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Study abroad helps students globalize their degrees

Sept. 24, 2010

KALAMAZOO--Western Michigan University students can learn how to globalize their degrees while experiencing an overseas adventure at the Study and Intern Abroad Fair from 1 to 5 p.m., Wednesday, Oct. 6, in the Bernhard Center's South Ballroom.

Photo of Florence, Italy.WMU's free annual study abroad fair is open to the public and being sponsored by the University's Haenicke Institute for Global Education. It will showcase the more than 70 programs WMU offers in 30 countries.

Graduate and undergraduate students working toward degrees in any discipline, regardless of foreign language skills, are eligible to earn internship credit as well as major and minor or general education and elective credits at WMU while exploring new cultures overseas.

In addition, some short-term, faculty-led programs are open to mature high school students as well as adults who are interested in travel and learning.

Studying or interning abroad provides a natural bridge for students wishing to enhance their WMU degree with an international experience that will give them a competitive edge when seeking employment.

The fair offers attendees the opportunity to speak with WMU students who have studied and interned abroad, WMU professors who coordinate programs and courses around the world, and study abroad specialists from the Haenicke Institute. Also on hand will be representatives from non-WMU organizations providing more than 100 study and work programs conducted worldwide.

Prospective study abroad students will learn about completing internships with overseas companies and numerous academic and language-intensive programs, and many of these programs are taught in English. Available programs include studying such languages as Arabic, Chinese, French, Spanish and Japanese and investigating comparative nursing practices in the Netherlands, civilization and geology in Egypt, and engineering in Hong Kong or Germany.

More than 500 WMU students participate in study and work abroad programs each academic year. Nearly all types of student financial aid may be applied toward study abroad programs, including money received through the Kalamazoo Promise and Michigan Education Trust funds. Numerous scholarships are also available.

The 2010 Study and Intern Abroad Fair will feature:

  • Expanded opportunities for overseas internships due to broad collaboration with WMU's Career and Student Employment Services.
  • Giveaways of a Eurail Select pass and other prizes hosted by STA Travel, one of the world's largest student-travel organizations.
  • Free lunch--one free soft drink and a slice of pizza.

As in past years, representatives from WMU's Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships, Career and Student Employment Services, and Sindecuse Health Center will be at the fair to answer inquiries about financial, health and other issues related to traveling abroad.

During the past academic year, WMU students received some $365,000 from scholarships and grants specifically earmarked for study abroad. Of that amount, $350,000 came from WMU sources, such as the President's Grant for Study Abroad Program, a WMU endowment that offers grants of up to $10,000 to students who study a foreign language overseas, and the Dean's Scholarship for Summer Study Abroad.

For more information about the 2010 Study and Intern Abroad Fair, including registration details for program representatives and study abroad vendors, visit wmich.edu/studyabroad or contact Whitney Morgan, fair coordinator, at whitney.e.morgan@wmich.edu or (269) 387-5890.

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Media contact: Jeanne Baron, (269) 387-8400, jeanne.baron@wmich.edu

WMU News
Office of University Relations
Western Michigan University
Kalamazoo MI 49008-5433 USA
(269) 387-8400