For foodservice business management junior Tracy Garley, there’s more to the college experience at MSU than spending four years on the banks of the Red Cedar.
At the 2010 Study Abroad Fair on Thursday at the Union, Garley, along with hundreds of other students, perused the more than 150 tables representing every MSU study abroad program.
Garley said she was glad to have the opportunity to see the places she could go to experience a different environment.
“I like going to different cultures and meeting different people,” Garley said. “I feel like this is my junior year and I should go somewhere else than just staying here or doing an internship over the summer.”
Garley said she was interested in studying in China to dispel some of the rumors about the country and learn more about its people.
“With them being one of the largest countries, I would like to meet new people and see what’s out there instead of just staying in the United States,” she said.
And Garley wasn’t the only one searching for a study abroad experience. History sophomore Michael Vilona said he is interested in studying abroad, but wondered if he has the resources to go and said he will do what he can to find a way.
“I think if I could find the time and money to go, I want to go,” Vilona said. “I have to find when I could take time off from working and making money, but I think it’d be a great experience.”
Cheryl Benner, communications manager for the Office of Study Abroad, said the event is a great opportunity for students to get help on any of their study abroad inquiries.
“Getting everybody together in one spot is convenient for students to get their questions answered,” she said. “They can find a program and find out about logistics or how they can get financial aid all in one spot. If students aren’t sure how to pick the right program or how to go about searching for a program, we can help them.”
One of the many groups represented was the department of religious studies. Department representative Dan Kowalski is planning a study abroad trip to Montreal to discover some of the religious and historic aspects of the city.
He said students would be able to get a unique experience they wouldn’t be able to get by staying in the U.S.
“We’re one of the top colleges in the country for study abroad,” Kowalski said. “I would say it’s definitely something to take advantage of at MSU. It really just gives you the opportunity to get away from that textbook kind of learning and actually getting to experience a lot of things on a first hand basis.”
Benner said students have a great opportunity with the study abroad program so readily accessible to them.
“That’s what’s so unique about MSU, is that we offer all of these opportunities for students to get international experience,” she said.
“I mean, to graduate with some sort of international experience certainly sets you apart and shows that you can interact with different cultures.”
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