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Gateway to the world opens wide at study abroad fair

Sept. 27, 2009

KALAMAZOO--The world view today's employers are seeking in new hires is one of the benefits 200,000 Americans reap when they study and intern abroad each academic year. Western Michigan University will provide information about those benefits during its 2009 Study and Intern Abroad Fair from 4 to 7 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 6, on campus in the Bernhard Center's South Ballroom.

The free fair also will showcase the more than 60 WMU programs in 35 countries that allow students in all majors and minors to earn academic or internship credit. The event is open to the public and being sponsored by the University's Haenicke Institute for Global Education.

Attendees will have an 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 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.

Prospective global travelers will learn about completing internships with overseas companies and numerous academic and language-intensive programs, such as studying business in Thailand, aviation in Australia, religion and culture in Japan, health care in Ireland, or art and architecture in Europe. Many of the overseas programs that will be highlighted are taught in English.

Graduate and undergraduate students working toward degrees in any discipline, regardless of their foreign-language skills, are eligible to earn 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 and adults who are interested in travel and learning but are not currently attending college.

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.

The 2009 Study and Intern Abroad Fair will feature:

  • Expanded opportunities for overseas internships due to broad collaboration with WMU's Career and Student Employment Services.
  • Presentation of two informational sessions, Intern Abroad for Academic Credit from 4:30 to 5:30 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.
  • Giveaways of a three-week Eurail pass and two international cell phones hosted by STA Travel, one of the world's largest student-travel organizations.
  • A free soft drink 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 inquiries 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.

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

For more information about the 2009 Study and Intern Abroad Fair, including registration details for program representatives and study abroad vendors, visit wmich.edu/studyabroad or contact Krystal Bresnahan, WMU study abroad fair coordinator, at k4bresna@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