For many students, studying abroad may seem like a giant leap, but at Cal Poly International Center’s Study Abroad Fair, students can take a small step to bring the experience of a lifetime within reach.

Students are invited to join Cal Poly International Center representatives, Global Programs faculty, international students, partner program representatives, and study abroad alumni at the Study Abroad Fair, next Thursday, October 5, 2023, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Dexter Lawn. Now in its 22nd year, the event connects students with opportunities to study, intern, and research abroad while immersing themselves in other cultures and broadening their perspective.

Students will have the unique opportunity to network with program representatives and peer advisors while exploring hundreds of program options in over 75 different countries, including multi-country destinations. Advisors will answer questions about navigating the application process, travel requirements, and financial aid resources, helping students make the best decision for their degree progress and personal goals. Students will also be able to hear firsthand from peers who have previously studied abroad and gain valuable insights into their experiences.

Advisors will help dispel common myths about studying abroad, helping students overcome both logistical and psychological barriers, such as finances or language requirements. “Often students express uncertainty about their ability to commit to longer duration programs,” said Study Abroad Advisor Megan Pankratz, “but in reality, program options are highly customizable and can vary in length from one year to one week.” “We also get asked a lot about program options by major,” Pankratz said. While degree trajectory can often be a limiting factor at other schools, Cal Poly offers a wide variety of programs aligned with students’ individual academic goals, allowing students to earn credit for major, minor, and GE courses during their time abroad.

The benefits of studying abroad are well-known. The experience can foster personal growth, unlock career prospects, and even improve long-term wellbeing and life satisfaction. But on average, few university students in the US are able to access the resources they need to realize the dream of a global education. According to a 2019 study by the Institute of International Education, approximately only 10.9 percent of undergraduate students in the US study abroad at some point during their college career.

With hundreds of program options for every budget, major and lifestyle, Cal Poly International Center is committed to making studying abroad truly accessible to those who aspire to embark on a journey of global education, making it a reality for 25% of Cal Poly students last year. “No matter your major, background, or financial situation, the transformative opportunities of studying abroad should be available to you,” says Cari Vanderkar, Assistant Vice Provost for International Programs. “Studying abroad is an invaluable opportunity that continues to support students well beyond their college career. We are committed to building equity into our programming to ensure that that all students have the resources they need to learn in a global context.”

To learn more about the Study Abroad Fair, click here.