Global Education Fall Fair presents a world of opportunities | VTX

Caroline Umphlet chose to attend Virginia Tech in part because of the many study abroad opportunities it offers students.

The senior is majoring in International Studies and Arabic at the College of Liberal Arts and Humanities. In the spring of 2022, she traveled over 6,000 miles to study in Cairo.

“I knew learning a language is always exponentially more beneficial when you’re constantly surrounded by it,” she said. “I wanted to put myself in the best position to deepen my Arabic skills.”

At first, she feared being in Blacksburg. But, she said, experiencing another culture and another university was something she would probably never have the opportunity to do again. “I have made lifelong friends from just one semester abroad, not to mention various countries and cultures.”

Umphlet will be among students sharing their study abroad stories at the annual meeting Global Education Fall Fairwhich returns to the Drillfield tent from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on September 21.

Students, faculty and staff are invited to attend the fair, organized by the Office of Global Education, to learn more about Virginia Tech’s many global offerings. More than 70 information boards will provide details of faculty and third-party opportunities to travel or study abroad. Faculty members who run study abroad programs will be on hand to answer questions. And students from international universities will share information about international exchange programs.

“Even during the pandemic, Virginia Tech has not wavered in its commitment to global engagement. Student interest in studying abroad has not waned, nor has the commitment of our faculty and staff to ensuring students have extraordinary global experiences,” said Theresa Johansson. , Director of Global Education.

In the past year alone — even with all of the pandemic-related travel restrictions — more than 1,150 Virginia Tech students have studied abroad, most in faculty-led programs. Johansson said his office, which is part of Outreach and international affairssees a growing interest in studying abroad.

“As we continue to define what it means to be a global land-grant institution with a global perspective, Virginia Tech emphasizes the importance of experiential learning for undergraduate and graduate students. By studying abroad, students learn to succeed in an increasingly interconnected world and to understand global issues from a variety of perspectives,” she said.

During the Umphlet semester at the American University in Cairo, for example, she studied with classmates from Japan, India, the United Kingdom, Finland, Sweden, and Poland, as well as in Egypt. “I was able to take trips around the country and surrounding countries with these people, and we became very close. I also made friends with locals and was graciously welcomed into their homes to share meals and learning more about their religion. I have no words to describe how nice the people were.

She said she plans to tell students at the Global Education Fall Fair that studying abroad was the best decision she ever made for herself. “There will never be another experience like being a student with people your age, probably studying similar things, exploring a country and a new culture together.”