The Center for International Studies hosted this semester’s Study Abroad Fair Sept. 27 in the Center for Academic Success (CAS) Atrium. The fair provided students with information and the opportunity to speak with representatives from the various study abroad programs students can take advantage of at Kean.
The study abroad programs featured were a mixture of Kean’s specific programs as well as private providers. Katsume Kishida, the managing assistant director of the Center for International Studies (CIS), said that the school has built up a network with these organizations over the years in order to provide students with the best study abroad experience possible.
As the office at Kean designated to helping students get an education overseas, Center for International Studies emphasizes the fair every semester, making sure that students know the depth of opportunities available to them.
“All the students that go and study abroad come back a new person. We as the International Studies Office are really going to help them succeed in their study abroad program,” Kishida said.
One of the programs present at this fair and the most popular study abroad option at this school was Wenzhou Kean, the sister school Kean owns in China. The student transfer between these two schools is easily facilitated, as every student has the ability to take the exact same classes at Wenzhou Kean at no extra cost from their regular tuition.
Maggie Tianny, a native to China who started college at the Wenzhou campus before transferring to the Union campus, said she initially transferred to get out of her comfort zone and ended up enjoying her experience abroad so much that she decided to stay for a whole year instead of the single semester. She urges any student do the same as she did, as the benefits outweigh all of the unknowns of moving to a foreign country.
“I think the different cultures are very interesting because we have a Kean student transfer to Wenzhou, and we were getting along well with them. We wanted to experience their life,” Tianny said.
One of the private programs represented at the fair was AFS Next, which is dedicated to giving any adult over the age of 18 an abroad experience. They do not limit their participants to just studying as they also offer interning, volunteering and teaching opportunities. These trips can be taken for semesters, summers and even a certain amount of weeks.
Another program is The Education Abroad Network (TEAN). This program was founded 21 years ago by two American college students who went to Australia for a semester and, upon returning, decided that they wanted to start their own company and give other students a similar experience. They specialize in sending students to countries in the Asia-Pacific region and allow them to study or intern for both full semesters and summers.
Academic Programs International (API) is another private organization that offers abroad experiences for either a semester, quarter, year, summer or a short-term period. With this program, students can study, intern and serve in 21 countries. Similarly, the private service ISA allows students to intern and study for semester, year and summer periods in 32 countries. They also try to include various excursions in the students’ time abroad, so their time in foreign countries is well-rounded with a cultural aspect.
CIS Abroad is another private company that attended the fair. Zachary Macinnes, the Northeast regional director of CIS Abroad, said that they focus on making studying abroad attainable for every student.
“Here at CIS we believe that every student regardless of major should be able to study abroad, whether it’s for a semester, for a summer, for a January term or an internship,” Macinnes said.
Based on where they travel, they try to include extra trips within the trip in general so that their clients don’t miss out on seeing acclaimed cities and landmarks. For example, a trip to Scotland is included for any student staying in London and a trip to the Great Barrier Reef is included for any student staying in Australia.
AIFS is a comprehensive study abroad program that tabled at the fair as well. Ethan Reiss, a student at Kean, attended alongside AIFS in order to tell prospective students about his time studying in Florence, Italy through the company. After spending a portion of his college education in this city, Reiss said he would encourage any student to abandon the familiar.
“Don’t think about it or hesitate. Just do it because you may never have an opportunity to do it again later in your life,” Reiss said.
His foreign education experience didn’t end in Florence, Italy however. He also went abroad through another company represented at the fair: Semester at Sea. This company, as implied by its name, allows students to simultaneously take classes and travel. Reiss said that the Semester at Sea was unique, as the ship was their classroom and they had little access to internet and social media while on board.
This resulted in a higher amount of success in class and enjoyment of the activities and places the trip presented them with. Some of the destinations they hit during the semester included Hawaii, Japan, China, Vietnam, South Africa, Morocco and Portugal.
The final private company tabling at the fair was Spanish Studies Abroad. Spanish Studies Abroad sends students to attend university in Spanish-speaking countries so they can fulfill parts of their degrees while also effectively learning the language and immersing themselves in the culture. Students don’t need to be fluent in Spanish in order to join this program. There are different levels of intensity students can opt for based on their expertise of the language and every student has access to an on-site bilingual instructor and goes through an intensive period at the start of their program. They have three locations in Spain and another three in Latin America that cater to a diverse set of majors and program lengths.
For any students who were not able to attend the Study Abroad Fair but would still like to learn about the possibility of going abroad, they can visit the Center for International Studies in CAS, Room 121, call CIS at (908) 737- 0350 or email them at firstname.lastname@example.org.