Texas Tech University

Study Abroad Fair Starts Students' International Learning Experience

McKenzi Morris

September 18, 2019

Study Abroad Fair

The 2019 fair will take place Thursday in the Student Union Building.

Students earning an education at Texas Tech University have numerous options on how and where they earn course credit. Red Raiders can work toward their degree while immersing themselves in international cultures if they study abroad.

The Texas Tech Office of International Affairs offers study abroad programs in nearly 50 countries around the world, with programs available to students in all colleges and majors.

"Nationwide, only about 1 in 10 college students will study abroad," said Whitney Longnecker, director of Study Abroad. "This is something Red Raiders can incorporate into their college career that will help them stand out when applying for that first job, graduate school or whatever they plan to do post-Texas Tech."

Each year, about 1,400 Red Raiders take off to study with Texas Tech faculty, a partner university or program at the Texas Tech University Center in Sevilla. For many of those students, their international education journey begins at the Study Abroad Fair.

This annual event allows students to interact with Texas Tech faculty and a variety of external vendors to learn about their study abroad options. Students also can gather important information about approved programs, course credit, how to apply and scholarship options.

The 2019 Study Abroad Fair will take place from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Thursday (Sept. 19) in the Red Raider Ballroom in the Student Union Building (SUB).

"The Study Abroad Fair is the primary chance for students to learn about study abroad at one large event," Longnecker said. "Each year, more than 1,000 students attend the fair and we hope many will participate this year as well."

One faculty member students can learn from abroad is Allison Childress, an assistant professor and director of the online master's program in nutritional sciences through the College of Human Sciences. Childress will be in attendance to discuss the nutritional sciences program in South Africa she co-leads with Wilna Oldewage-Theron, a nutritional sciences professor and graduate adviser.

"In our program, students, were able to work in a variety of community settings providing nutrition education to children, adults of all ages," Childress said. "They learned cultural food practices and how to design a nutrition education program for specific populations. Most of the students described their experiences as life changing."

Childress said studying abroad is a vital part of a college experience in which students should partake. Through this experience, they will learn to navigate new cultures and increase their self-confidence.

Ram Iyer, who leads the Math in Italy program, agreed with Childress. He said students can learn more about themselves than anything else during the study abroad process.

"Although before the program the students give standard reasons for studying abroad, such as seeing the world and taking in other cultures, I have found that, at the end of the program, the thing the students learn most about is themselves," said Iyer, a professor in the Department of Mathematics and Statistics. "This self-understanding helps them fine-tune their long-term career choices. In the short term, it helps them decide what courses to take in order to achieve their new career goals."

For more information about the fair and program options, visit the Study Abroad website.