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On Thursday 11th October, University of Chester held its second annual Study Abroad Destination Fair following the success of last year’s event.

Students thinking of studying abroad were able to meet those who had already done so and gain an insight into what the overseas exchange experience is all about. In a packed Small Hall building, overseas learning providers and current exchange students were also in attendance in what was a real festival of all things study abroad.

In a vibrant atmosphere, the evening began with Overseas Experiential Learning and Study Abroad Lead, Candida Darling addressing the crowd and encouraging all guests to mingle, chat and ask questions.

For second-year students in particular, the event was beneficial, as they were able to ask previous exchange students, providers and experts all the questions they had to help them make a decision on where they wanted to go.

Second year student Beth Harrison said: "I’m hoping to go to Australia as I really want to immerse myself in a different culture and step out of my comfort zone. I’ve spoken to people who have been there and done it which has reassured me and made me even more determined to study overseas."   

The Study Abroad Destination Fair was also a chance for a number of overseas learning providers to chat to students and explain the kind of experiences that are on offer. Intern China and Intern Vietnam, who offer placement programmes in their respective countries were one of the providers at the event.

Ali Hashemi of Intern China/Vietnam said: "I would really encourage all students who are thinking about studying abroad to just got for it. A placement overseas is a great way to widen your knowledge of the world and gain skills you wouldn’t necessarily gain in the classroom."  

After two hours of meeting, greeting and countless conversations, the event came to an end with the general consensus being that the evening was hugely beneficial for all parties.

Speaking after the Fair had finished, Candida said: "It was wonderful to have so much support from our alumni students-they have the real knowledge and I can’t thank them enough for turning out in the driving rain!"

Second year students can still apply to do study abroad instead of work based learning. You can do a variety of placements related to your degree or not at all in six of the seven continents.  These five-week opportunities all cost around £2,200 and you may be able to access financial support for some part of this.

For students who want to do an outgoing exchange, you just need to get your application in before the middle of November. You are welcome to drop out at any point but, barring extenuating circumstances, you will not be eligible should you apply after this date. Exchanges are more affordable than ever following changes to student finance regulations and the Study Abroad team is able to answer any of the questions you may have.

Email studyabroad@chester.ac.uk for more information.

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