The most important education doesn't take place in a classroom these days. It happens out in the world.
“With more than 4.5 million students enrolled at universities away from their home country, the world of international education has never been more exciting,” says Mathilde Fouché, International Admissions Counsellor at the American University of Paris.
Students today have grown up in a globalised world, and it's not just money and companies that cross borders - knowledge does, too. But with more options than ever before, the choices can also seem overwhelming.
After all, where to study can be a life-changing decision.
That's why the American University of Paris (AUP) is hosting a massive international Study Abroad Fair, taking place in Paris on February 24th, to give students the chance to meet with and learn about universities from all over the world.
“Our goal is to introduce students to the idea of doing something different, getting out of their comfort zone and at the very least, starting to think about different higher education options available to them around the world,” says Fouché.
More than 20 universities from ten different countries will attend the fair, offering programmes in a wide range of subjects, from Business and Finance to Art & Design to Health and applied sciences.
“It's a small and intimate format, but at the same time students will have the chance to speak to representatives and alumni from a great number of international universities all in one room,” Fouché continues. “It will allow universities and students to explore each other's interests and strengths.”
Both bachelor's and master's programmes will be represented at the fair, and participating universities include George Washington University, the American University of Rome, Webster University Leiden, the University of Sheffield, and many more.
The event will be held at the American University of Paris, giving students the chance to visit one university of potential interest without restricting them. AUP itself is exceptionally international – with its student body of 1,200 students representing 109 nationalities – and the university wants students to be aware of all of the opportunities available to them.
“Events like this are interesting because they make students think about options they didn't know they had,” Fouché explains.
“They can come away from the fair having learned something new and interesting about another country; another approach to teaching; discovering that they can study in Italy, Spain, UK, US, or China without necessarily speaking the country's language.”
Many students considering study abroad begin with online research, which Fouché recommends – but reading online cannot compare to speaking to alumni or school representatives in person.
“Choosing where to study is an immensely personal and important decision – why wouldn't you want to do that face-to-face? Meeting with a university representative allows students to ask all kinds of questions directly to someone from the inside and receive an immediate response,” she explains.
“Quite often, universities are represented by alumni, who are a great resource and can give students much more in-depth information about their degree, atmosphere on campus, teaching style, student life, housing arrangements, job prospects and more.”
The Study Abroad Fair at AUP is open to all and will take place in Paris from 17:00 to 19:30 on Friday, February 24th. Registration is recommended but not required. Register here.
This article was produced by The Local and sponsored by the American University of Paris.