Study Abroad Fair gives students information, financial aid opportunities

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Students received information about study abroad opportunities at the study abroad fair on Tuesday. ELEONOR SEGURA / Daily Titan
Students received information about study abroad opportunities at the study abroad fair on Tuesday.

At Cal State Fullerton, students have the chance to complete their schooling on the other side of the world in Australia, on the historic streets of the United Kingdom or even set sail for a semester at sea.

The Study Abroad Fair on Tuesday gave students a chance to learn more about these programs and what they need to do to take part in them.

For the 2012-2013 academic year, 309 students studied abroad, an increase from 246 students in the previous year.

CSUF currently partners with universities in 23 countries, said Kathryn Morrissey, a Study Abroad advisor.

Morrissey spent a semester in Florence when she was in college and recommends students try to study abroad at least once.

Students have the option of going through a third-party provider, directly through CSUF or the university where they plan to study.

Students who choose a program directly through CSUF will pay regular CSU fees while studying abroad, while those choosing to go through the university of their choice will pay the fees of their school abroad.

Third-party providers set their own prices, and the cost varies depending on the provider.

Monica Del Real, 21, a sociology major, volunteered at the International Programs office table to educate students about studying abroad.

Del Real spent this past summer studying business and Portuguese at Fundação Armando Alvares Penteado in Brazil.

Del Real wanted to study in Brazil, but CSUF did not have an agreement with any universities in the country. She instead decided to go through the American Institute for Foreign Studies (AIFS), a third-party provider.

Morrissey helped guide Del Real through the application process and helped find classes that would transfer back to CSUF.

Students studied in 27 different countries last year. Four of those nations did not have any universities that have established agreements with the school.

Financial aid can help students with the cost of studying abroad as well.

As part of the program, students are able to apply for grants and scholarships that will help pay for their expenses, AIFS representative Lisa Davies said.

Del Real paid $7,100 to attend the university and obtained a $2,500 scholarship.

Del Real expects to graduate next year and encourages students to look into studying abroad.

“Sometimes you’re kind of stuck here with this American point of view, so it’s nice to go over there and see how they think,” she said. “It broadens your point of view.”

Morrissey said it is a misconception that studying abroad will delay students from graduating on time. In fact, she assists students with finding a program that meets the academic needs of students.

There are deadlines for each program, and the application process varies.

The International Programs office will help students find programs for students if CSUF does not have a direct partnership with a school.

“Regardless of what you decide to do or how you decide to go, that’s what our office is here to help you with,” Morrissey said.

Students wanting to study abroad can contact the International Programs office in UH 244.

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