By Laura Butler

As Dr. Seuss said, “You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes; you can steer yourself any direction you choose. You’re on your own. And you know what you know. And you are the guy who’ll decide where to go.” You can also decide where you’ll go and what you will learn with the Eastern study abroad program.

The study abroad office held an informational fair Tuesday in the Powell Building where faculty presented information and answered questions about study abroad options available to students.

Bonnie Plummer, director of the study abroad program, said she hosted the fair to give students an opportunity to learn about the advantages of experiencing life in another country and embracing new cultural experiences.

Last year, 78 students studied abroad, the highest number of Eastern students to enroll in the program. Most students took advantage of the summer excursions that last between three and five weeks and usually are worth three credit hours. But students also can take an entire semester of classes abroad.

Eastern is a member of two programs that provide study abroad experiences. CCSA (Cooperative Center for Study Abroad) offers programs in English-speaking countries such as Australia, England, Ireland and Scotland, while KIIS (Kentucky Institute for International Studies) offers experiences in non-English-speaking countries such as Argentina, China, France, Greece, Italy, Mexico and Costa Rica.

Four Eastern faculty members will be teaching courses in various locations this summer.

Margaret Dean will teach a course on Milton in London and Travis Townshend will teach a sculpture course, also in London. Susan Fister will offer a four-week medical course in Mexico, and Libby Jones will teach a creative writing course in Turkey.

Plummer emphasized students should not be deterred by the cost of studying abroad, which ranges from $2,000 to $5,000, because there are several options available to help offset the expense.

Students can use part of their financial-aid package to apply for scholarships offered from Eastern, CCSA and KIIS. Also, the cost includes airfare, lodging, meals, tuition and other transportation and is often only slightly more expensive than a semester at Eastern.

“The marginal cost difference is made up for by the exceptional experiences both programs offer.

I love to see students walk away from their trips with not only credit for their degree, but also educated about a new culture and a better idea of how they fit into the bigger picture of the world,” Plummer said.

Most courses for the Summer 2008 session accept only 12-15 students but many still have plenty of room.

If you missed the informational fair, or have other questions, contact Plummer at 622-1705 or to set up an appointment.