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Fair highlights global education and intern opportunities

by Jeanne Baron

Sept. 27, 2011 | WMU News

Photo of the Great Wall of China.
Study engineering in China.
Great Wall of China
KALAMAZOO--Western Michigan University students can learn how to globalize their degrees while experiencing an overseas adventure by attending the Study and Intern Abroad Fair.

This year's free annual study abroad fair is open to the public and set for noon to 4 p.m., Wednesday, Oct. 5, on WMU's main campus in the Bernhard Center's East Ballroom.

The 2011 event will showcase the more than 70 programs WMU offers in some 30 countries. Some of the short-term, faculty-led programs that will be highlighted are open to mature high school students as well as adults who are interested in travel and learning.

Studying or interning abroad provides a bridge for students wishing to enhance their WMU degree with an international experience that will give them a competitive edge when seeking employment. Graduate and undergraduate students working toward degrees in any discipline, regardless of foreign language skills, are eligible to earn major and minor or general education and elective credits at WMU while exploring new cultures overseas.

The fair offers attendees the opportunity to speak with WMU students who have studied and interned abroad, as well as WMU professors who coordinate programs and courses around the world. Additionally, study abroad specialists from WMU Study Abroad will be available to answer questions, along with representatives from non-WMU organizations providing more than 100 study and work programs conducted worldwide.

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 aid, health and other issues related to traveling abroad.

Prospective study abroad students will learn about completing internships with overseas companies and numerous academic and language-intensive programs. Many study abroad programs are taught in English.

Programs available include studying comparative nursing practices in the Netherlands; African studies in Capetown, South Africa; and engineering in China or the Czech Republic and Poland. Students also may enroll in language programs focusing on Chinese, French, Spanish and Japanese, among others.

The 2011 Study and Intern Abroad Fair will feature:

More than 500 WMU students participate in study and work abroad programs each academic year. Nearly all types of student financial aid may be applied toward study abroad, including money received through the Kalamazoo Promise and Michigan Education Trust funds. Numerous scholarships are also available.

In 2010, WMU students received more than $500,000 from scholarships and grants specifically earmarked for study abroad. Of that amount, more than $415,000 came from WMU sources, such as the Dean's Scholarship for Summer Study Abroad and 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.

The Study and Intern Abroad Fair is being sponsored by the University's Haenicke Institute for Global Education.

For more information, including registration details for program representatives and study abroad vendors, contact Whitney Morgan, WMU study abroad fair coordinator, at or (269) 387-5890.