Around campus there’s a chance you might see people with those big white pins that say, “go away.” Well what’s that all about?

The Global Education office held their annual Study Away fair on the Student Center lawn this past Tuesday. Students were able to stop by and learn information on studying away, whether it be abroad, or another state in the United States.

Senior and Occupational Safety and Health major Robert Ortiz was at the fair to share his experience studying away at the University of Wollongong in Australia. Ortiz spent the fall of 2015 and the beginning of his junior year there.

“My experience studying abroad was amazing. It was fun and unlike anything I have ever done. The experience was very culturally intact and different, but cool. It is something that I recommend to everyone,” Ortiz said.

Ortiz said his desire to study in Australia was because he had always been interested in the country.

He also decided it was an opportunity to spend five months in another country, which is something he may not have the chance to do again in his life.

“The best part about studying abroad was all of the traveling I did and the different places I saw. All of the people I met and friends I made was definitely one of the best parts too,” Ortiz said.

He said the classes he took were general electives, known as ISPs, and he was able to take them there because he planned ahead.

Ortiz said, “If I had to give advice to people wanting to study abroad I would say to not hesitate. Just do it.”

One individual who could take Ortiz’s advice is first year student and elementary education major Allison Grenier.

Though this is Grenier’s first semester at Keene, she’s already considering going away.

“Going to another country and seeing how different their culture is from ours makes me interested in studying abroad. I’m also interested in the difference in the classrooms and how [other countries] teach,” Grenier said.

Grenier went to the fair to check out the different opportunities from the Global Education office.

“After coming to the fair I’m definitely interested in going to Ireland. It seems like a cool place to go. I just learned if I take six or more credits I can get financial aid, the classes aren’t too strenuous, you get to go on trips to other countries and it’s really inexpensive there compared to here,” said Grenier.

She continued by saying that she is considering doing a summer program rather than a semester.

“Going for a whole semester seems sort of scary going to another country so I think going for three or four weeks might be better for me. I might have a few friends coming with me too,” Grenier said.

One faculty member helping students through the process of studying away is Associate Director of Global Education Steve Spiegel.

Luke Stergio/ Senior Photographer

Luke Stergio/ Senior Photographer

“Behind all of the tables here are students, for the most part, who have been on study away experiences and want to share with other students their own experiences,” Spiegel said.

The Global Education Office at Keene State offers students 19 different countries to travel to and 20 including places in the United States for semester programs.

Spiegel said, “The amount of students that study away from Keene State depends because we have many different programs. We have students going on summer, semester, faculty-led and yearlong programs. There are many different opportunities for students and that’s why once a year we have the big tent with the fair and we get to highlight all of the programs.”

Spiegel said that Keene State calls the programs study away rather than study abroad because there are opportunities in the United States also.

“If you want to study away you would come to the Global Education Office and meet with one of our study away advisors. You would then talk with us about finding a program that works for you academically, financially and timewise,” Speigel said, “We would try to figure out what the student is really looking for and then they would apply online. After being accepted, we have an orientation and work with the students who are going away throughout the whole process before they go.”

The Global Education office has a new office right across from the TDS building located at 67 Winchester Street.

Spiegel said, “My best advice is, I love Keene and Keene is great, but I want people to go to other places in the world because this is an amazing opportunity. When you talk to other students, they talk about what some of the most important aspects of their college career have been and study away rises to the top.”

Emma Hamilton can be contacted at ehamilton@kscequinox.com