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The Carletonian

Around the World(’s Fair) with Off-Campus Studies

Student+mingle+around+tables+at+the+Worlds+Fair
Zoe Roettger

On Thursday, Jan. 18 from 11:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. in the Great Hall, more than 100 study-abroad programs were promoted through the Off-Campus Studies (OCS) World’s Fair, an annual event in January that advertises every study-abroad possibility available to Carleton students. These programs included those run by Carleton as well as opportunities from outside institutions and organizations.

Though programs run through Carleton made up a minority of the overall study-abroad options, most had a strong presence, made possible by the volunteers who donated their time to share their personal connections with and experiences on the program that they were representing. Carleton programs are on a trimester schedule as opposed to programs through outside organizations, which are often on a semester schedule, so they either occur during a roughly 10-week term or during Winter Break. They are also run individually by Carleton academic departments, so many of the faculty program directors for 2024-2025 OCS programs were present at the World’s Fair to share details about application tips and personal highlights for any interested students.

As each program is sponsored and related to a specific department at Carleton, student volunteers involved in that field of study were available to speak on the academic value of a given program. Some programs had student volunteers that had participated in past iterations of the offered 2024-2025 programs, like “Living London,” which runs on an annual basis.

Allison Penn ’25 was one of the students for the “French and Francophone Studies in Paris” program that will run in the Spring Term of 2025. She “really enjoyed representing the Carleton in Paris program, along with some of my classmates, at the World’s Fair.  I had a great experience in Paris and I was glad I got the chance to convey that to students thinking about this program in the future.”

Penn highlighted the great value that she found from the program, mainly in the form of an internship and improved language skills in general, which will support her French minor.

“One of the most rewarding parts of the Paris program is that there is an optional internship component in the summer after the Spring Term is over,” said Penn. “Working in a French office allowed me to put to use a lot of the language skills I’d been learning in the classroom before and during my time in Paris. An internship is guaranteed for anyone who applies and I could tell that was something that interested a lot of students who passed by the table.”

“The professor at the table, Sandra Rousseau, who will be leading the trip in the spring of 2025, explained to students that many of the internships offered are positions that are incredibly difficult to obtain, even for French citizens, which shows the value of this part of the program,” continued Penn. “In all, I had a great time in Paris, with many thanks to Carleton, and I was happy to be able to encourage younger students to apply for the same experience.”

From “Cross-Cultural Psychology in Prague” to “‘Make It’ in Hollywood: CAMS Production in Los Angeles,” the Carleton programs displayed a wide variety of academic interests and locations, both nationally and internationally.

“I went to the OCS world’s fair because I was looking at a couple of OCS programs and I was on the fence about applying. It was really helpful to talk to both students and faculty about the programs, especially because when I went for information sessions for the programs only the faculty leading them were there,” said Isaac Kofsky ’27, a World’s Fair attendee. “Getting to hear from students who either went on the programs I wanted to go on or knew a lot about them was really helpful. I was told that whether or not I am sure about going on the programs, I should still apply, because not applying is making a definitive decision not to go.”

Carleton also has Global Engagement Programs (GEP), which are study-abroad options run through Carleton’s OCS office. However, they are open to both Carleton students and students that attend other institutions, running for a semester starting in the fall. All three programs were represented at the World’s Fair: “Buddhist Studies in India & Thailand,” “Ecology and Anthropology in Tanzania,” and “Women’s and Gender Studies in Europe.”

Study-abroad programs run by other academic institutions, such as the University of Minnesota, and organizations, like Round River Conservation Studies, were represented by flyers or student volunteers who had participated in the program in the past. These non-Carleton programs offered a variety of options, encapsulating learning through direct enrollment in outside institutions, field study, and internships. Overall, they covered a wide array of locations, from Australia to Athens, as well as academic interests and concentrations, so many students who attended the World’s Fair were able to find a multitude of interesting opportunities.

“Overall, the event was also super fun. I loved sampling all of the different candy and getting to look at all of the programs offered side-by-side,” said Kofsky. “I’m still not completely sure about going on an OCS program but after going to the World’s Fair I will definitely be applying to a few.”

As the World’s Fair happens annually, it is one of the OCS office’s most important events to promote the many study-abroad options that they offer, which is otherwise usually done through social media platforms and informational sessions throughout the Fall and Winter Terms about the following year’s Carleton Programs.

“The OCS World’s Fair is our largest and most visible event. It’s a great opportunity to showcase the many off-campus studies opportunities available to Carleton students,” said Naomi Ziegler, associate director of OCS. “The fair provides opportunities for prospective students to interact directly with returnees and faculty directors of upcoming programs. And of course, we have a great international playlist and selection of treats.”

To learn more about study-abroad options at Carleton, students may visit the Carleton Off-Campus Studies website, drop by the OCS office in Leighton, or schedule an appointment online.

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About the Contributor
Zoe Roettger, Features Editor
Hi there!  I'm Zoe (she/her), and I'm a prospective Linguistics major with a Classics minor.  I love anything language-related, arts-related, writing & reading, and cats.  I also have a spider plant named "Pulchra," which, against all odds, is still alive.  When not testing my plant's resiliency, I can usually be found in Anderson or Blue Monday. Zoe Roettger '27 was previously an Arts & Features writer.

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