, the Education Abroad World Fair will be hosted in Rudder Plaza from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. This event will allow students to talk with abroad program leaders, students who have previously explored an education abroad program and acknowledge the type of international academic options available. The website presents all the information that will benefit the needs of advising appointments, health concerns, funding and resources. 

One of the biggest obstacles students face is funding, which can lead to less consideration towards an education abroad trip. However, according to the A&M Abroad website, there are expanded options to make the trip possible for all students. 

“The thought of funding an experience abroad makes some students dismiss the opportunity altogether, assuming that it will be too expensive for their financial situation. But that’s not always true,” the website reads.

Assistant Director of Global Initiatives & Special projects for Global Engagement, Caleb Chapman said there are plenty of opportunities to gain financial aid including scholarships.
“Any abroad program that has academic credit tied to it, whether that is an A&M or transfer credit, is eligible for financial aid,” Chapman said. “There’s also a ton of local scholarships offered through Texas A&M. The Merit Aid Scholarship, Need-Based Scholarship, some outside scholarships are available as well through the federal government and the department of state.”

Information about the health and safety of all participants who plan to participate in education abroad is available on the A&M abroad website. Chapman said that there are no requirements from A&M or Education Abroad regarding COVID-19 but that is something students should look out for when planning a destination.

“Depending on the destination, if the country that you’re visiting requires record of vaccination or even if the provider that you are using may require that,” Chapman said. “It is something to look out for in the application process, those requirements will typically be listed. Most countries have ended their quarantine period, unless a student may not be able to prove that they are vaccinated, then may have to quarantine.”
Chapman said there are many skill sets gained throughout a trip abroad, which can benefit any and all student’s future careers in significant ways. 

“Students who come back from an education abroad program typically perform at a higher academic level than students who may not decide to pursue that opportunity,” Chapman said. “Upon graduation students also get jobs faster and sometimes even at a higher salary.”
Finance sophomore Victoria Garza said one of the most important things for any trip abroad is to plan ahead and stick to a schedule before the departure day. 
“I would definitely say to plan, meet with your advisor [and] just kind of get ahead of it before things settle,” Garza said. “Personally, I had to read through all the itineraries to make sure I was prepared in advance as well as making sure financially I would have enough resources to go.”

Chapman recommends students stay adaptable. There are many options that can potentially fit the criteria a student is looking for. 
“Keep an open mind,” Chapman said. “You really have to think about what your end goal is. What is the experience you are wanting to get out of it?’”
Garza said that her experience was memorable and helped her grow educationally as well. 

“I personally did this program in the summer to see how much further I wanted to go with my education abroad. I am happy to say that I am attending a spring semester abroad,” Garcia said. “I am very eager about traveling, it really helped to do a shorter program at first just to see if it is something that you would be interested in doing in the future.” 

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