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Travel grants allow faculty, staff to study in Mexico

Oct. 6, 2008

KALAMAZOO--A new study abroad opportunity for Western Michigan University employees called Mexican Language and Culture will be explained at a meeting noon Thursday, Oct. 9, on the 10th floor of Sprau Tower.

Qualified employees may take advantage of 10 grants of $1,500 each being offered to offset the expenses of this special two-week program. The deadline to apply is Monday, Nov. 24.

Apply for the Mexican Language and Culture program

Mexican Language and Culture will run from July 5-18 during the 2009 Summer II Session in Queretaro, Mexico. It is being offered by the Faculty Senate International Education Council and Haenicke Institute for Global Education in collaboration with the Department of Spanish.

Participants will study Spanish language and Mexican culture and take part in two field trips. Eligible applicants must complete Spanish 1010 or test out of the equivalent level by the end of the Summer I Session. Evening and lunch-hour sections are available for Spanish 1000 and 1010.

Attending the informational meeting on the new program will be Dr. Holly Nibert, the program's faculty director and a WMU associate professor of Spanish; Brett Berquist, WMU executive director of international programs; and Maria Eugenia Castillejos and Enrique Brito from the Department of Languages and Letters at the Universidad Autonoma de Queretaro, the program's institutional host.

The University's International Education Council reviewed ideas to support faculty development as a key component to further internationalize the learning experience at WMU. It's working group on this topic recommended developing training opportunities for faculty and staff.

"We can only prepare our students to be global citizens of the 21st century by assisting individual faculty and staff in their work towards this same objective," says Dr. Donald M. McCloud, dean of the Haenicke Institute.

Queretaro is the site of numerous colleges and universities. The Universidad Autonoma de Queretaro, a WMU study abroad partner for many years, is the largest. University employees participating in the program will attend classes on the main campus of the comprehensive public institution, which is within walking distance of the city center and is well served by public transportation.

Located 6,000 feet above sea level, Queretaro has moderate daytime temperatures (65-85 degrees F) and cool nights. It is a medium-sized city 135 miles north of Mexico City and is capital of the state of the same name. Founded in 1531, it possesses magnificent baroque churches, beautiful public buildings, harmonious and spacious plazas and parks, and excellent museums and theaters.

Those participating in Mexican Language and Culture are encouraged to take advantage of the abundant historical and architectural treasures located in Queretaro and neighboring cities and states. Found within three hours of the city are the colonial churches of Guanajuato and Morelia, the museums and galleries of Mexico City, and the spectacular ruins of several ancient civilizations.

Apply for the Mexican Language and Culture program

To view more more faculty development information, visit the Haenicke Institute online or contact Brett Berquist at brett.berquist@wmich.edu or (269) 387-5890.

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

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