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Study Abroad Fair presents wide-ranging international opportunities

| Thursday, September 14, 2017

On Wednesday night, hundreds of students gathered in the ballroom at the Morris Inn to explore different study abroad programs offered by Notre Dame International and discuss these opportunities with representatives.  

The fair was particularly crucial for freshmen and sophomores interested in participating in study abroad.  Students looking to study abroad for a full semester during the 2018-2019 school year face an application deadline in mid-November, while those seeking out programs for Summer 2018 can wait until February.

One new opportunity available this year is at the National University of Ireland in Galway, on Ireland’s west coast. This program presents an alternative to the Dublin program, one of the most popular destinations among Notre Dame students.

A student speaks with a program representative at the Study Abroad Fair. The event, held in the Morris Inn Ballroom, aims to introduce students to various different study abroad programs.Zachary Yim | The Observer

A student speaks with a program representative at the Study Abroad Fair. The event, held in the Morris Inn Ballroom on Wednesday evening, aims to introduce students to various different study abroad programs.

Additionally, new academic directors were named for two of Notre Dame’s Global Gateways over the summer, according to the Notre Dame International website.  Heather Hyde Minor was hired to fill the position at the University’s hub in Rome, while JoAnn DellaNeva was named to position in London’s program.

Silvia Dall’Olio, executive director of Rome’s Global Gateway, is currently overseeing the student activities and services section of the program.  For her, intercultural learning is a particularly necessary part of study abroad programs.

“We are building a living and learning community, in which what happens in the classroom, in the residences and in the city is all interconnected,” she said.

Many students look to perfect their language skills through immersion abroad.  Several full-semester programs only have courses in the native tongue of the country.

“They get you to comprehend the applications of the language, and get you to think in the language, which is important to become fluent,” sophomore Liam Schmitt, who hopes to study in Beijing during the spring of his junior year, said.

Hong Zhu, associate director of study abroad, is overseeing programs in Beijing, Shanghai and Hong Kong that offer courses in the native tongue.

“Language is so much associated with the culture itself, and when you are in China especially, you understand the culture while you learn the language at the same time,” Zhu said.

Not only did the fair introduce students to study abroad programs, but it also publicized opportunities for international internships, research and service through various University centers and institutes.

Many of these opportunities are available through the Flatley Center for Undergraduate Scholarly Engagement (CUSE), but other international institutes offer similar programs based in specific regions.

Study Abroad director Kathleen Opel emphasized the advantages these opportunities can offer.

“[They] build your portfolio as a person, your global citizenship and your ability to relate to people from different places,” she said.

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