New opportunities aboard

KATIE BAUGHMAN, Campus Life Editor

Five hundred and fifty students went to the Maucker Union Ballrooms Wednesday afternoon for UNI Study Abroad’s International Opportunities Fair, which is held each semester. Students who attended international programs spoke of their experience to interested attendees as they walked by and viewed their displays.

Door prizes were provided in the form of a fake passport; if students got a stamp from each booth, they were entered into a drawing for various scholarships from study abroad and small prizes. The purpose of the fair was to show students how they can study abroad throughout college.

There were many different programs showcased in the ballroom, as well as participation from other organizations on campus like Conversation Partners from the Cultural Intensive English Program, UNI Financial Aid, Camp Adventure, World Endeavors and UNI International Student Teaching.

A few of the programs on display included capstones in New Zealand or the United Kingdom, Biology and Psychology Research in Taiwan, Semester in Australia, Field Biology on the Galapagos and many more. Programs can range from academic year, semester programs, summer schools or short-term instructor-led programs.

The International Opportunities fair was also a chance for new programs to make their debut. Field Biology on the Galapagos in Ecuador, Cuba: Past, Present, and Future and Literary and Cultural Perspectives in Barcelona in Spain are a few new programs that will be taking place in the summer of 2016.

Bart Bergquist, professor of biology at UNI, will be an instructor for a new summer program titled Alternative Energies Capstone in Iceland and Denmark. The focus of the trip is for students to learn about the alternative energies and sustainability practices the two countries are using, such as geothermal, solar, wind and bio-based fuels. Students will also experience the perks of two countries connected to the sea and how that affects their history.

“We will visit key sites related to alternative energy along with the Energy Academy on Samso Island, Denmark. Samso is a model for carbon-free energy production,” Bergquist said. “We also plan to visit Iceland’s geothermally heated swimming locals, geothermal ‘displays’ and by contrast glacial areas.”

Paula Van Zee, director of Study Abroad Center, discussed the number of opportunities students have to go abroad.

“We have over 50 programs in almost 30 countries around the world,” said Van Zee. “80 percent of programs offer courses in English.”

With so many programs available, a number have emerged as popular choices for students to enroll in. The locations of the most popular long-term trips, according to Van Zee, included Chile, South Africa, and a number of European countries. In terms of short-term programs, New Zealand, Galapagos, Ecuador, Brazil and European countries sparked the most interest and were highly visited locations.

Amanda Schueller, senior English education major, participated in the London and Paris capstone of summer 2015. She recommended students go on a study abroad trip.

“It was very much so out of my comfort zone,” said Schueller. “But I think it’s a great opportunity to experience other cultures and expand your horizons a little bit.”

For more information about available study abroad opportunities, students can visit the study abroad website and refer to the programs tab. Another International Opportunities Fair will be held next semester as well.