Central Michigan University has joined the Institute for International Education’s campaign to increase the number of students studying abroad.
CMU has committed to integrate study abroad programs into the curriculum with a five-year goal of doubling participation. The IIE’s Generation Study Abroad campaign is focused on enhancing a student’s capacity to think and work in a global environment.
“CMU is among the first group of universities in the country making a commitment to encourage more students to study abroad,” Dianne De Salvo, study abroad director said. “Not only does the experience change how a student sees the world, it’s a valuable addition to the student’s résumé.”
Last year 570 students participated in CMU’s study abroad program. Nationwide, less than 10 percent of the 2.6 million annual college graduates have studied internationally.
French and political science double major Nick Varner of Bad Axe recently studied in France.
“Spending a semester in France made me realize how interconnected we are to people of various cultures around the world,” Varner said. “Studying abroad helped build my self-reliance and prepared me to thrive in foreign settings.”
Chicago integrative public relations senior Natilie Williams traveled to Singapore.
“Since studying abroad in Singapore, I have been accepted into graduate school at Illinois State University where my experience was the foundation of my admission,” Williams said. “Singapore opened my eyes to the diverse cultures represented and showcased acceptance and inclusion.”
CMU offers study abroad opportunities at more than 150 study sites in 40 countries.
“Globalization has changed the way the world works, and employers are increasingly looking for workers who have international skills and expertise,” Allan Goodman, president of IIE, said in a news release. “Studying abroad must be viewed as an essential component of a college degree and critical to preparing future leaders.”