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Flying Your Way To A Future

by Alonso Velasquez  & Kimberly Pena

Studying abroad does not only allow students to explore the world, but also helps students to graduate and seek employment after college, according to data from Central Connecticut State University’s Center for International Education. 

According to a CIE PowerPoint presentation, 97 percent of students who study abroad find employment within 12 months of graduation, compared to only 49 percent of those who do not study abroad. 

That is why the CIE found it extremely important to still host its Study Abroad Fair, even after being postponed due to a snowstorm. The CCSU Study Abroad fair took place at the Bellin Gallery from 2-5 p.m. on Feb. 14. Despite the delay, the event went on without major changes or cancellations by presenters.

The goal of the fair according to Erin-Leigh Beecher, Coordinator of International Education, was “to encourage students to have an international experience while they do their undergrad or graduate program at CCSU.”

Jayline Johnson, a CCSU junior, believes studying abroad benefits students in variety of ways, and there is no limit to what one can learn in a new country.

“I think studying abroad is a good opportunity for someone to experience a new culture.” said Johnson. “It is a good opportunity to learn a new language, or if you already know the language, to get better at it.” 

The fair had a variety of options for whatever type of traveler you are, ranging from two week programs to year long ones. For those wanting to stay in a foreign university with language not being a barrier, there is the University of Hertfordshire in England. This is a semester year long program where students can hop on a train and be in London within 20 minutes.

Those who want to travel around a country, there is a two week summer program in Vietnam where students focus on exploring Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City, where the economic centers of the rapidly growing Tiger economy.

Also for those seeking an adventure thrill, there is a joint trip to Botswana, Namibia and Zambia, where students will lodge in tents as they explore the center of game in Africa.

There are about over 10 study abroad programs ready to embark their travels this upcoming spring break, such countries include; Spain, Denmark, Peru, South Africa and several others.

In regards to the CIE PowerPoint, students who study abroad develop cross-cultural skills and understanding, and develop the ability to reconcile their own and competing perspectives on global issues.

According to CIE, a student is 19 percent more likely to graduate from college if he/she studies abroad.

“Study abroad increases the six year graduation rate by 19 percent and the four year graduation rate by 15 percent,” said on the PowerPoint.

With that data, CIE enforces the idea that a student should at least study abroad once during their college years to expose themselves to different scenarios, and the ability to build their skills in the work field.

Only one percent of college students in America study abroad. CIE wants Central students to view studying abroad as not as an expense, but as an investment.

CCSU student Johnny Collado, talked about his experience studying abroad for a year in Salamanca. He picked the trip over buying a new car, and he has yet to regret that decision.

In places like Salamanca, students can decide between staying in the university or rooming with others in the city. In Salamanca and Kansai Gaidai, students can choose for how long they want their stay to be for, ranging from a few weeks to a full year.

For further information on how to study abroad, you can contact CIE at (860)-832-2040 or visit them in Barnard Hall, room 123 from Monday to Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.