Upon entering Indiana University, neither Toni Pringley nor Alyssa Claymiller had ever left the United States. Now, the two sophomores each have an insatiable thirst to explore more of the world and share the positive impact of seeing other parts of the world with classmates.
Their shared desire for international travel developed as a result of participating in the Overseas Studies and Scholarship Program, part of IU’s Office of the Vice President for Diversity, Equity, and Multicultural Affairs (OVPDEMA). Claymiller, who hails from Kendallville, Ind., visited the Dominican Republic, while Pringley, a Bloomington native, went to Ghana.
Pringley and Claymiller took part in last weekend’s OVPDEMA Study Abroad Fair, sharing their experiences with other IU students. A mix of students who previously studied abroad through the program, nearly 20 IU campus partners, a resource fair, a photo booth, international-themed performances and food, and giveaways that included funding for four U.S. passports and other travel-related gifts converged Saturday afternoon at the School of Global and International Studies to create a festive atmosphere. At the event—which attracted approximately 200 students and was held in conjunction with IU’s International Education week through the Office of International Services—Pringley worked at an OVPDEMA resource table, which served as a central hub to inform students about the different aspects of the program, while Claymiller was on a panel discussion, telling students about her specific experience.
Leading up to their trips, both students took part in an eight-week class to prepare them for the different cultures they’d experience. For Claymiller, the class was also an opportunity to meet classmates she didn’t know, an added benefit to her journey.