Global Engagement Program

Prepare for a globalized world on campus, in the classroom, and abroad! By earning points toward Global Bronco, Global Explorer, and Global Citizen status, you can earn unique scholarships and set yourself apart from your peers in a shrinking world. You may already have earned some points without knowing it; read on to learn more!

What is the Global Engagement Program?

In support of Western Michigan University's goal of global engagement for all, the Haenicke Institute for Global Education offers Global Engagement Program (GEP).

The program was created to give our students the knowledge and skills they need to lead in their chosen disciplines and become global citizens. Students can widen their horizons, hone their cross-cultural communication abilities, and gain a deeper understanding of global challenges by interacting with various cultures and societies. The program structure provides a wide array of globally engaged opportunities at no cost!

WMU students have a one-of-a-kind opportunity to gain significant global experience while pursuing their academic goals through the Global Engagement Program. Students have the opportunity to participate in a variety of global activities through this program, including studying abroad, conducting research, internships, and earning $1000+ in scholarships for taking part in learning initiatives in different parts of the world.

Program Overview

By attending on-campus events, enrolling GEP-approved courses, and engaging in a variety of international activities, undergraduate students earn points toward the Global Bronco, Global Explorer, and Global Citizen status!

Each status comes with unique rewards and can be earned either sequentially or all at once. It all depends on how YOU want to engage with the world. Most students will likely progress from Global Bronco to Global Explorer to Global Citizen while at WMU. The program was designed for maximum flexibility for all types of students, including those who work and run student organizations.

Each spring, there will be a ceremony where students in each status will be recognized for their efforts!

Status Award
Global Bronco

Attend any six "Global Engagement" events and choose from any two core Global Bronco requirements (almost all are free to attend, details below). 

$500 study abroad or virtual study abroad scholarship*

Global Explorer        

Complete GIST 3100 "Global Topics in the Field" (satisfies WES Level 2) plus one of 100+ GEP-approved courses (most of which satisfy either WES, major, or minor requirements).

 $1000 study abroad or virtual study abroad scholarship*

Global Citizen

Meet two Global Citizen Requirements such as studying abroad, engaging in research or internships abroad, applying for Fulbright or Boren scholarships, declare a language major/minor, and more.

Letter of recommendation from the Haenicke Institute for Global Education and paid internship opportunities

*GEP-scholarships are repeatable toward multiple study abroad and virtual study abroad trips but not stackable into one trip. However, GEP-scholarships can be combined with additional study abroad scholarships. After being awarded the scholarship, students are free to choose when to use them before graduation.

Global Engagement Status Details

  • Global Bronco

    To achieve the status of Global Bronco, students must attend a minimum of six designated events specified by GEP. These events are held frequently around campus, and all include an international component that furthers global engagement for participants. Examples of these events include the following: 

    • Haenicke Institute Workshops: This may include international communication training sessions, development events, or any other workshops coordinated and promoted by HIGE.

    • GEP-Organized Events: In addition to workshops, the GEP hosts social and educational events for students. These include guest speakers, international student socials, global engagement events, and more.

    • Study Abroad Information Sessions: To promote global engagement and study abroad, students can attend a study abroad information session virtually, Monday through Friday. This is the first step to studying abroad and can be done immediately after freshman orientation. Sign-up today!

    • Conversation Circles: Held weekly throughout the year, the Center for English Language and Culture for International Students (CELCIS) hosts Conversation Circles that create opportunities to explore new cultures and practice second languages for both domestic and international students.

    • Designated Events on ExperienceWMU: A designated Global Engagement category on ExperienceWMU gives students the chance to search for globally engaging events on campus that the GEP has tagged and vetted for the Global Bronco status. These include international guest speakers, international RSO events, and other cultural gatherings. 

    To get credit for attending any of the events above, students must swipe their Bronco ID at the event. This will mark attendance and progress in the Global Engagement Path on ExperienceWMU. 

    In addition to attending at least six of the events listed above, students who want to achieve Global Bronco will need to fulfill two of the following requirements:

    • Attend a Mini-Cultural Festival: Held twice yearly on campus, the mini-cultural festival is an opportunity to mingle with students from around the world and exchange cultural traditions and stories.

    • Attend the International Festival: Held once yearly at WMU, the International Festival is one of WMU's longest-running celebrations of international culture, food, and art, with live performances, fantastic cuisine, and more. 

    • Submit a Gilman Application: Students planning to study abroad can apply for the Gilman Scholarship Program. This a federal study abroad scholarship awarding up to $5,000 to students receiving Pell Grants that are going on a university study abroad program. Details for deadlines and eligibility are available here: https://wmich.edu/studyabroad/gilman.

    • Volunteer Event Support: Students may also opt to provide volunteer support for a designated GEP event. Opportunities will be promoted through GEP for specific events held throughout the year.

    • Help run an International Registered Student Organizations (RSO): By serving on the executive board (president/vice president/treasurer/secretary/etc.) of an approved international RSO, students gain valuable leadership and management experience that prepares them for any future role. 

    To get credit for attending any of the events above, students must swipe their Bronco ID at the event. This will mark attendance and progress in the Global Engagement Path on ExperienceWMU. Some experiences, such as running an International RSO, need to be manually submitted by students in ExperienceWMU.

  • Global Explorer

    To achieve the status of Global Explorer,  students must complete GIST 3100 (Global Studies in the Field). This course can be taken at any time during a student's undergraduate career and is an excellent way to prepare for studying abroad.

    (FALL 2023, GIST 3100 is offered on Mon/Wed 3:30-4:45, or Tu/Th 3:30-4:45)

    In addition, students must complete one or more of the following:  

    • Global Classroom Experience: Completing a Global Classroom Experience gives students the opportunity to connect with students studying in other countries to compare educational systems, learning styles, and more. These experiences are organized and promoted by the Haenicke Institute and Global Engagement Program.
    • Virtual Study Abroad Program: Virtual Study Abroad Programs are offered digitally by WMU as a way to get an experience abroad while staying in Kalamazoo. A list of qualifying virtual study abroad programs can be found here.
    • World Language Class: Students who complete any World Language course at or above the 2000 level will meet this requirement.
    • GEP-Approved Course: Students who complete a course with an international component that serves to further global engagement will meet this requirement. A complete list of 75+ qualifying courses can be found here. If a student is taking a course they think meets these criteria and is not on the list, they can submit it for review and possible inclusion by contacting us.
    • Global Study in the USA: Essentially a domestic alternative to study abroad trips, this is an opportunity for students to engage with new cultures without leaving the United States. Trips are organized and promoted by the Haenicke Institute and Global Engagement Program. 
    • Apply for a Critical Language Scholarship (CLS): This is a scholarship offered by the U.S. Department of State. It provides an immersive summer opportunity for students to learn languages essential to America's engagement with the world. Details about the scholarship, including eligibility and deadlines, are available at https://clscholarship.org/. Students must self-submit this accomplishment on ExperienceWMU once the application has been submitted.
    • Attend a Model U.N./Leadership Conference:  Students who participate in a Model U.N. or similar leadership conference can self-submit their information on ExperienceWMU. Once accepted, this requirement will be fulfilled.
  • Global Citizen

    To achieve the status of Global Citizen, students must fulfill two of the following requirements:

    • Study Abroad: Students who complete any study abroad program verified by the Office of Study Abroad fulfill this requirement. Check out WMU's 90+ programs online now or schedule an information session today.
    • Complete Research on a Global Topic: Conducting research on a global topic is offered through the Haenicke Institute as a way for students to complete advanced research from a globally engaged perspective. Students must submit their intention to conduct this research to the Global Engagement Program.
    • Declare a World Language Major/Minor: By formally declaring a major or minor in any world language through their advisor, students meet this requirement.
    • Complete an International Internship: Students who complete any international internship are encouraged to submit this in ExperienceWMU. Once a GEP staff member has certified and approved the experience, it will fulfill this requirement. 
    • Submit a Fulbright Application: 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. Applications are due roughly one year prior to the program beginning. Therefore, students considering this should apply at the beginning of their senior/final year at WMU. Applications are typically due in September. More information: https://wmich.edu/fulbright/students.
    • Submit a Boren Application: The Boren Program offers major funding opportunities for undergraduate and graduate students to focus on geographic areas, languages, and fields of study that are critical to U.S. interests and that are underrepresented in study abroad programs. Applications are typically due at the beginning of the spring semester and require advisor support to complete. More information: https://wmich.edu/studyabroad/boren

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Do I have to pay to be part of the Global Engagement Program?

    No! Taking part in the GEP comes at no cost to students. In some cases, completion of specific requirements at the Global Explorer and Global Citizen level (including for-credit courses at WMU and study abroad trips) will have associated fees. However, participation in the GEP offers the opportunity for unique study abroad scholarships with low barriers to entry.

  • Can I use my Global Bronco and Global Explorer scholarships for the same trip?

    Students are not able to "stack" multiple scholarships for one trip. However, students could use the $1,000 scholarship for one study abroad trip and the $500 scholarship for a different one. GEP scholarships can be combined with another study abroad scholarships issued through WMU, including Pell Grant Scholarships.

  • Where can I track my progress in the GEP?

    The best way to track your progress is through ExperienceWMU. Log in to view your progress in the Global Bronco, Global Explorer, and Global Citizen categories. This is also where you can self-report certain requirements. This instructional video guides you through the Global Engagement Pathway in ExperienceWMU.

  • Can I complete the same status more than once?

    Yes! Students are welcome to earn any status more than once. Suppose you earn a Global Bronco status and use the $500 study abroad scholarship reward. In that case, you can repeat the Global Bronco category and use another $500 scholarship for a second study abroad experience.

  • Are graduate students eligible for rewards?

    Currently, the Global Engagement Program is for undergraduate students at Western Michigan University. However, undergraduates who earn scholarship rewards through GEP can apply them to study abroad trips taken as graduate student while at WMU.

  • Are international students eligible for rewards?

    Yes! Any undergraduate student attending WMU is welcome to participate, earn rewards, and enjoy globally engaging activities on and off campus.

  • How does attendance get tracked for events?

    Most events, including ones organized by the Haenicke Institute or Global Engagement Program, will be tracked by swiping Bronco IDs upon entry. Please bring and swipe your Bronco ID to receive credit for events. 

  • Further questions?

    Contact the Haenicke Institute for Global Education at hige-globalengagement@wmich.edu or schedule an appointment with a member of the Global Engagement Team.