Study Abroad Fair Heads to the Great Outdoors

2021 event includes panels, peer advising

A rep hands out literature to students at a past indoor study abroad fair

When it comes to studying abroad or away, there are literally hundreds of programs to choose from at Miami. As a result, Global Initiatives has offered both a fall and spring Study Abroad Fair for several years in order to round up as many resources as possible in one place. Usually that place is a large, crowded room, as the photo above indicates.

Along came COVID-19, and both the Fall 2020 and Spring 2021 study abroad fairs moved online, a new experience for everyone involved. With a theme of #FindYourPlace, students were encouraged to plan ahead for the time when study abroad programs would safely resume.

And this fall, you can #FindYourPlace at the study abroad fair in yet another new location: the great outdoors.

New Location, New Offerings

Scheduled for Monday, September 27 from 4-7 pm, the 2021 Study Abroad Fair will be held outdoors at MacCracken quad. As in past years, the fair will include information tables with representatives for Education Abroad scholarships and global internships, plus more than a dozen Miami faculty-led program directors. Third-party program providers in attendance include AIFS, Arcadia, CEA, DIS, IES, ISA-TEAN,SAI, and the University of Nicosia.

Director of Education Abroad Ryan Dye explained that the original plan was to resume holding the 2021 study fair indoors. In fact, he wanted to expand it into more of a professional conference, with opportunites to attend panel discussions conducted by program providers.

When COVID restrictions were announced by the university during the summer, he and his team decided to move the fair outside, but to also offer indoor panel sessions as originally planned. (See the schedule at right.)

And although Dye is confident that sunny skies will prevail on September 27, the Shriver Center Dolibois Rooms are on reserve in case of inclement weather.

Peer Advising Available

Education Abroad advisors can meet with students in-person or virtually, offering both drop-in hours and scheduled appointments. But sometimes connecting with a student who has already completed a study abroad experience can lend additional perspective. This fall, seven Study Abroad Ambassadors will expand their outreach to serve as peer advisors. Their first big event will be the study abroad fair.

Study Abroad Fair

Monday, September 27, 2021

4-7 pm | MacCracken Quad
Rain Location: Shriver Dolibois Rooms

Panels begin at 4:30 pm, MacMillan 114


4:30-5:15 pm: International Internships and Career Exploration
CEA Study Abroad, ISA/TEAN, SAI

5:30-5:50 pm: Making the Most of Your Time Abroad on a Budget
IES Abroad, AIFS

6:00-6:20 pm: Disability Accommodations Abroad
DIS Study Abroad in Scandinavia

6:30-6:50 pm: Cultural Understanding and Adaptation
University of Nicosia Global Semesters, Arcadia University College of Global Studies

Michael Whidden with gardens in background during study abroad in Europe

Michael Whidden

Students have many questions about studying abroad in the age of COVID, and junior peer advisor Michael Whidden, who studied at Miami's Luxembourg campus (MUDEC) in Spring 2021, has firsthand experience to share. "Whatever your inhibitions are for going abroad, I promise they can be resolved, and you will not regret it," he said. "The study abroad fair is a perfect opportunity to ask questions and obtain information. You will hear from other students that studied abroad and can share useful tips for making your time there as worry-free as possible."

Angel stands in front of the sea during her study abroad in Europe

Angel Schlotterback

Fellow MUDEC-alum and peer advisor Angel Schlotterback emphasized the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity that study abroad represents. "Studying abroad is one of the only times in your life where you will have the opportunity to live in another country for a short or long period of time. The skills you learn abroad are absolutely invaluable and set you up for success in your future career and your life," she said.

Whidden agrees. "Whether it be to immerse oneself in a new culture, learn a new language, visit iconic locations, or to simply seek adventure, studying abroad is the perfect opportunity. If you’re looking to form unforgettable memories, gain unique experience that will set you apart, or branch outside of your comfort zone, now is the time."

Smiling group of MUDEC students

Photo credit:
Angel Schlotterback

Silhouetted view of Michael in Europe

Photo credit:
Michael Whidden

Angel and friends at a cooking event

Photo credit:
Angel Schlotterback

MUDEC students visiting Switzerland

Photo credit:
Angel Schlotterback

Planning Ahead

Although Dye and his staff are busy getting ready for the upcoming event, they are also looking ahead to spring, when they will offer another, smaller study abroad fair—format TBD. Much like choosing a study abroad program, it's never too early to start planning.

Both Whidden and Schlotterback urge first and second year students in particular to use the study abroad fair to plan their long-term goals. "Make the study abroad fair a priority," said Whidden. Schlotterback added, "The study abroad fair is a great opportunity to expose yourself to all the different options out there—which is a lot. It also gets you excited about studying abroad so that you can start figuring out where it will fit into your four years."