New study abroad scholarship tailored for incoming freshmen

Contact: Jeanne Baron

KALAMAZOO, Mich.—A new scholarship program launched in May will help fund study abroad experiences for first-time freshmen who will begin their studies at Western Michigan University in fall 2017.

The competitive Global Ambassadors Scholarship program makes $180,000 in funding available annually to support study abroad experiences for 100 eligible incoming freshmen. A selection committee will choose which students from the applicant pool will be invited to participate in an interactive competition held on WMU's main campus Friday, Nov. 11, to determine the top-level scholarship recipients.

Depending on the results of the competition, students will be awarded a scholarship to participate in a fully-funded pre-freshman study abroad course in summer 2017, a future study abroad trip through WMU or both the summer course and future trip.

"We're really excited about this new scholarship program because studying abroad illustrates all three critical aspects of WMU's mission—providing learner centered, discovery driven and globally engaged experiences for our students," says Korey Force, study abroad outreach coordinator for the Haenicke Institute for Global Education.

"We hope that this scholarship will encourage more students at earlier stages to begin thinking about study abroad and to participate in study abroad opportunities. Recent studies show study abroad alumni achieve higher grade point averages, graduate at higher rates and receive more job offers compared to students who do not study abroad."

Two-tier scholarship program

WMU will invite 100 Global Ambassadors Scholarship applicants to campus to participate in the interactive competition. The students will vie for one of 15 top-level Global Ambassadors Diplomat Scholarships. The remaining competitors will receive a Global Ambassadors Representative Scholarship.

  • The diplomat-level scholarship includes a fully-funded study abroad course that the recipients can take during WMU's summer II session just prior to the start of the fall semester in 2017, when they begin their academic career at the University. In addition, recipients also are awarded money to use during their sophomore, junior or senior year—$10,000 if they choose to study abroad for one or more semesters or $3,000 if they choose a short-term study abroad program.
  • The representative-level scholarship provides $1,000 toward one of WMU's long- or short-term study abroad programs that students can use during their sophomore, junior or senior year.

Eligibility criteria, required materials

Students must be at least age 18 to participate in study abroad at WMU. To be eligible to apply for the Global Ambassadors Scholarship, they must meet the following criteria:

  • Be a first-time, full-time WMU freshman entering the University in fall 2017.
  • Have submitted their WMU admissions application materials by Friday, Oct. 7. The application is available at Students do not need to have received an admission decision by Oct. 7.
  • Have submitted their Global Ambassadors Scholarship application, which includes a video and short essay, by Friday, Oct. 7. The application is available at

Additional information

By the end of October, the University will notify scholarship applicants whether they have been invited to participate in the on-campus competition. In December, competition participants will be notified about the level of scholarship they are being offered.

For details about the Global Ambassadors Scholarship, visit Direct questions to Scott Hennessy in the Office of Admissions at or (269) 387-2011 or Korey Force in Study Abroad at or (269) 387-3780.

For more information about other WMU scholarship programs for incoming freshmen, visit and click Scholarships under the Cost and Scholarships link.

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