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OIP Hosts Annual Study Abroad Fair

For The Heights

Published: Thursday, September 19, 2013

Updated: Thursday, September 19, 2013 02:09

conte

Jennifer Bishop \ For The Heights

Conte Forum took on an international character the evening of Wednesday, Sept. 18, as students visited Conte Forum for the annual Study Abroad Fair. The session provided a chance for students to learn more about the opportunities for studying abroad available to them.

Representatives from the various academic programs, BC’s Office of International Programs (OIP), the Scholarship and Fellowships department, and programs for obtaining passports, were on hand to answer questions.

Justyna Jochym, a representative of Jagiellonian University in Poland, had been at the Study Abroad Fair last year as well as this year to discuss the programs available to students at the University. Jochym remarked that the student body at Boston College is generally very enthusiastic about studying abroad.

“Since we’ve been coming here, we’ve been getting a lot of interest from Boston College students,” Jochym said. “It’s quite the event.”
Jochym described the available programs at Jagiellonian University, mainly of interest for students interested in political science and the humanities. Next year, she said, there will be a program on the Holocaust and Totalitarian Systems. Jochym said that the fair is a good way to tell students about available programs.

“We have a lot of personal contact with students,” Jochym said. “It lets us close in on that distance that students experience looking on the web.”
Michelle Teague, A&S ’14, visited the University of Queensland in Bisbon, Australia for a semester in the International House.

“Definitely go to the University of Queensland,” Teague said. “That’s the best advice I’ve ever given.” As to the highlights of her trip, she cited the people she met. “Being in the International House, we made so many friends both from Australia and all over the world.”
According to Teague, studying abroad was possible for her even as a biology major.

“It’s totally feasible,” Teague said. “I didn’t even have to take summer classes. All you have to do is plan ahead.”
As a student visiting the fair for information, Eric Coen, A&S ’16, already had some ideas in mind about where he might want to travel. He visited the tables for programs abroad in France and Ireland, countries he said he is deciding about visiting. For Coen, the Study Abroad Fair was a good way for him to get more information quickly.

“I’m just grabbing my preferences, seeing what programs they have,” Coen said. “It makes it so much easier, instead of going to the office. You can just see everything all laid out.”
JoAnn Lopez, a Graduate Assistant for Scholarships and Fellowships at OIP and liason to the Montserrat Coalition, was available to discuss some of the options for financial assistance that students can apply for in order to help studying abroad. According to Lopez, students can visit the OIP in Hovey House and meet with staff for more information about available scholarships.

“Study abroad is definitely affordable,” Lopez said. “We try to work with students as best as we can to make sure they can finance their trip abroad. We really try to make sure students have access to study abroad and expand their horizons.”  Lopez also suggested that students visit the OIP web page for more information about the opportunities for financial assistance.

The OIP reports that almost half of BC students study abroad before graduating, and over 1,000 students go abroad every academic year. More that 30 countries are available for study, with both BC and external programs offered to students. More information about BC semester and academic year programs abroad, external programs, summer programs, and international exchange programs is available in the Hovey House or at the OIP website. Students can also email the OIP at oip@bc.edu.

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