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Friday, Nov 28, 2014

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Taste of Study Abroad showcases food, travel options


Editor's note: University Communications and Marketing student intern Aaron Krumheuer shares his first-person account of Taste of Study Abroad, an International Week event hosted by the Office of Study Abroad.
   
A Taste of Study Abroad may have filled my stomach, but now I'm even more hungry for international travel.

Upon walking into the fair in the Grover Center Atrium last Wednesday night, I was greeted with the colorful food and flags of over 20 countries. These cultural displays represented destinations around the world, each with programs linked to the Office of Education Abroad.

Every booth had pictures and travel information about their countries and was staffed by a helpful representative who had made a trip to the country before. There were tasty samples of international cuisine from each location, and my plan was to experience it all.

Being a Spanish student, I had been considering making a trip to Spain or South America to solidify my speaking skills and immerse myself in another culture. Although I've had my heart set on Argentina, I wanted to keep an open mind while at the fair in case I discovered somewhere interesting outside my studies. Even if you don't study a language, there are still many study abroad options for all majors.

I learned Europe is the mecca for those with an interest in fine art. There are many possibilities for art and art history in Italy and France, and if learning a new language is not your thing, there shorter trips to English-speaking London, whose biscuits were delicious. I tried queso de cabra, or goat cheese, from Spain, and found out about the Spanish program in beautiful Universidad Castilla-La Mancha in Toledo.

I ate sweet cookies from Hong Kong, and snacked on Pocky, a Japanese chocolate pretzel candy. I made my way over to a display about Ghana and sampled salty plantain chips, where I learned that students with an interest in education or humanitarian work can travel to the West African country to teach in classrooms and stay with a Ghanaian family.

The colorful Latin American displays caught my eye, and I learned I could study tropical disease in Ecuador or try my hand at Portuguese in Brazil. A trip to sunny Merida, Mexico, during winter quarter will beat the cold weather Ohio blues, and the Yucatan city is just a short bus ride to the beach. There was one program designed for physics and engineering students in Buenos Aires, Argentina, but since it's not within my field of study, the Office of Education Abroad helped connect me with other, non-OHIO programs to the country.

From what I learned at the fair, traveling abroad is more affordable and easy than I thought. The Office of Education Abroad is dedicated to helping to connect students with international experience in whatever way they can. It seems like a daunting task to plan a trip to another country, but with so many resources at OHIO to help with financing and scheduling, anyone with an interest in seeing the world can make it a reality.

For more information, visit the Office of Education Abroad at 185 Lindley Hall, or click here