Where would you like to go today?

To increase students’ awareness about the possibilities of studying overseas, the USF Study Abroad Program will give students a chance to have their questions answered in an event open to the public.

The Study Abroad Program at USF is hosting a fair today outside the Phyllis P. Marshall Center from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. to inform students of the program, according to Beverly Rothman, office manager of the Study Abroad Program.

The Study Abroad Program at USF has 35 programs in different countries that are offered throughout the year. In addition, students taking part of the overseas programs can earn a variety of credit hours.

Antonio DePina, coordinator at the Study Abroad office, said the number of credits students can earn depends on the program the student chooses to take.

“For short-term programs, such as summer programs, students can earn from three to 10 credits,” DePina said.

Furthermore, for semester programs students would usually have to be enrolled full time, he said.

In addition, Rothman said the Study Abroad Program also meets the state summer enrollment requirements of taking nine credit hours at a public university over the summer, and can count for different majors, including business and fine arts.

At the fair there will be several representatives from the program with a vast knowledge on participating countries such as Spain, Italy, Costa Rica, Australia and Japan.

Last year, USF sent between 500 and 600 students abroad, and this year, Rothman said, he is expecting to send nearly 1,000 more students.

The standard Study Abroad Program lasts three to six weeks during the summer, and USF also offers exchange programs that can span a semester or two. According to Rothman, students only pay regular USF tuition to participate, and scholarships and financial aid are available as well.

Since August of 2001, Ben Mostyn has been studying at USF.

Mostyn is a student adviser at the Study Abroad Program and a graduate student from Australia; he said he recommends the overseas program to all students.

“There are no strict criteria to apply. (The Study Abroad) program is for all students with an open mind who want to have fun,” Mostyn said.

Rothman explained the various options students have regarding the program.

“There is no one statement to encompass it all. We can design a program to fit just about anyone’s needs,” Rothman said. Although, some semester programs require the participant to be a student at USF, short-term programs are open to non-students or students from other universities, DePina said.

Rothman said each program is designed for student’s individual interests.

“Some students may go to Costa Rica just to learn Spanish, for example,” she said.

Rothman added that students interested in the program should visit the fair, or stop by the Study Abroad office in Cooper Hall Room 468 and make an appointment with an advisor.

Each of the six advisers can help students on the different programs offered with the Study Abroad Program.

Once interested students visit an adviser, they have to complete an application form and a page-long personal statement. For some programs, students may be required to get a letter of recommendation from an instructor, DePina said. Also, good academic standing, not a specific GPA, is asked from students interested in studying abroad.

“(Good academic standing) is different for every major,” DePina said. “Generally, it’s a 2.5 GPA.”

Vanessa Garnica contributed to this report.