Global Opportunities Expo highlights UAA study abroad programs

Students studied in the Czech Republic through UAA’s study abroad program. (Photo courtesy of the Office of International Affairs)

Students studied in the Czech Republic through UAA’s study abroad program. (Photo courtesy of the Office of International Affairs)

Whether it is two weeks in the Galapagos Islands, a summer course in Morocco or a semester in New Zealand, the UAA study abroad programs are as diverse as the 55 countries they are offered in.

The Office of International Affairs will host the Global Opportunities Expo on Feb. 13. Students can ask questions about the programs offered and compare options. The Language Department and Heifer International will be there, among other organizations.

Studying abroad may sound extravagant and exclusive to some, but it is an opportunity open to all students.

“If a student is a U.S. citizen who has filled out the FASFA Pell Grant, they are eligible for the Gilman International Scholarship for up to $5,000,” Leslie Tuovinen, interim director of the office of International Affairs said.  “With that kind of funding, why wouldn’t you consider it?”

The scholarship could be good for an additional $3,000 as well.

The first step a student needs to do is talk with their academic advisor to see what options are available. Though your particular degree might not seem relevant to study abroad programs, there are still opportunities.

Tuovinen said that if you are in welding or dental hygene for example, you might not find those kinds of classes abroad. However, she urges students to think about the diversity of Alaska and how there are over 90 languages spoken. It would be a great opportunity to learn more about your future clients’ languages and cultures.

Dorn Van Dommelen, department chair and professor for geography and environmental studies, said that when he took a group to China in 2010, students felt humbled to view life in rural villages. Van Dommelen is also the director of International Studies.

Alyssa Bish, international studies and history major recalled her experiences while studying abroad in Scotland.

Bish will never forget the tour she took of the Scottish highlands.

“The group was trekking around the glen to some castle ruins, and a brisk wind suddenly whipped by and blew the back of our Scottish tour guide’s kilt up to reveal a full moon,” Bish said. “Everyone pretty much died laughing, and he had just the right personality to joke about it for the remainder of the weekend.”

Tuovinen encourages anyone interested in learning more about studying abroad to stop by the office of International Affairs at the Rasmuson Hall, suite 115.

Tuovinen said almost all the students who studied abroad came back with the same response: “Okay, where can I go next? I’m hooked!”


For more information on the Global Opportunities Expo, visit the office of International Affair’s webpage on the main UAA website. 

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