At Study Abroad Fair, students encounter a world of possibilities

20150929-2_Study Abroad Fair_40_IHThe Center for International Programs (CIP) at SUNY New Paltz hosted its annual fall Study Abroad Fair on Sept. 29. The fair attracted more than 500 New Paltz students to speak with CIP staff, financial aid experts, study abroad alumni and academic and career advisors about the numerous prospects for international study available through the State University of New York.

“Our annual Study Abroad Fair provides an excellent occasion for us to showcase the many international opportunities available to SUNY New Paltz Students,” said Bruce Sillner, dean of the Center for International Programs. “We are proud that approximately 22% of our students study abroad before graduation, and we feel that the interest shown at this fair indicates that even more students will take advantage of this transformational opportunity.”

Resources available to students at the Study Abroad Fair included:

  • CIP staff were on hand to talk about the more than 80 international programs available through SUNY New Paltz and options for financial aid support;
  • Staff from the Educational Opportunity Program (EOP) met with students to discuss particular resources the College offers to EOP students who are interested in opportunities abroad;
  • Career specialists from the Career Resource Center (CRC) spoke about the value of international experience in building a résumé and searching for a job;
  • Representatives from other SUNY colleges and universities came to let New Paltz students know that they are eligible to enroll in programs abroad through any SUNY institution. New Paltz students have access to more than 600 international programs in all, which they can take advantage of while remaining enrolled at New Paltz and with a guarantee that credits will apply seamlessly on their New Paltz transcripts.
  • Delegates from international partners were at the fair detailing their specific programs.
  • An official from the United States Postal Service distributed passport applications and offered to take photographs for students looking to expedite that process.

All tables were well attended by the student visitors, but none more than those populated by recent alumni of the College’s various study abroad programs, who shared first-hand accounts of their experiences and encouraged students to be bold and ambitious in thinking about international options.

“I came to New Paltz as a transfer student, and I didn’t think I’d be able to study abroad,” said Victoria Arico ’15 (International Relations). “But there are so many opportunities within the SUNY network and through SUNY New Paltz. I did a summer program in Portuguese language in Rio de Janeiro. I had done some independent study, but the immersion I got in Brazil built upon my skills so much.”

For Arico, the experience of learning abroad extended well beyond the classroom. “I was there during the World Cup,” she said. “It was so interesting to meet all of the different people who lived in the city and the tourists who came for the games. I was meeting people and having interesting conversations everywhere I went.”

Arico’s advice to students who are thinking about studying abroad: “Do it, absolutely do it!”

More information about Study Abroad at SUNY New Paltz is available online.