From UAF with love: Fair offers a passport to the world

Heather Bryant
Feb. 22, 2011

The spring 2011 Study Abroad Fair will be held in the Wood Center Ballroom Feb. 23 and 24. The event will provide students with the opportunity to speak with advisors about enrolling in a study abroad program in a country they are interested in staying in.

“The biggest advantage is having an academic experience in a different country,” said Donna Anger, Senior Associate Director of the Office of International Programs. “When [students] leave their comfort zone, they really are forced to learn and immerse themselves in the culture.”

The first day of the fair will end with the 5th annual International Potluck sponsored by the department of foreign languages.

“It’s our departments annual open house event,” said Michelle Strickland, the department’s administrative assistant. The event serves as an opportunity to meet the professors in the department and find out about the different languages available for study. There is also a variety of food from around the world. “There’s no charge but we ask people bring a dish, preferably a recipe from another country.

According to Anger, the fair will have several affiliated providers offering a variety of locations and programs for students to choose from. Anger hints that the fair will also have a surprise regarding the new program, University of the Arctic north2north exchange program. The program will exchange students between countries within the circumpolar region.

“More and more, UAF students are looking toward international internships as a way to diversify their resumes and gain experience abroad,” said Erica Keiko Iseri, Exchange and Study Abroad Advisor for the Office of International Programs. “We offer internships all over the world in a variety of fields, and most of them do not require previous language study.”

Sarah Richards, 20, is a journalism major currently studying in Scotland with her husband Keane, a political science major and their 1-year-old daughter Amelia. “We chose to go on international exchange for the adventure,” said Richards.  Keane and I have always wanted to explore the world, and as neither of us had ever traveled outside of the U.S., this seemed like a great place to start.”

Both undergraduate and graduate students can study abroad. There are scholarships and advising available to help students throughout the process. Anger estimates that approximately 50 to 60 students from UAF study abroad each year. Anger said there wasn’t any one location or program that was really popular, but that was a good thing.

“We’re really happy that they tend to go lots of different places,” Anger said. This helps keep students from staying with people they already know and instead immerse themselves in the local culture. Anger said that students often meet many other foreign exchange students during their semester or year abroad.

The fair will take place from 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Feb. 23 and 24 in the Wood Center Ballroom.

Richards’ blog Alaskan Traveler is at

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