Fair provides off-campus study info

Students+explore+their+off-campus+study+options+at+the+Global+Opportunities+Fair.+Photos+by+Scott+Lew.

Students explore their off-campus study options at the Global Opportunities Fair. Photos by Scott Lew.

Shreyas Karki

On Tuesday, students held stacks of multi-colored off-campus study packets and walked around wide-eyed at the 2019 Global Opportunities Fair, a nexus for information about study-abroad programs. 

“Our partners have come from across the United States,” said Alicia Stanley, Director of Off-Campus Study. “I know as much as I can know about the programs we offer here at Grinnell–and some of the alternative options–but we’ve got the experts here today.”

The fair had representatives from IES, SIT, Bates, Middlebury and more come from across the United States to disseminate knowledge to students.

“It’s an easy one-stop place to get all the information students need,” Susan Hansen, a representative from IES, said. As one of the biggest study-abroad groups, she manned a table that could’ve been a map of the world; programs in Asia, Europe, Latin America, and Africa were displayed out on a royal blue tablecloth. 

 After a few questions, she could help students select a program suited to their needs. “I’ve talked to first year students who are exploring their options,” she said. “And students who are already planning to go abroad and have very specific questions.”

“Beyond the first years, I reached out to the second years, who, if they are choosing between two or three or ten different options, can compare and contrast,” Stanley said. “And I also reached out to third years who are going abroad in the spring [of] 2020, so if they had questions about getting a student visa or what their housing is going to be like, they can come and learn firsthand. I also reached out to returnees … this is a great time for them to share their experiences.”

She paused for a second. “I tried to get everyone to come.”

Judging from the fact that some programs had empty stands where packets should be, she succeeded. First and second years were especially abundant. The former group splashed around, bouncing from table to table, as the vague silhouette of their third or fourth year took form.

“It was a little bit overwhelming honestly,” said Emma Walsh ’23. “I learned that there was a lot of options in Grinnell and a lot of different programs and places you can go. But I’m excited.”

Even students more intentional about their options kept an open mind.

“I knew I was going to go into it kind of looking for French programs,” said Addison Davis ’22. “But I also wanted to see what else was here, so this was a really good place to be.”