Every year, the Center for Global Education sends approximately 250 students abroad, according to Director Candace Chenoweth.
Chenoweth said each of those students will meet with an adviser three to seven times while planning their trip abroad. That is an average of 1,250 meetings every school year.
In order to best utilize each of the meetings, the Center for Global Education conducts four info sessions a week. Chenoweth said Global Pathways Sessions are a student’s first step to planning an international trip.
“[The sessions are] a gateway to ensure when students come to a one-on-one appointment, they’re prepared, they’ve done some research, they’re thinking about their options, and then they can ask more specific questions of our advisers,” Chenoweth said.
Global Pathways Sessions occur at different times Monday through Thursday and typically host one to three students. Chenoweth advises students to attend a session as soon as they are considering a trip abroad in order to fit it into their degree plan.
Mikaela Auerbach, a global experiences coordinator, said the info sessions are a good general starting point for students who are thinking of traveling abroad.
“We find that after they attend the info sessions, the students come so much more prepared with the knowledge of what different kinds of programs are out there and ready to talk about what they’re looking for in a much more informed way,” Auerbach said.
Although there have been similar info sessions in the past, this semester is the first time that students are conducting the sessions.
Senior Tori Peters studied abroad in Spain and attended a travel-study trip to Peru. She is one of three students who are filling a new internship position in the center. As a peer adviser, Peters leads the sessions and shares her experiences and gives basic information.
Peters said the Global Pathways sessions are open to walk-in students and nothing is needed to attend.
“Just come with an open mind and ready to learn about all the experiences we have on campus,” Peters
Chenoweth said one of the focuses of the sessions is to inform students about the different options to globalize their education besides just studying abroad.
“We’re helping students to understand there are semester programs, there are year-long programs, there are internships and student teaching abroad,” Chenoweth said. “The study abroad field is really evolving and with that has brought lots of new kinds of opportunities, and so we want students to sort of understand that they have a lot of choices.”
Auerbach said this format of a student-led info session has been effective, and she has seen attendance rise.
“That small group environment is nice because there’s that flexibility for you to talk and address each person’s individual interests,” Auerbach said. “Also because there’s more than one [student], you have a reason to go through each of the types of programs, then everyone has a chance to hear all the options, even if they weren’t initially considering it.”
Auerbach said the center is currently evaluating attendance at the sessions to see if the time slots are convenient for students. She said the sessions may slightly change times next semester, but they should remain similar.