Global News

see the world on a budget at 28th international festival

March 23, 2017

KALAMAZOO, Mich.—The music, dance, food and fashions of nearly two dozen cultures will be showcased during Western Michigan University's 28th annual International Festival from 4 to 8 p.m. Sunday, April 2, on campus on the second floor of the Bernhard Center.

First hosted in 1989, the popular event features cultural display tables, performances and a fashion show. Admission is free, and for a nominal fee, attendees may sample traditional foods prepared by international students in campus kitchens under the supervision of WMU Dining Services employees.

The International Festival annually attracts about 7,000 students and community members. Attendees are able to "travel" around the world in a single evening while gaining an appreciation for the diversity of cultures prevalent on campus. Read more.

5K walk to raise funds for clean water initiatives

March 23, 2017

KALAMAZOO, Mich.—Registration is open for Walk for Water Kalamazoo 5K at Western Michigan University Saturday, April 8. The event at 1 p.m. by the fountains by Miller Auditorium aims to increase awareness of the worldwide lack of access to clean water and to raise funds to help Clean Water for the World in its efforts to provide water purification units to communities in developing countries without potable water. Read more.


Japanese lessons for teenagers available

March 20, 2017

KALAMAZOO, Mich.—Beginning Japanese language lessons for teenagers are now available through the Soga Japan Center at Western Michigan University. The program is open to middle school and high school students.

The fee is $30 for three lessons, which will be held from 4 to 4:45 p.m. on three consecutive Fridays April 7, 14 and 21 in 2045 Brown Hall. No experience is necessary. Registration is required at

For more information, contact Michiko Yoshimoto at or (269) 387-5874.

British author, adventurer to take wmu audience on a journey

March 20, 2017

KALAMAZOO, Mich.—British author and world traveler Victoria Finlay will take a local audience on an unusual journey to faraway places when she speaks later this month as part of the University Center for the Humanities spring series at Western Michigan University. 

Victoria Finlay, the author of three popular non-fiction books, will speak at 7 p.m. Thursday, March 30, in 1910 Sangren Hall. Her presentation, titled "How to Travel Through the World's Paintbox," is free and open to the public. Read more. 

WMU's ming li among national diversity award honorees

March 17, 2017

KALAMAZOO, Mich.—Dr. Ming Li, dean of the Western Michigan University College of Education and Human Development, is among 39 national higher education leaders honored this week by INSIGHT Into Diversity magazine, the oldest and largest diversity and inclusion publication in higher education.

Li and his fellow recipients were honored with the magazine's 2017 Giving Back Award. The annual award program honors college and university administrators who go above and beyond their everyday leadership duties and "give back" to their campuses and communities. Li is featured, along with 38 other recipients, in the April 2017 Leadership Support and Giving Back issue of INSIGHT Into Diversity.

Read more.

wmu to launch collegiate pathways program with forest hills public schools

March 13, 2017

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich.—On Thursday, March 2, Western Michigan University Extended University Programs entered into an agreement with Forest Hills Public Schools to launch the first-of-its-kind “Collegiate Pathways” program.

The dual enrollment program, set to launch in fall 2017 at Forest Hills Northern High School, allows students to earn the full Chinese language minor offered by WMU while still enrolled in high school. Dr. Edwin Martini, WMU associate dean for Extended University Programs, met with district officials at the WMU-Grand Rapids Beltline regional location to sign the contract and begin the rollout of logistics for next fall. Read more.

welcoming messages going up around campus

March 8, 2017

KALAMAZOO, Mich.—"Be proud," "Mi casa es su casa" and "You belong here" are just some of the messages people have been posting on select bulletin boards around Western Michigan University's campus for their fellow Broncos to see. The messages are part of an initiative University Libraries kicked off Feb. 27 that encourages students, faculty and staff to leave welcoming Post-it notes for members of WMU's diverse community. Read more. 

Stanford Names two wmu students as university innovation fellows

 March 1, 2017

 KALAMAZOO, Mich.—Two Western Michigan University students are among 224 nationally and internationally named University Innovation Fellows, a global program run by Stanford University that empowers student leaders to increase campus engagement with innovation, entrepreneurship, creativity and design thinking. 

Jill Puckett, a student majoring in advertising and promotion, with minors in general business and gender and women's studies, is from Marshall, while Nathan LaWarre, a student majoring in electrical engineering with a minor in environmental studies and sustainability, is from Saranac. They have just completed training to join the program. Read more.

WMU Student receives prestigious gilman award to study abroad

February 28, 2017             

KALAMAZOO, Mich.—A Western Michigan University student from Kalamazoo is using a prestigious national scholarship to study overseas this semester through the Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship Program.

EnRico Montalvo, a senior with double majors in Spanish and exercise science, received a Gilman Scholarship to study in Buenos Aires, Argentina. Montalvo is among 926 undergraduate awardees out of more than 2,800 U.S. applicants to receive a Gilman Scholarship for the spring 2017 semester.

The Gilman program offers study abroad grants for undergraduate students who demonstrate high financial need. The congressionally funded program supports study abroad by defraying such costs as tuition, room and board, books, local transportation, insurance, and international airfare.

The program has been successful in supporting students who have been historically underrepresented in education abroad, including first-generation college students, ethnic minority students, and students who have disabilities, are from U.S. states with low study abroad participation, and are studying in science, technology, engineering and mathematics—STEM—fields. Read more.

take advantage of global engagement opportunities in march

February 27, 2017             

KALAMAZOO, Mich.—Western Michigan University and the Kalamazoo community will offer numerous global engagement opportunities during the month of March. Highlights include a Model United Nations conference for high school students, opportunities to teach international students about the area and a wide scope of globally focused lectures. Read more at WMU News or at WMU's Global Engagement site.

WMU hailed as a top producer of u.s. Fulbright scholars

February 21, 2017

KALAMAZOO, Mich.—Western Michigan University is one of the nation's top producers of U.S. Fulbright Scholars, according to the U.S. Department of State's annual ranking of its flagship program, which was just published by the Chronicle of Higher Education.

With six WMU Fulbright Scholars awarded grants for 2016-17, the University is tied in 10th place as a top producer among the nation's research universities. The report was compiled by the Department of State's Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs.

"It's especially meaningful right now to be acknowledged for our success in producing Fulbright scholars," says WMU President John M. Dunn. "Global engagement has been central to this University's identity for decades, and at the same time our faculty members are active internationally, we have been host to record numbers of Fulbright students from other nations. As a campus and community, we're enjoying the best of both worlds."

Dr. Jane E. Blyth, interim associate provost of the University's Haenicke Institute for Global Education, attended a Fulbright reception in Washington, D.C., Feb. 21 honoring top Fulbright colleges and universities. Read more.

Professor Wins Prestigious Japanaese Literary Prize for Poetry

February 20, 2017

Dr. Jeffrey Angles, Western Michigan University professor of world languages and literatures, was honored during a formal ceremony in Tokyo Feb. 17 as the 2017 winner of the prestigious Yomiuri Prize for Literature in poetry.Angles won the prize—comparable to America's Pulitzer Prize—for his book of Japanese-language poetry "Watashi no hizukehenkōsen" ("My International Date Line"), which was published by Shichōsha in 2016.

The Yomiuri Prize for Literature, now in its 68th year, is given out in six categories each year: poetry, fiction, playwriting, criticism/biography, essays, and research/translation. All books published in the previous calendar year are considered for the award. Angles' book was, in the eyes of the judges, the best book of poetry published in Japan in 2016. Read more.

WMU Celebrates Research, Diversity and Global Engagement

February 14, 2017

KALAMAZOO, Mich.—"Spring Convocation: Recognition of Discovery, Diversity and Global Engagement" took place Friday, Feb. 17, at the Fetzer Center. The new annual spring gathering included events from Extended University Programs, Haenicke Institute for Global Education, Office of Diversity and Inclusion and Office of the Vice President for Research. They included scholar talks, professional development workshops, a recognition luncheon, and convocation and awards, followed by a Gold Gathering reception. 

Recipients for the Global Engagement Award included Dr. Zahir Quraeshi from the Haworth College of Business and Ms. Ann Ganz from WMU Study Abroad. Read more.

Take Advantage of Global Engagement Opportunities in February

January 26, 2017

KALAMAZOO, Mich.—Western Michigan University will offer numerous global engagement opportunities during the month of February for members of the campus and surrounding communities. Highlights include a Japanese conversation table, opportunities to teach international students about the area and a wide scope of globally focused lectures. Read more at WMU News and WMU's Global Engagement site.

wmu welcomes over 100 international students at international student orientation and registration program

January 11, 2017

Western Michigan University welcomed 130 new international students to campus during the International Student Orientation and Registration Program on January 5 and 6 with even more students expected this semester. 

At ISORP, international students meet faculty, staff, and current students who assist in the transition to Kalamazoo and beginning studies at WMU. The information and guidance offered to students at ISORP varies from working through immigration details to exploring how to grocery shop in the United States. 

"This is a prime opportunity for WMU to support the students and give them a "safe landing" and a good launch in to their academic programs. They connect with other students especially when they realize that WMU has many other international students," said Juan Tavares, Director of International Admissions and Services at WMU. Read more about ISORP.

Take Advantage of global engagement opportunities this month

January 1, 2017

Western Michigan University will offer numerous global engagement opportunities this month for members of the campus and surrounding communities. Highlights include welcoming international students to campus through English-language practice and winter outings, exploring study abroad through short-term faculty-led programs, and the grand opening of the Global Lounge in the Bernhard Center on WMU's main campus. Read more at WMU News and WMU's Global Engagement site.


Chinese Partner university president visits wmu

WMU and GUFE OfficialsGuizhou University of Finance and Economics (GUFE) President Cai Shaohong visited Western Michigan University on August 18, meeting with WMU President Dunn, Provost Greene, and officials from the Haworth College of Business and the Haenicke Institute for Global Education. GUFE and WMU recently launched a joint 3+1 program, allowing students from GUFE to transfer to WMU and earn a BBA in Accountancy. Currently, nearly 100 students are enrolled in the program at GUFE and are expected to transfer to WMU in fall of 2018. Additional joint programs are currently under development. President Cai was accompanied by Chang Mingming, Dean of the School of Economics, Zhou Xingang, Board Chairman of the School of Management Science, Zhang Yuqian, Executive Associate Dean of the International School, and Chen Yumei, Executive Associate Dean of the School of Cultural Communication & Law. GUFE is located in Guiyang, the capital of Guizhou province in southwestern China.

Free Japanese Language Lessons

A series of free, beginner Japanese language lessons are being offered on three consecutive Fridays in July beginning July 8 in WMU's College of Engineering and Applied Sciences. Open to the public; no experience necessary. To register, contact the Soga Japan Center at (269) 387-5874 or Flier.

Area families needed to host visiting international teachers, students

KALAMAZOO, Mich.—If your family enjoys meeting new people, exploring new cultures and introducing American culture to international visitors, consider becoming a host family. Read more at WMU News.

Partner visits and an alumni reunion focus of recent delegation in Japan

WMU delegation at Japan universityKALAMAZOO, Mich.—Haenicke Institute Executive Director Jane Blyth and CELCIS Director Tom Marks returned June 14 from a nine-day trip to Japan to visit the following WMU partners: St. Margaret’s Junior College, Nihon University, Musashino University, the University of Tokyo, Aichi Prefectural University, Ritsumeikan University, Doshisha University, and Kyoto Notre Dame University. Blyth and Marks also attended an alumni reunion in Tokyo hosted by the Kalamazoo-Kai, a WMU alumni organization. Dr. Steve Covell, WMU professor of comparative religion, and students enrolled in WMU's Japan Religion and Culture study abroad course also participated in the reunion and gave a short presentation on what they had learned while in Japan. Blyth and Marks also gave several presentations to prospective students and faculty, from whom they received very positive responses about WMU. Photo gallery.

New Broncos from Papua-Indonesia

KALAMAZOO, Mich.—WMU’s Center for English Language and Culture for International Students welcomed 40 new Broncos to campus on June 11 from Papua-Indonesia! The cohort will study English this summer and some will enroll in University programs as early as fall semester. Group photo.

Chicago meetings bolster international partnerships

Associate Provost Wolfgang Schlor with an official from Education Malaysia USA

Haenicke Institute Associate Provost Wolfgang Schlӧr visited the Education Malaysia Chicago office in Evanston, Ill. on Friday, June 10. He met with Director Azimah Binti Aziz to discuss ‪WMU‬'s Malaysian student population, opportunities for expanded student exchange between Malaysia and WMU, and current as well as potential partnerships with Malaysian universities. Currently, 46 Malaysian students are enrolled at WMU. Education Malaysia, previously known as Malaysia Students Department was a department established by the Government of Malaysia to manage the welfare of Malaysian students studying abroad. As time passed, Education Malaysia is now becoming a one stop center for all inquiries concerning Malaysia education, and hence, aligned with the expansion of its functions.

Schlӧr also visited the Consulate General of Brazil in Chicago, Ill., where he met with Consul General Paulo Camargo, Deputy Consul Marianne Martins Guimares, and Education Assistant Janaina Bertao Solomos. Schlӧr discussed WMU's strong record in hosting students through Brazil's Scientific Mobility Program, as well as WMU's emerging institutional partnerships in the country.

WMU professor co-develops first world religions course at partner institution

Dr. Brian WilsonDr. Brian Wilson, WMU comparative religion professor and recipient of a Fulbright Senior Specialist award, recently spent six weeks at Sunway University in Malaysia to co-develop the first-ever world religions course to be offered at Western University’s long-time institutional partner. We learned about his project in this interview. Read more.





Fulbright Fellow lands senior adviser position in Azerbaijan's education ministry

Orxan Abbasov, WMU Fulbright Fellow alumni, in AzerbejianOrxan Abbasov, a Fulbright Fellow who attended Western Michigan University from 2012 to 2014, was recently named senior advisor in the Ministry of Education in his home country—the Republic of Azerbaijan. He is currently working on implementation of a national strategy to develop education in rural, remote areas of Azerbaijan. Read more.



65 higher Education institutions participate in
9th International Conference on African Development

Participants in the 9th ICADA very successful 9th International Conference on African Development was held May 27-29, 2016 in Ethiopia at Addis Ababa University College of Business and Economics, Addis Ababa Science and Technology University, Adama Science and Technology University, and Arsi University. Themed on “Challenges and Opportunities for Good Governance and Leadership for Sustainable Development of African States,” the conference attracted scholars and researchers from 65 universities and research institutes representing 20 countries. A broad range of topics were covered in three keynote presentations and through the 70 papers presented in the conference’s 20 plenary sessions. Read more.



Historical novelist snags Light Center research grant

Dr. Victor Xiong

Dr. Victor Xiong is the recipient of the fifth annual Timothy Light Center for Chinese Studies Research grant. He will receive $3,000 to support three projects currently underway. Xiong, a professor

 of history, will use the award to promote a historical novel he recently published, to publish a monograph, and to help cover production costs of a forthcoming historical novel. Read more.



WMU officials visits UN to talk about international education

Western Michigan University's president and the University's chief international education official have been invited to United Nations headquarters in New York City to speak during a Friday, May 6, session focused on educational opportunities for young people in the Arab World. Read more at WMU News.

27th International Festival attracts thousands

Western Michigan University's premier multi-cultural celebration, International Festival, attracted more than 5,000 campus and community members to the Bernhard Center on Sunday, April 3, to celebrate the rich diversity international students bring to campus. Some videos and photos are accessible on the International Student Activities Facebook page and via the social media icons in the left column of this webpage. Thank you to the 135+ student volunteers, to the staff at the Bernhard Center, Dining Services, and the WMU Department of Public Safety for helping International Student Activities and the Campus Activities Board host a very successful 27th International Festival at WMU. Photo gallery.