Students explore opportunities to study abroad

Carrying brochures advertising adventure and pamphlets promising world-class experiences, Wake Forest students wandered between displays and representatives that shared information concerning study abroad programs available to undergraduates.

On Tuesday, Sept. 26, the Center for Global Programs and Studies held its fall Study Abroad Fair. Advocates from Wake Forest and affiliate programs shared information and answered questions concerning study abroad programs. While students can conduct research independently, the fair offered more personal advice tailored to each individual students’ needs.

“I met with an ambassador and looked online a bit, but I’m trying to figure out what preference is best for me here,” said sophomore Kate Cowie. “My priority is to find classes that fullfil my major requirements, and then I’ll decide on the location.”

Sophomores Perry Myers and Abigail Anderson expressed that they were happy Wake Forest has so many options but feel overwhelmed with the number of programs and trying to find the right ones for their schedules.

“Some locations are only compatible with certain majors, and I’m trying to find a study program that really helps me get credit toward my degree,” Myers said.

The fair not only offered informational outlets to answer questions students like Myers had about abroad opportunities, but offered games with prizes available to participating students, including a $2,000 scholarship.

Wake Forest English professor Omaar Hena participated at the fair as a representative for the Worrell House in London during the activities fair. As the resident professor during the fall 2016 semester, Hena explained why abroad programs — particularly Wake-sponsored programs — are valuable to one’s undergraduate experience.

“The beauty of the Wake Forest program is that one is immersed and surrounded both with students and the professor in a resident environment such as London,” Hena said. “There’s a beautiful interweaving of what’s happening in the classroom, and then the day-to-day life of living in London.”

The Worrell House is one of three abroad properties owned by Wake Forest for the benefit of students. The Casa Artom in Venice and Flow House in Vienna also offer opportunities for students and resident professors to live and study together. Still, there are more than 400 compatible study abroad programs in more than 200 cities and 70 different countries for students to take advantage of while earning their degree.

Sophomore Annabel Grunebaum expressed that she narrowed down her study abroad location preference to somewhere in Europe so she can easily travel to many different countries on weekend excursions while still fulfilling academic credit.

“I always knew I wanted to study abroad my junior year, so when applying to colleges, the study abroad opportunities I saw Wake Forest had were definitely a decision-making factor,” Grunebaum said.

Wake Forest’s ample amount of study abroad opportunities can attract many prospective students.

A 2016 report published by the Institute of International Education ranked Wake Forest sixth among U.S colleges and universities in the percentage of students studying abroad.

Hena encourages students to study abroad to open their world outside of the “Wake Bubble.” Hena, a Wake Forest alumnus who studied abroad as an undergraduate student abroad in 1996, said that after he studied at the Worrell House, his goal after getting tenure was to return and lead that same trip he experienced as a student.

“There’s a time before you go and a time after you go abroad, and after you go, nothing is the same and gain a new perspective of what it means to live in the U.S.,” said Hena.

Students seeking opportunities to study abroad can visit studyabroad.wfu.edu for lists of Wake Forest and affiliate approved programs.