MU promotes studying abroad


Gillian Mazur, Staff writer

On Oct. 31, Mercyhurst hosted the annual Study Abroad Fair in the Student Union Great Room.

The goal of this yearly fair is to give students an opportunity to learn about the extensive variety of study abroad options in college.

This informative fair consisted of six different tables with Mercyhurst and Mercyhurst-affiliated programs each explaining their options.

Altogether, these programs offered dozens of countries for students to explore, learn about and travel to. For many, this fair fosters excitement and potential opportunity.
Heidi Hosey-McGurk, Ph.D., oversees the fair as dean of Global Programs and Experiential Learning at Mercyhurst. She is the head of all faculty-led study abroad options. Programs totally independent of Mercyhurst are also available as other options for students.

One of the most well-known study abroad programs on campus is Mercyhurst’s single term of study in Dungarvan, Ireland. On this trip, students enroll as full-time scholars in courses that are offered by Mercyhurst’s sister school, St. Augustine College, in Waterford, Ireland.

Pete Stadtmueller, Graphic Design professor, will also be leading a unique study abroad experience to Japan. Mercyhurst’s GoPro Adventures will be one of his study abroad classes, where students will learn to use a GoPro camera and shoot their own travel adventures into a modern-day diary.

Trips with faculty this year include locations such as Peru, Paris, Argentina and Ireland.

Meghan Gallagher, sophomore Communication major, will be traveling to Ireland in January on this trip.
“When I attended the fair last year, it was very helpful as it gave me a wide range of options I could take. Mercyhurst does a great job of presenting various options that make it possible to study abroad, no matter what year you want to go and what your major is,” Gallagher said. “I chose to go to Ireland this year. We are going to Dublin, Galway and Belfast for 10 days. I chose Ireland because I have dual citizenship there, and it’s the place where I feel most at home.”

Outside of these, one of Mercyhurst’s affiliated programs present at the fair was Athena Study Abroad.
With this program, a student has the option to visit one of 11 countries, or 20 cities, with more than 2,000 course options. Athena’s program focuses on smaller and more personalized overseas immersion experiences.

Another global program is the ever-popular Semester At Sea. This voyage provides students the chance to study in classrooms on a cruise ship that travels the world.
Established in 1963, this program is perfect for the wanderlust adventurer who cannot make up his or her mind on where to study abroad. Students take classes while the ship is at sea, and when it docks at port they have the opportunity to explore the area freely, seeing at least 11 countries during the trip.

An alternative option provided in association with United Planet is Mercyhurst’s 10 Day Ecuador Group Quest.

This trip provides students with different project opportunities such as social, environmental, health care and art therapy service learning.

Lastly, the U.S. Brig Niagara program allows students to live and study the Maritime History and Monuments of the Great Lakes.
Students travel as part of the crew on board the U.S. Brig Niagara, a reconstructed War of 1812 relief flagship for Commodore Oliver Hazard Perry.

With the exception of Antarctica, the programs at Mercyhurst offer Lakers choices on every continent. With these programs, students can choose to study, intern or volunteer during yearly, semester long, quarterly or short-term trips.

Indeed, the fair is not only open to those exploring their options, but is also very beneficial for students who have already decided to study abroad.
Junior Social Work major Jeannette Casiano attended the Study Abroad Fair and took a lot away from it.

“I’m planning to go to the American Business School in Paris this spring,” Casiano said. “The fair was informative and shed light on opportunities that I wasn’t aware of, such as the Semester at Sea and Mercyhurst’s 10-day quest to Ecuador.”