Choose Fort Hays State, see the world

international education week 2016

By Randy Gonzales
University Relations and Marketing
HAYS, Kan. -- Fort Hays State University's International Student Services usually has its Study Abroad Fair earlier in a semester. This semester, however, Director Carol Solko-Olliff opted to have the fair later, as part of International Education Week 2016.

Tables were set up in the Sunset Lounge in the Memorial Union to take advantage of foot traffic around lunch time. There was a table where students could learn about studying in China. There was a table featuring a trip to Hawaii. Another one featured a visit to the cloud forest in Ecuador. And there were many, many more.

ISS has had a Study Abroad Fair for about six or seven years, Solko-Olliff said.

"I think it's been very helpful," she said. "A lot of time students will say they didn't know they could study someplace else."

Whether it's another country for a summer or a year, or studying somewhere else in the United States, Solko-Olliff said most, if not all, programs allow students to pay FHSU tuition.

"Economically, it makes it affordable for students because they pay Fort Hays State tuition and fees," she said. "They can use financial aid and scholarships. Even though they are studying someplace else, they're still enrolled at Fort Hays State."

Jay Lee, a Fort Hays State graduate student from Seoul, South Korea, was checking out a trip at the Hawaii table on Wednesday. A geosciences class will travel to the islands in late May to study their cultural geography.

"The curriculum looks really great," Lee said. "It's not expensive.

"I'm going to talk to the department chair, see if it can be counted towards my elective hours," he added. "I'm really glad they have this opportunity and they tell us."

As Lee found out, Wednesday's fair was designed to let FHSU students know what was available.

"The fair is a great opportunity for Fort Hays State students to learn about some of the different opportunities that they have to get some international experiences," said Karen McCullough, assistant director of ISS.

One such student was Ricardo Zamora, a junior business major from Kansas City, Kan. He has already traveled abroad, courtesy of FHSU. Zamora spent a month this past summer studying in China.

"I loved it," Zamora said. "I really want to go back. We learned culture, history, we learned about music.

"In the evenings, we rode motor bikes around town," he added. "We learned board games from over there. The food was amazing."

Zamora said studying abroad can help American students when they return to Hays. They can better understand international students.

"I just wanted to go over there, see where they come from, be able to understand their culture," Zamora said, "then come back and make the relationships stronger here with international students."

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