By Lauren Welling staff writer
Fisher students started lining up outside Golisano Midlevel Gateway at 7 a.m. on Tuesday, Feb. 12 for the Study Abroad Fair planned that day. The main reason this campus event was so highly anticipated was because Fisher received a grant that permitted 20 Fisher students to receive a free expedited passport, first-come, first served.
The event was co-sponsored by the St. John Fisher College Study Abroad Office and the Office of Multicultural Affairs and Diversity Program. Representatives from Monroe County, the American Institute for Foreign Study (AIFS), Financial Aid, and the Registrar’s Office were all present to help potential study abroad students understand the process for studying in another country. AIFS, a study abroad program affiliated with Fisher, had provided the grants for the passports.
Processing these passport applications was Nese from Monroe County. Her responsibility at the Study Abroad Fair was to process passport applications and answer any questions anyone may have in regards to getting a passport. Nese stated that the Study Abroad Fair was “prepared wonderfully from the decorations to the food. Everyone was so courteous…everything went without a hitch and we are glad to be here and be a part of this”.
Career and Academic Planning adviser Jennifer Pluretti was also present at the Study Abroad Fair and she credited its success to the hard work of Study Abroad Coordinator Maria Stella Plutino-Calabrese, who partnered with AIFS to bring this event to campus. Dr. Pluretti also attributes the success of the Study Abroad program to all the students that have studied abroad and return to Fisher. She describes these students as leaders for others when they tell their stories from their study abroad experiences as they inspire other students to follow their footsteps to foreign countries.
Fisher and AIFS have had about a 25 year partnership and have sent multitudes of Fisher students to study in other countries. Last spring, Fisher sent about 35 students abroad whereas this fall FIsher sent about 55 students abroad. This shows that study abroad at Fisher is growing and awareness of the opportunity this spreading. It demonstrates that Fisher has a population of students interested in being globally aware which is why events such as the Study Abroad Fair are so crucial.
Alyssamarie Quartararo, a Fisher study abroad alum, was present at the fair as well. She studied in Italy in spring 2017. She noted that she was graduating in this spring, and then would go on to work in Italy, an opportunity she credits to her experience abroad during her sophomore year.