Students learn of unique opportunities at Study Abroad Fair

Oakland University students were provided information about study abroad and study away opportunities at the OU Study Abroad Fair on Sept. 21 from 11-1 p.m. in the Habitat, located in the basement of the Oakland Center.

At the event, over 20 program directors offered attendees information about their respective trips. Various student representatives also spoke about their experience participating in study abroad programs and explained ways interested individuals could get involved with programs offered through the university.

Representatives explained their program’s purpose and handed out informational materials to individuals that visited their tables. In addition to study abroad faculty leaders and partner organizations, a caricature station and refreshments were also provided for free at the event.

One booth offered information on a three-week Italian Language and Culture program. The trip, which will take place in May and June of the 2023 Summer I semester, will have students visit the beautiful Italian coastal town of Trieste.

“Students must take one semester of Italian before participating in this program,” program director Caterina Pieri said. “Participants will be able to see a beautiful part of Italy while simultaneously learning about the Italian culture.”

Another table promoted a three-week Spanish program that will take students to Segovia, Spain in May 2023. Students will spend one week in a Spanish class on OU’s campus and two weeks with a host family in Segovia.

“This program is extremely fast-paced and academically demanding,” program director Mary Hartson said. “Despite the rigorous curriculum, students will gain a wealth of cultural and linguistic knowledge by spending time exploring Spain and living with a host family.”

For students who are interested in studying abroad but do not want to leave the country, a National Student Exchange program might be a good fit. The National Student Exchange program allows OU students to attend another university for a semester while continuing their current course of study.

Alternative Spring Break (ASB), a student organization at OU, also hosted a table at the Study Abroad Fair. ASB is a service-oriented group that allows participants to travel across the country during their college spring break period to aid communities in need.

In the fall, student volunteers for ASB — called Site Leaders — partner with charitable organizations to plan service trips. On the trips, participants focus on prioritizing various service values and learning beneficial skills to bring back to OU. 

“Alternative Spring Break is a great way to meet new friends while giving back to the community,” ASB advisor Daryl Blackburn said. “Our club is so excited to send OU students to numerous site locations this upcoming spring.”

OU’s International Education Department offers over 300 programs in 45 countries. Students can visit OU’s Study Abroad webpage for more information about international study options. Additionally, individuals interested in participating in Alternative Spring Break programs can join the organization on GrizzOrgs.