Opportunities Overseas

Key Takeaways from the Study Abroad Fair

Thinking back to the frequent college information sessions that I attended back in my senior year of high school, I recall one particular question that was almost always brought up at some point by a prospective student– “Are there opportunities to travel abroad at this university?” Clearly, traveling abroad is a major interest for many college students, as the knowledge and experiences gained upon immersion in another country can greatly enrich one’s educational and personal growth. 

It was during my first visit to Villanova where I found out about the existence of the Office of Education Abroad, which oversees many overseas learning opportunities. Then, as a student, I attended the “Study Abroad Fair” on October 31st in the Bartley atrium, where I learned the specifics of the study abroad programs offered here at Villanova. 

From Buenos Aires to London to Shanghai to Sydney, the overall expanse of the programs is truly global. Furthermore, the programs are open to students of all majors, although some have competitive application processes. Some programs even offer internships, providing real-world professional experience at firms and corporations around the world. With so many options to choose from, it may be difficult to decide what you want to do– personally, I found myself stuck between the Villanova Summer Program Abroad in London, U.K. and the same program in Dublin, Ireland. As a Villanova student, you have the potential to travel and study in just about any corner of the world that interests you. Why let this opportunity go to waste? 

After strolling around the tables, grabbing flyers, reading booklets, and having conversations with program representatives, I gained a few major takeaways: 

  • If you make the decision to study abroad, be sure that it’s something you yourself want to do. Don’t spend a semester overseas just for fun or just because your friends are all doing it. 
  • While it may seem daunting to spend time overseas without friends, studying abroad is a fantastic opportunity to make new friends with fellow students on the trip and people from all around the world. Stepping outside of your comfort zone can be hard, but it’s often necessary for discovering who you are as an individual and growing as a student and personally.
  • Consider whether or not the program is sponsored by Villanova or by a third-party organization, because school-sponsored trips can have more major-relevant curriculum and automatically transfer credits. 

So, if flying out to another country to take classes, get an internship, and explore a different culture, sounds like a great way to spend a semester for you, then the “Study Abroad Fair” is a great way to learn more about the specific programs and figure out where and how you wish to study overseas. And if you’re not sure if you want to study abroad, I’d still highly recommend attending the fair. Who knows, after discovering the plethora of amazing opportunities offered, you might just end up changing your mind! 

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