Study Abroad Fair helps students find travel opportunities

Monta Reinfelde

The annual Study Abroad Fair took place on Wednesday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. in Mass Media and Technology Hall.

A large number of students attended and showed interest in traveling and got help on how to finance trips abroad.

Many WKU and international study abroad spokespeople offered information and brochures to help students choose the most desirable study abroad location in their major.

Students could choose from more than 20 countries, including Argentina, India, Italy, South Korea and many others. However, the main focus of the event was to let students know that global learning and financial help can be accessible for anyone.

Katherine Hale, WKU’s Study Abroad adviser, said that studying abroad doesn’t necessarily have to be expensive. There are a lot of options students can choose from to make their summer studies or internships abroad budget friendly.

“We have a table that provides information about student scholarships,” she said.

The WKU Registrar’s office was also at the event to answer questions about course credits, and representatives from Financial Aid were there to talk to students about scholarship opportunities.

Cheryl Kirby-Stokes, the coordinator of nationally competitive opportunities in the Office of Scholar Development, was also at the study abroad fair and offered information on various scholarships available. She said that financial help greatly varies from student to student, but there are opportunities for everyone.

“Depends on what country the student is going to,” Kirby-Stokes said. “It depends on, sometimes, where the student is from.” 

One example of this is a special scholarship for students who live in the Louisville area, Kirby-Stokes said.

“It depends on your GPA, but usually the award of these scholarships can range from $500 to $15,000,” she said.

Last year, around 550 students traveled abroad, and according to Hale, this number is about to increase this year.

Freshman Jessica Smith, who is an elementary education major, was one of the students visiting the fair. She said she wants to visit Costa Rica or Mexico to improve her Spanish. She is also aware of many financial aid opportunities she can apply for.

“I will have to look more into my opportunities, but I can get all the information here,” she said.

Those who couldn’t attend the Study Abroad Fair on Wednesday or students who need help with applying for schools and scholarships can get more information from WKU Study Abroad. The office holds an open house every Wednesday from noon to 2 p.m. and hosts various smaller scale events throughout the year.