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Opportunities Fair Offers Selections Abroad

The fair featured representatives from a wide range of campus offices including the UCLA International Institute, the Career Center and the Foreign Language and Area Studies and Fulbright programs, reports the UCLA Daily Bruin.

You might get overseas assignments, and you want to feel comfortable and excited about this instead of feeling terrified.

UCLA Daily Bruin

By Sherese Tong, Bruin contributor

VARIOUS CAMPUS CENTERS gathered on Tuesday to provide information about different aspects of international career, study abroad and post-graduate opportunities to UCLA students in the 2008 International Opportunities Fair.

The fair featured representatives from a wide range of campus offices including the UCLA International Institute, the Career Center and the Foreign Language and Area Studies and Fulbright programs.

The Graduate Division, the Dashew Center for International Students and Scholars, and the U.S. Department of State were also present.

Kathleen Micham, marketing and communications manager of the International Education Office at UCLA, said the fair offers students the chance to obtain information from different campus offices about different international career opportunities and graduate programs in just one place.

"This is the most efficient way to present a lot of different opportunities for people who want to go international or people who want to pursue a post-graduate education," Micham said. "All these (opportunities) involve working abroad or working in a foreign language or culture."

Bob Ericksen, director of the Dashew Center for International Students and Scholars, said the fair aims to let UCLA students know of the international opportunities students might not otherwise have known about.

It is also a celebration of the International Education Week 2008, a joint initiative by the U.S. Department of State and U.S. Department of Education to promote opportunities for foreign students to study in the U.S. as well as for U.S. students to study abroad.

"UCLA is a global university. We want our students to be globally-minded in every way," Ericksen said.

He added that employers nowadays are stressing more and more the importance for employees to know another language, culture and to have international experiences.

"You might get overseas assignments, and you want to feel comfortable and excited about this instead of feeling terrified," Ericksen said.

Micham also said that students should take advantage of the time before or just after graduation to gain travel experiences.

"The period when you're about to graduate or just graduated is the most ideal time to travel, when you haven't had a family or started a career yet," Micham said. "When you get to be older and have a family and obligation to be stable, then it's hard to travel."

Bri Schafer, a fourth-year international development studies student and Kelsey Yu, a fourth-year global studies student, said they came to the fair to learn about opportunities after their graduation.

Yu said she was hoping to learn more about the opportunities available within her field.

"I thought (the fair) was very useful because I found out a lot about fellowships and different graduate school opportunities, and just learning about the centers across campus," Yu said.

Schafer also said she found career fairs like this very useful in facilitating information exchange in such a big university.

"Fairs like this are good resources to see what's available, and what opportunities students have," Schafer said. "Because it can be difficult to find out how to be involved without personally meeting the program advisers."

UCLA International Institute