A successful edition of the The Go-Abroad Fair
A review of The Go-Abroad Fair 2021
After a year of absence due to COVID, The Go-Abroad Fair could take place again. On 26 & 27 November, the doors were open to all who aspire to go on an international adventure. Despite the anxiousness on how COVID would affect the fair, it was a huge success. Both visitors and exhibitors were enthusiastic.
Luckily, with only little adjustments, The Go-Abroad Fair could take place. That was a great relief, because the fair was missed by anyone involved. This was reflected in the amount of visitors that came to the fair. With a total of 8.670 visitors, distributed over 4.448 on Friday, and 4.212 on Saturday, the 2021 edition was the busiest edition ever.
Parallel to The Go-Abroad Fair, Studiekeuzebeurs Midden was organized. This caused a crossover between visitors, which gave a refreshing touch to both fairs. Students who hadn’t thought of going abroad before, got in touch with international universities and organizations.
For many of them, the crossover broadened their horizons: “I didn’t realize studying abroad was an option for me. But I went looking at The Go-Abroad Fair, and I really got inspired. I think after my visit at both fairs, I am seriously going to consider studying abroad.”
Broadening your horizon
In general, Dutch students are known for their adventurous spirit. Many choose a gap year, an internship, go for an exchange or a study abroad. However, due to the pandemic, traveling was a little harder than usual, let alone finding the right destination. This didn't make students less eager… In fact, it made them more willing to go!
“That’s why I’m so happy the fair could take place. I heard of it online, and instantly thought: I have to go there and see what this fair has to offer. I’m glad I went, because now I know my options. That’s because at The Go-Abroad Fair you can speak to international universities and other organizations”, according to a visitor.
Another visitor already knew he wanted to study in Scotland. “So I went looking for Scottish universities. Whilst looking I came across universities elsewhere in Europe, Latvia for instance. I honestly never considered that as an option, but I talked to a student at the booth and now it seems like a really good opportunity as well. This visit actually broadened my horizon.”
Next to the many (international) organizations exhibiting, there was an extensive lecture program. From what you should arrange when going abroad, studying in the United States, Studying in the UK, or Flanders (Belgium), how to finance your trip, or what it’s like to have a gap year on the other side of the world.
Among others, lectures were given by the Flemish Ministry of Education, Culture and Science, by NWS (Dutch Worldwide Students), and Fulbright. Lectures were very well visited, resulting in crowded auditoriums.
Exhibitors felt that visitors were eager to get information. “It was striking to see how many visitors were interested. Many of them had good questions, and seemed really motivated to find the right place to spend their time abroad”, according to one of the exhibitors.
For many exhibitors the fair was a moment of connecting with their target audience live. One exhibitor said: “It was such a long time ago since we last spoke to a live audience. We really missed this, so we’re happy The Go-Abroad Fair could take place in these strange times.”
And this exhibitor stressed the importance of face-to-face contact: “The fair is an important moment for us to inform students about what it means to go abroad – what should be arranged, etcetera. Doing that behind a webcam during a webinar is way less effective than physically meeting them. And at the fair we could finally do that again.”
So even with all the online options, a physical meeting at The Go-Abroad Fair is still the preferred option for many exhibitors.
See you next year!
After the success of this edition, we look forward to the next fair on November 25 & 26, 2022 in Jaarbeurs Utrecht. Hopefully without any adjustments and precautions. We hope to see you then.