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Study abroad fair targets business students

Jan. 21, 2009

KALAMAZOO--The personal and professional benefits of studying and working abroad while earning academic credit will be discussed during Western Michigan University's Business Abroad Fair from 4 to 6 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 29, in 2150 Schneider Hall.

WMU offers business majors and minors numerous study abroad and exchange programs and overseas internships in locations spanning the continents of Asia, Australia (sometimes called Oceania) and Europe. WMU faculty and staff members are invited to enroll in offerings that take place over the summer.

Attendees will have the chance to speak with WMU students who have studied or worked abroad, WMU professors who coordinate programs and courses around the world, and study abroad advisors from the Haenicke Institute, which is sponsoring the fair.

Also on hand will be representatives from non-WMU study- and work-abroad programs conducted worldwide.

Dr. Zahir A. Quraeshi, WMU professor of marketing and international business, says today's employers are keenly interested in hiring candidates who have overseas experience.

"In a world 'flattened' by technological and communication developments, and a workplace marked by multicultural diversity, students need to be suitably prepared for the globalized world of business," Quraeshi explains.

"Study abroad provides truly unique, invaluable and unrivaled experiences that can greatly enrich a student's academic preparation for a satisfying and productive career."

WMU senior Sarah McCormick, a native of Long Beach, Ind., majoring in marketing, studied business for a semester in Rome in fall 2007. She says living and studying in another culture increased her awareness of her career and leadership potential, as well as enhanced her resume.

"The semester after I returned from Italy, I became more involved on campus and took on leadership roles," says McCormick, who now serves as a peer advisor in the Haenicke Institute's study abroad office.

"Spending time in another country also allowed me to look at class topics from a different view and to share broadened perspectives with my class and professors. While interviewing for jobs and internships, I realized the amazing effect studying abroad has on my resume. It's the first thing I'm asked about every time."

WMU's business-oriented programs focus on subjects such as accountancy, economics, finance, marketing and management, with some programs also offering intensive foreign language study. They are being offered in 14 countries: Australia, China, Costa Rica, Egypt, England, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Malaysia, New Zealand, Norway, the Netherlands and Thailand. In addition, the study abroad office can help students learn about overseas internships.

The University provides a variety of scholarships for students wishing to study abroad, including the President's Grant, which awards up to $9,000 to students who plan to study a foreign language while abroad.

All financial aid can be applied to study abroad programs, including Kalamazoo Promise and Michigan Education Trust funds.

Of the more than 65 overseas programs WMU is offering this year, 16 are particularly suited for business studies, including those at the Alexandria Center for Languages, Beijing Language and Culture University, Norwegian School of Management, Otaru University of Commerce, Sunway University College, Swinburne University of Technology and University of Maastricht.

For more information, visit WMU study abroad online, send e-mail to study-abroad@wmich.edu, call (269) 387-5890 or visit the study abroad office in Room B2425 of Ellsworth Hall. The office, which is located on Ellsworth's second floor, is open 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday and offers informational sessions as well as walk-in advising hours on a daily basis.

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