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OIE study abroad fair offers new programs

Credit: Juan Fernandez/ Credit: Juan Fernandez/

Almost 60 study abroad programs and foreign colleges set up tables in the University Center last Tuesday at the annual Study Abroad Fair, allowing students to explore options of going abroad for a semester.

The fair is one of several informational events that the Office of International Education (OIE) holds each year to introduce students to study abroad programs, according to Jaycie Galbraith, the coordinator of study abroad and international programming.

“Coming here is a good and easy way to get some resources quick and sift through them later,” said Alex Kozhemiakov, a sophomore majoring in mechanical engineering.

Some students found the fair overwhelming. H&SS first-year Imaobong Essien said that there was so much information that she didn’t know when she would be able to read all of it. Emily Khaykin, a first-year in H&SS, felt the same. “It’s been very overwhelming. There are so many tables with so many different resources available to me as a student,” she said. “Luckily I can go back to my dorm and unload my bag to look at all my materials, narrow down the ones that interest me, and come back next year when I’m definitely ready.”

Some, like Khaykin, attended the fair with the intent of exploring their options and simply seeing what programs were made available through Carnegie Mellon. Other students, who already knew they would want to study abroad, went with specific plans in mind.

Katherine Basore, a sophomore chemistry major, said she specifically searched for summer abroad programs in Greece. “I’m surprised how many people actually have a summer program in Greece,” she said. She was worried, however, that the programs would not have courses related to her major.

Many students find studying abroad a worthwhile experience. John Mailley, a senior photography and graphic and communication design double major, is currently attending Carnegie Mellon as an exchange student from New Zealand; he said that studying abroad should be mandatory. “A lot of [what I learned] is people skills and independence,” he said. “Traveling by yourself is one thing, and getting here and making friends in a totally new environment, not knowing anyone, is really good to building your character.”

Christine Menand, a coordinator of study abroad programs, agreed. “I think a lot of it is the independence, creativity, and ability to network and handle yourself in a variety of manners,” she said. “I think students have the opportunity to grow so much professionally and personally.”

According to Menand and Galbraith, an increasing number of students are going abroad, and the fair has attracted more programs every year.