Students who have lived the experience of studying abroad agree that an exchange is not only once in a lifetime, but that it is a lifetime in a matter of months. The Study Abroad Expo, which will take place on February 1 at the Student Union Building atrium from 11:00 a.m. to 4.30 p.m., will be an opportunity for UFV students to discover more about the options available to them to complete a part of their education in other countries.
“They will learn more about studying abroad, about how it works,” said study abroad coordinator Jag Deol, one of the organizers of the event. “Sometimes, students have a lot of questions and there’s a lot of misconception as well.”
“We want to clear those misconceptions up, we want to let students know about the wonderful opportunities they have to study abroad, explain how the program works and how they can gain one full scholarship as well. We have scholarships that go up to $5,000,” Deol stated. “It’s basically giving students options and information about where they can go, the costs, the procedure to apply, and allowing them to connect with students from different countries and universities.”
The event will run with the participation of exchange students from some of UFV’s partner universities, international staff, and with UFV students who have lived this experience.
“I have decided to encourage Canadian people to go to other countries, and to my university in Lille, in France, in particular,” said Solène Gautreau, an exchange student from the university Sciences Po Lille who is at UFV studying political science. “I hope they will learn more about it and they will be motivated to come because it is a really good opportunity.”
For Gautreau, studying abroad has been the best experience of her life.
“There are only positive things: you discover a new culture, you travel, you learn a new language,” she said. “It broadens your perspective, you meet new people from many different backgrounds, and I think it makes you more tolerant.”
In addition, research has proved that students who have done an exchange program are more likely to find a job, to adapt to diverse work environments, and to have higher salaries than those that have not. The Erasmus Impact Study pointed out that the unemployment rate five years after graduation in those who studied or trained abroad is 23 per cent lower.
The Study Abroad Expo will take place in the Student Union Building’s atrium on February 1, offering students the opportunity to learn not only through books and classes, but also through experiences.