Study Abroad Fair to offer students a world of opportunity


Jordyn DuBois/Iowa State Daily

Lucas Palm, then-junior in event management, learns about the different study abroad opportunities available through Iowa State at the Study Abroad Fair on Jan. 24 in the Great Hall of the Memorial Union. Iowa State offers over 700 different and unique study abroad opportunities during all times of the year. 

Sage Smith

Iowa State students can plan their study abroad trip, apply for a U.S. passport, learn about possible study abroad scholarships and more at the Fall 2019 Study Abroad Fair.

The Study Abroad Fair will be from 10:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Thursday in the Great Hall of the Memorial Union.

Mia Masterpole, study abroad care adviser and senior in Global Resource Systems, said there is a Study Abroad Fair every semester but students are encouraged to attend the fall semester fair.

Most students study abroad in the spring, so researching and gathering study abroad information as soon as possible will help them when planning to study abroad.

“Come to the fair and ask around; it never hurts to get too much information by asking questions because no question is a stupid question when it comes to studying abroad,” Masterpole said. “Every person there is basically an expert in whatever program or location; they’re more than happy to help. Also, checking out the study abroad website is a really good resource for students.”

All students are welcome to attend the fair, whether they have already started their research or are slowly exploring the idea of studying abroad. It is a good idea for students to research different programs beforehand and prepare questions to ask when at the fair so they can get the most out of their Study Abroad Fair experience.

“It really helps to have kind of an idea of where you want to go or just figure out what class you’d like to take,” Masterpole said. “It really helps us figure out, if you want to go to Italy, we can do our very best to help fit whatever major you are, whatever classes you need, to help it work for Italy, so it kind of helps to have an idea of where you want to go but we welcome everybody.”

Not only can students explore their study abroad options at the fair, but there will also be a table set up to help students figure out the U.S. passport application process. Students can ask questions about passports and have the opportunity to apply for one right at the fair.

Masterpole said this year the Study Abroad Center has been working with a variety of outreach programs and programs affiliated with Iowa State. This adds more perspectives and resources for students to have access to.

“So not only are we pushing programs that Iowa State does directly, we’re also really giving a lot of exposure to affiliate programs that we work through as well to give students more options for locations and different countries,” Masterpole said.

A common thought people have is that studying abroad isn’t a realistic option during their college years. Masterpole said people often think studying abroad won’t fit with their four year plan or they have affordability concerns.

“We’re really trying to change that dialogue and push out that study abroad is for everyone,” Masterpole said. “[…] so just don’t be afraid to take a look out and see what would work for you.”

The Study Abroad Fair will guide students through the planning process and provide information for any questions they may have. This fair can be the first step for students to accomplish their wish of studying abroad.

The students that work in the Study Abroad Center have all studied abroad themselves, so the Study Abroad Center, located in 6563 Memorial Union, is another great way for students to find more information about studying abroad and hear the experiences of other students.