By Tagui Martirosyan
The annual Study Abroad Fair and International Food Festival was held on Thursday at University Park.
The event marked the fourth day of International Education Week, which is a week dedicated to celebrate diversity, different cultures, exchange students and studying abroad. The events for the week were organized by CPP’s International Center.
The International Center provides assistance, programs and student advising services for students interested in studying abroad and exchange students.
“We want [students] to know that they can come to the study abroad in the International Center to find out more information, but we also want them to know all the options that are available to them [and] all the different programs we have. We have Euro-broad programs, we have summer programs [and] we have faculty lead programs,” said Kraig Walkup, coordinator of Study Abroad and Exchange Programs in the International Center at CPP.
According to Walkup, students shy away from the idea of studying abroad. The International Center’s goal for International Education Week was to show students what is available to them and the opportunities they have outside of CPP.
“This is a good event to give us some exposure and really plant the seed for students that they should think about studying abroad. “We really try to make it accessible to every student in every major. If there is a will, we will find a way for them to do it,” said Walkup.
Students walked around observing the different programs offered by a variety of providers.
“I’m looking for a culture shock. I just kind of want to be in another country for a year and go experience all of Europe,” said Ryan Lowe, a second-year international business student.
The event also gave students an opportunity to try different foods from different cultures and become familiar with different programs offered by both the California State University system and third party providers.
“I was thinking about [a program] that is included in the cost of tuition, so one that is through the Cal State system. ” I want to go somewhere where they speak Spanish because that’s what I want to focus on and learn. ” Mostly I want to learn about the country, ” and I am really interested in food. I really like different foods from different countries, and I want to try to eat and learn about their culture and food there,” said Kiko Meronk, a second-year communication student.
The CSU International Program is administered through the Office of the Chancellor in Long Beach. This is a system-wide, one-year study abroad program, which is available to students from all 23 CSU campuses.
“It’s pretty cool because you stay enrolled as a Cal Poly [Pomona] student while you go abroad for a year, and that means you pay the same tuition you pay here at Cal Poly Pomona while you are studying abroad. So you can be in France, you can be in Ghana, you can be in Japan and you’re paying the same tuition as you pay here. Additionally, any financial aid that you receive here on campus you get to use towards your year abroad,” said Elsa Sanchez, a program advisor for the CSU’s International Program.
The CSU International Program is one of many programs that are offered to students. The study abroad programs put forward different experiences in countries all over the world for students who are interested in adding an international dimension to their education.
“With the study abroad, I hope to heighten my experience while I’m here, especially since I’m an international business major. I hope to get more experience and be out there,” said Melina Jahangirian, a second-year international business student.
“I’m in Pi Sigma Epsilon; it’s a business frat. It’s like people helping other people succeed. … They already taught me how to network in that frat. I have an off-campus job, and so I feel like it’s able to help me further myself with networking (abroad). ” It’s one more thing out there that I want to do,” said Jahangirian.
Reynaldo Duenas / The Poly Post
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