UB's Study Abroad Office put on a fair to show students options for financing travel abroad


Silvana D’Ettorre has been saving money to go to Italy since she was 8 years old. She has never traveled abroad, and she recently applied for the little blue book that gives you access to the world.

D’Ettorre, a junior health and human services major, has been telling her parents since she was in elementary school that she would one day go to Italy.

This winter, she will fulfill that dream.

The UB Study Abroad Office held a fair for students on Sept. 24 from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. in the lobby of Capen Hall. Various study abroad programs offered at UB and representatives from other SUNY schools were at the fair to answer questions about expenses and program options.

UB offers more than 50 study abroad programs and other SUNY campuses offer another 600 programs, according to UB’s Study Abroad website. Students can study abroad from anywhere between two weeks and an entire year.

This winter, UB is offering study abroad programs in Barbados, Belize, France, Germany, England, China, Moldova, New Zealand, Tanzania and Turkey.

Students who sign up for programs offered by UB pay normal SUNY tuition. But with airfare, meals, passport fees, health insurance, transportation and personal expenses, the cost of studying abroad can be daunting.

"It’s all up to my savings,” D’Ettorre said.

D’Ettorre wants to get a taste of traveling before she commits to a longer program and is hopeful that her years of saving will be enough to cover a two-week program in Italy.

Students who haven’t been planning as long as D’Ettorre has can apply for scholarships to finance their trip abroad.

The Office of International Education offers nine scholarships for UB students. Students can apply for all nine scholarships through one application, according to UB’s Study Abroad website.

Jessica Imagna, a graduate assistant in the Study Abroad Office, advises students to talk with the department their major is in, organizations they are involved in and where they work to find other scholarship options.

The amount of students applying for the scholarships varies semester to semester, according to Imagna. Christine Proulx, a senior English and social sciences interdisciplinary international studies major and a global ambassador for the Study Abroad Office, said that everyone she knows that has applied for scholarships has won some of them.

Proulx studied abroad for one semester at the University of Kent in Canterbury, England. Her parents and the two $500 scholarships she won financed her trip. Her only regret is that she did not study abroad for a full year.

Elizabeth Colucci, the coordinator of Fellowships and Scholarships at UB, helps students find nationally competitive, federally funded scholarships for studying abroad like the Fulbright Grant for Study and Research Abroad and the Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship Program for Pell eligible students.

It’s all about “looking for money everywhere,” Imagna said.

email: features@ubspectrum.com

This article has been updated to address a misspelling.