For Students

Western Michigan University is globally engaged, offering many opportunities for undergraduate and graduate students to expand their world views and to increase their inter-cultural competence on and off campus, including those listed below.


Western Michigan University offers many scholarships and awards to support student study and research. Review comprehensive information via the following links:

Fulbright for WMU students: The Fulbright U.S. Student Program offers fellowships for graduating college seniors, graduate students, young professionals and artists from the United States to study, conduct research or to serve as an English teaching assistant abroad for one academic year. In addition, Critical Language Enhancement Awards are available to grantees for study of critical-need foreign languages before or concurrently with their grant period.

Global engagement opportunities


Global and International Studies—Increasingly, employers are looking for international understanding and experience. If you're interested in gaining an edge, the global and international studies program in the College of Arts and Sciences at Western Michigan University may be a good program for you.

Study Abroad—Studying abroad is a seminal experience that can greatly enhance your education by raising your geographical and cultural awareness—two key areas of interest for today's employers seeking new hires. Whether you are a business major, biology major, fashion major, foreign language major, or any major in between, Western Michigan University has a study abroad program suited for you.

Study the language and literature of another country:

Work and learn with international students

More than 1,800 international students representing 100 countries are currently enrolled at WMU.  Opportunities:

  • Join the International Programs Councila student organization dedicated to promoting cross-cultural understanding through organizing campus–wide events in addition to hosting occasional social activities.
  • The International Student Orientation and Registration Program utilizes WMU student leaders (paid) to welcome new international students to campus just prior to the beginning of the fall, spring, and summer I semesters. Write:
  • CELCIS: The Center for English Language and Culture for International Students is WMU's English as a Second Language program. Help a fellow Bronco learn English by volunteering as a conversation partner and learn about another culture. Write:
  • Buddy Program: Study Abroad alumni have the opportunity to serve as ambassadors to exchange students coming to WMU through international partnerships with other universities. This program satisfies a volunteer requirement for the President's Grant for Study Abroad scholarship and the Haenicke Institute for Global Education President's Scholarship for Study Abroad. Write:
  • Sign up as a volunteer for International Festival held in March or the Study Abroad fair held in early October. Write:

Volunteer for a research center or institute

The Haenicke Institute is home to four research centers and institutes that offer volunteer opportunities.

  • Center for African Development Policy Research: The Center for African Development Policy Research is an interdisciplinary academic program established at WMU in fall 2000. The center is a joint initiative of the WMU Department of Economics in the College of Arts and Sciences, and the Diether H. Haenicke Institute for Global Education, to foster collaborative research activities with relevant WMU academic departments and units in implementing its activities. Write:
  • Confucius Institute at WMU: Established in fall 2009 through a partnership with Beijing Language and Culture University, the Confucius Institute at WMU offers language and culture classes to foster a deeper understanding of China. Write:
  • Timothy Light Center for Chinese StudiesEstablished in fall 2010, the Timothy Light Center for Chinese Studies was created to enhance the work of faculty and graduate researchers at WMU who have expertise in some field of Sinology and their continuing pedagogical and research interests in China. Write:
  • Michitoshi Soga Japan Center: was founded in 2006 and is dedicated to promoting research to advance knowledge about Japan for students and scholars, government, community and corporate leaders, and the general public. The Soga Center works with an extensive alumni network in Japan and benefits from the Japan Friends of WMU endowment.

Join an international registered student organization

WMU hosts more than 300 registered student organizations and many of them focus on international events and communities—visit this webpage for more information.

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For more information, contact the Haenicke Institute.