Study abroad fair brings new opportunities

Student stops by at tabling by World Strides. PHOTO BY ISABELLA PAREDES MENDOZA

Minqi Kong
Managing Editor for Visuals

The St. Michael’s College study abroad office held the 31st Annual Study Abroad Fair on Thursday, Jan. 26, from 5 to 7 p.m. in the lobby of the Alliot Student Center. In the fair, 14 providers set up tables for students to visit. Each table had their own program on it. This fair allowed students an opportunity to see what different kinds of options they have for studying abroad.

Peggy Imai, the director of the Study Abroad Office, said the purpose of this study abroad fair was to let more students know the college offers many opportunities through a variety of programs for students to study abroad, and encourage more students to participate. On Monday, Jan. 30, the purposeful learning office held a study abroad learning trip presentation. The vast majority of first-year students present during the presentation were not aware of the many opportunities and programs the school offers to study abroad. “We just want to reach out to people to let them know that this is something that they, too, can participate in,”said Imai.

Since the Covid-19 outbreak, according to Imai, the number of students studying abroad has fluctuated from one student studying abroad in the fall of 2020 to 30 students currently studying abroad this semester. This year students have more choices in program options as more colleges and universities abroad have reopened their doors for international students. In addition to semester-long programs, St. Michael’s students can also participate in international internship opportunities or shorter academic study trips offered by the college.

Willow Schaefer ’24 had an internship in South Korea in the summer of 2022. After the internship, Schaefer decided to return to South Korea for the spring 2023 semester to continue her studies in the field of education and expand her cultural knowledge at the same time. She said she is an avid traveler and St. Michael’s has given her an opportunity to study abroad in South Korea. “I think I will be able to truly advance my academic knowledge in Linguistics and the Korean language. I’ll also be able to submerge myself in the culture and truly learn what it means to live in South Korea,” said Schaefer.

Annabelle Farrell ’25 went to the study abroad fair and at the end of her participation, she was even more determined to study abroad. She has already applied for the AIFS Costa Rica program and after the fair she was able to submit more materials to her application. She said she would be able to get more information about the checklist and scholarship opportunities from the fair.

Lauren Welch ’25 found a lot of wonderful programs that take place from a wide variety of locations and many different options she can pursue in her majors, and was able to get in contact with many of these programs during the study abroad fair. She went to the fair to get a great opportunity to see what options were available for her. Welch said a lot of her friends are going to go on study abroad trips, and she became very interested in going on one herself. After the fair she is planning on scheduling a meeting with Peggy Imai.

“I would say that the opportunity exists for you. So check it out and take advantage of whatever opportunity makes sense for who you are today and what you want to be and do in the future,” said Imai. For the students who are interested in study abroad programs in the future, you can find more information from the official study abroad website:

Stickers offered by API Abroad, featuring the variety of places students can go. PHOTO BY ISABELLA PAREDES MENDOZA