On October 30th, I attended the Office of Education Abroad Study Abroad Fair in the Bartley Atrium. From the moment I walked in, I was surprised to see tables lined up on either side of the atrium, snaking all the way through and into the adjacent room. Bartley was a buzz like I’d never seen it before. I knew before attending this event that study abroad was something I wanted to experience at Villanova. However, beyond that, I had little to no idea about the numerous programs and opportunities that were available. I quickly started talking to any open table I could and soon realized just how exciting these programs were.
After talking to some of the representatives from the different programs, I was astonished to learn not just how many places there were to travel, but also the incredible diversity of experience offered by the programs. I was most surprised to learn that one of the programs offered was an entire semester at sea. This program offered research in the waters of over 50 countries as well as up to 18 transferable credits. While spending an entire semester at sea isn’t quite my forte, there were many different types of programs with a wide variety lengths and purposes that even if studying abroad is not for you, coming to this event, and talking to the representatives is still completely worth it. More likely than not, at least one of the programs will surprise you and be something that you could envision yourself enjoying.
One of the only problems I faced at this event was that there were so many options through so many organizations that it was hard to zero in on one or two programs that were something I could see myself participating in down the road. Coming into the event, I knew I wanted to study in Italy, and this was something that helped me filter through all the programs. I recommend this strategy because if someone were to go into this event blind, it can be a little overwhelming and could lead to getting sidetracked by programs that don’t suit the person well. With this filter in mind, I was able to find a program in Florence through the Syracuse Abroad Center that I could see myself loving in the future. As a business student, learning more about the summer abroad program at the London School of Economics was very impressing and should be something every business school student takes the time to learn about.
Going to this event solidified my desire to study abroad this summer, and shortly after the event, I finished my application for the Learning Communities Sumer London Program and was excepted into the program. I never thought I would be doing a program like this the summer after my freshman year, but this event inspired me to take action on my study abroad goals. Anyone who is intrigued by the idea of studying abroad would find tremendous value in attending this event, but if you can’t make it, at least check out this link, showing all the study abroad opportunities available at Villanova: https://www1.villanova.edu/villanova/provost/abroad/findprogram.html