BLACKSBURG, Va., Sept. 2, 2009 – Virginia Tech students can learn about educational opportunities available to them on all seven continents during the annual Education Abroad Fair, Sept. 23 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. under the big tent on the Drillfield.
“We currently send about 1,100 students on credit-bearing education abroad programs every year,” said Jeremy Billetdeaux, assistant program director of Virginia Tech Education Abroad in Outreach and International Affairs.
Virginia Tech students have access to education abroad programs in more than 40 countries. “As long as a country is stable and safe, we can send students there,” Billetdeaux said. “The Education Abroad Fair gives students an idea of what is possible.”
On hand to answer questions during the fair will be Billetdeaux and other education abroad staff, leaders, and former participants of faculty-led and semester programs; representatives from colleges and departments that have their own programs; former exchange students; representatives from partner universities and non-Virginia Tech programs; and staff from the Virginia Tech Financial Aid Office.
“There are usually at least 60 programs represented at the fair,” Billetdeaux said. In addition to asking questions, students can obtain promotional materials about the various programs, including applications, brochures, pamphlets, and catalogs.
An estimated 5,000 students and faculty attended the fair in 2008.
“The event serves to create excitement and to reach the large number of students who have an interest in education abroad,” Billetdeaux said. “Some students come to the fair, find a program that’s perfect for them, and their search is over. Others will need to come to our office for more guidance before they choose a program.”
Faculty who lead study abroad programs can also benefit from participating in the fair. “Many faculty leaders manage to collect the names of enough interested students to fill up their programs for the following summer,” commented Billetdeaux.
After the fair, students should arrange to visit the education abroad office as soon as possible. “With so many education abroad options available to Virginia Tech students, it can be very confusing,” Billetdeaux added. “We are here to make sense of it all.”
For a student's perspective on study abroad, check out Maderni , an online magazine produced by communication students this summer while studying at Virginia Tech's European campus center based in Riva San Vitale, Switzerland.