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Study and Work Abroad Fair expands global horizons

Oct. 1, 2008

KALAMAZOO--An upcoming event at Western Michigan University will allow students and members of the general public to learn how they can join the ranks of the more than 200,000 Americans who earn academic credit each year while studying and working abroad.

The University's 2008 Study and Work Abroad Fair is free and provides information not only about overseas study and work, but also about the personal and professional benefits of visiting other countries.

The fair will be held from 4 to 7 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 8, on campus in the Bernhard Center's South Ballroom. It is being sponsored by the Haenicke Institute for Global Education.

Attendees will have the chance to speak with WMU students who have studied and worked abroad, WMU professors who coordinate programs and courses around the world, and study abroad advisors from the Haenicke Institute. Also on hand will be representatives from non-WMU organizations touting more than 100 study and work programs conducted worldwide.

Those attending the fair will be able to learn about completing internships with overseas companies and a wealth of academic programs, such as studying aviation in Australia, language and culture in China, health care in Mexico, and art and architecture Europe.

Students working on undergraduate or graduate degrees, regardless of their disciplines and foreign language skills, may choose from scores of overseas programs and courses. They may earn major and minor or general education and elective credits at WMU while overseas.

Some summer programs are open to mature high school students as well as adults who are interested in travel and learning but are not attending college.

This year's Study and Work Abroad Fair features several new elements, including:

Expanded opportunities for overseas internships due to broader collaboration with WMU's Career and Student Employment Services.

Presentation of three informational sessions, Study Abroad 101 for High School Students from 4:30 to 5:30 p.m., Intern Abroad for Academic Credit from 5 to 6 p.m., and the Study Abroad 101 panel discussion from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. with financial aid staff members and students who have previously studied abroad.

Implementation of a high school outreach plan, through which juniors and seniors in the local area have been formally invited to the fair.

Prize giveaways sponsored by STA Travel for a 10-day Global Rail pass and three $100 vouchers to offset the cost of travel booked with the company, which is one of the largest student travel organizations in the world.

A free pop and slice of pizza, while supplies last.

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 questions about financial, health and other issues related to traveling abroad.

More than 500 WMU students participate in study and work abroad programs each academic year, and numerous scholarships are available to them through the University and other institutions.

In 2007, WMU students received some $400,000 from scholarships and grants specifically earmarked for study abroad. Of that amount, $385,000 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.

Additionally, many students used part of the financial aid they received to help offset the cost of overseas study or work. 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.

For more information about the 2008 Study and Work Abroad Fair, including registration details for program representatives and study abroad vendors, go to www.wmich.edu/studyabroad or contact Joe Milostan, WMU study abroad outreach coordinator, at study-abroad@wmich.edu or (269) 387-5890.

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

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