Flags of the world lined the walls as Montana State University students, armed with pamphlets and fliers, prepared to strike up conversations Tuesday with those considering studying abroad.
The students — who have all studied in another country — hoped to spark interest in the programs.
Rachel Matsko, a junior studying cell biology and neuroscience, attended college abroad last summer in Seville, a city in southern Spain. Tuesday was her second time talking to students at the study abroad fair about her experience overseas.
“I’ve never had as much fun and gained as much knowledge as I have during my time in Spain,” Matsko said. “Immersing yourself in another culture is the best way to learn and gain a worldly perspective.”
While the opportunity is open to all students with at least two semesters under their belt, only 3 percent of all eligible students decide to study abroad during their time at MSU.
“Ideally, it should be part of every college student’s education,” said Susan Benne, the education abroad manager. “It exposes students to a different way of life and shows them that the world is more than just black and white.”
MSU holds the study abroad fair to expose students to the programs and encourage them to take their studies to an unfamiliar environment. Students can also learn about the application process.
“Being in another country definitely increased my sense of independence,” Matsko said. “It’s definitely helped me become more driven in my studies here at MSU.”
The students were split into sections by major to show students that the opportunities to study abroad are abundant for every career path and discipline.
“Studying abroad provides students with a wider perception of the world,” Benne said. “An open mind gives them an advantage in a professional atmosphere and will help them in the workplace one day.”
To learn more about MSU’s study abroad programs, call 994-7151 or visit montana.edu/international.
Kaylee Walden can be reached at email@example.com or 582-2651.