CMU Abroad

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 In this issue:
 In this issue:
 Section 1: Program News
In This Issue 1 sm.jpg Programs in Focus: Subject Guides for Study Abroad
 Upcoming Events and Deadlines
Notes from the Great Lakes Conference
Section 2: Features
In This Issue 2 sm.jpg Graduation Sashes: Celebrating International  Experience
Cultural and Global Studies: Study abroad as part of new certificate programs
Beyond the Classroom: Strategies to encourage study abroad
Student Stories: Student volunteers
Lauren Presutti and Al Covington
Section 3: Alumni
Emily Marvosh, musician and Mike Tyle, designer
Blogs from Abroad: Spring 2013
Samantha J., Callie A., and Megan B.
News in Brief: Gilman Scholarship Recipients

Programs in Focus: Which study abroad programs are best for students in my department?
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With more than 150 approved programs, there are study abroad options for every subject area. But which partners, affiliates and faculty-led programs are the best fit for students in your department or academic discipline? Our new study abroad subject guides make it clear!
The Office of Study Abroad has added 19 subject guides to our website, with more to come throughout the year. The guides highlight programs that offer a wide selection of English-language courses in each academic discipline, as well as tips on timing, financing, and steps to study abroad.
These guides provide an overview to help students, faculty and advisors identify programs wehre students can study abroad while earing credit toward their major or minor. Study abroad advisors also work with each interested student to help them identify the program that will work best with their academic goals and priorities, interests, and budget.
To view the study abroad subject guides, click here.
Study Abroad Program Type: What's the Difference?
​Tuition Exchange
​Affiliated Program ​Faculty-Led ​Internship
Pay CMU tuition and enroll directly in a partner university abroad. In exchange, students from our partners come to CMU.
Enroll through one of our approved affiliates. Some programs are integrated with local students, others are exclusively US and other study abroad students. ​ ​Study abroad with other CMU students in courses taught by CMU faculty. Most programs run during summer or spring break. CMU tuition and program fees apply.
​All internships are credit-bearing and you will work closely with advisors to ensure approval. CMU only offers internships through our partner organizations.
​Great for students who:
- are independent and self-directed
- want to meet locals
- want a low-cost program
Great for students who:
- prefer a program with support services included
- want max. choice of program and location​
Great for students who:
- prefer a very structured program
- prefer a short program
- prefer group travel
Great for students who:
- need to fulfill an internship requirement
- want to get work experience abroad
Mark your Calendar sm.jpgMark Your Calendar: Upcoming Events
Study Abroad Fair. Wednesday, September 25, 6 - 8 pm. Bovee UC Rotunda.
Meet CMU students who have recently returned from study abroad. Talk to students, staff, and faculty-leaders about the program options and how you can study abroad.

Passport Fair. Wednesday, September 25, 1 - 4 pm and Wednesday, October 23, 1 - 4 pm. Bovee UC Isabella Room.
Isabella County Registrar of Deeds employees will be in the Bovee UC Isabella Room to collect passport applications from students, faculty and staff.
Spring 2014 Application Deadlines

Application deadline for study abroad programs: August 15 - September 30, 2013.
Deadlines vary by program. For details visit the brochure pages for programs of interest under "Choose Your Program" on the Office of Study Abroad website.
Application deadline for Office of Study Abroad scholarships: October 15, 2013. Find details on how to apply on the Office of Study Abroad website "Fund Study Abroad" page.
Integrating Study Abroad into the Curriculum: Notes from the Great Lakes Conference
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Tanya Domina, professor in Apparel Merchandising & Design (AMD), is dedicated to providing AMD students with international opportunities. In a presentation about integrating study abroad into the curriculum at the May 2013 Great Lakes Conference, she offered the following advice to programs and departments seeking to encourage study abroad.
All for One... Foster consensus about study abroad among faculty - then designate one faculty member to be the point of contact for student inquiries.

Say it  - then say it again!  Students in AMD hear about study abroad at every turn: meetings  with advisors; meetings with parents; when signing a major; at the annual Career Day, and so on...
Be Flexible. When evaluating credit for courses taken abroad, take a wholistic view of the curriculum. Encourage students to take courses abroad in their focus area that may not be available at CMU.
For more information on how you can integrate study abroad into your department’s academic programs, please contact the Office of Study Abroad.
Graduation Sashes: A celebration of international experience
Participants at the Spring 2013 commencement ceremonies may have noticed flashes of color embellishing the usually muted graduation regalia. On April 9, 2013, the Academic Senate unanimously approved a policy allowing graduates who are international students or who studied abroad to wear graduation sashes with the flag of their home/host country. Any graduate who has studied abroad multiple times may wear a sash that includes the symbols of up to four host countries. The Spring 2013 commencement ceremony was the first time that these sashes were worn and many graduates took advantage of the opportunity.

“The sashes are a wonderful way for students who studied abroad to represent their host countries and celebrate their international experiences at graduation,” says CMU alumna Annie Harrison, pictured (below) in her graduation sash. Harrison studied abroad in Scotland in Spring 2012.More information on graduation sashes for returning study abroad participants can be found on the Study Abroad website.

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Cultural and Global Studies: Study abroad as part of new certificate programs
In 2013, seven new certificate programs were introduced as part of the Cultural and Global Studies Program, affiliated with the School of Public Service and Global Citizenship. The following certificates are now offered:
  • African and African Diaspora Studies
  • American Indian Studies
  • Cultural Competency
  • East Asian Studies
  • European Studies
  • Latin American and Latino Studies
  • Middle East and Islamic Studies
The certificate programs range from 16-18 credit hours and draw from disciplines across the University. Students can study abroad as part of the program.

“Many courses within the certificates are eligible to be substituted by classes taken abroad,” says program director, Dr. Orlando Pérez, “so there are opportunities for students to use study abroad to fulfill the requirements for these certificates.” Those interested in studying abroad as part of a certificate program may discuss this with their academic and study abroad advisors. For more information on the certificate programs, visit their website by clicking here.

Beyond the Classroom: Integrating international experiences to encourage study abroad
MIke Pisani sm.jpg“One must walk the talk,” says Dr. Mike Pisani, Professor of International Business, about encouraging students to study abroad. “I promote study abroad by example. In class, I share my international experiences through class discussion, lectures, and writing.” But faculty without an international research agenda can still incorporate international learning into the classroom.  “Students with international experiences are encouraged to share with their classmates,” says Pisani, “and former students and business professionals are invited back into the classroom to present their international experiences. All of this creates a ‘buzz’ for international study.” Furthermore, as an advisor for the international business major, Dr. Pisani is actively involved in helping students explore their options and opportunities to study abroad.
What does study abroad add to the undergraduate curriculum? According to Dr. Pisani,
“Extended study abroad provides an experiential component to university education. Higher education should provide both theory and practice and study abroad connects the two like no other experience. This international preparation sets one apart and indicates a readiness and maturity to navigate the global economy. For these reasons, I am a strong advocate of study abroad.”
As a student, Pisani studied abroad in Guadalajara, Mexico, an experience that sparked an interest in international economic development. This passion has shaped his academic career. This year, his son studied abroad in China.
Dr. Pisani encourages faculty to incorporate international experiences into their classrooms whenever possible. His advice to students? “Go study abroad, go often, stay awhile, and enjoy the experience... Visit the Office of Study Abroad today!”
The Peer to Peer Difference!
Meet the student volunteers at the heart of the Office of Study Abroad. Three volunteer programs, with varying activities and levels of commitment, allow students who have returned from study abroad to give back to the campus community and share their experiences with students considering going abroad for the first time.  Peer Advisors hold walk-in office hours and help prospective participants navigate the study abroad process. Ambassadors participate in campus events and classroom presentations, sharing general information about study abroad as well as their personal experience. Other volunteers participate in a variety of activities to spread the word about study abroad. Peer Advisors and Ambassadors are selected through a competitive process and receive training from the Office of Study Abroad. Over 200 students volunteered some of  their time in 2012-2013 to promote study abroad on campus.
Faculty: If you wish to schedule a class presentation by a study abroad ambassador or advisor, please contact us!
Welcome to the 2013 teams:
​Peer Advisors Ambassadors
​Kylie Cusumano, United Kingdom
Kelsey Fernandez, Italy
Leydiana Gittens, UK & Hong Kong
Lauren Hayes, South Korea
Brittany Hild, The Netherlands
Andrea Howard, Czech Republic
Joann Jeplawy, Ecuador
Rachel McDaniel, Denmark & Ecuador
Tonya Pell, United Kingdom
Shayna Prihoda, Czech Republic
Bryan Reatini, Costa Rica
Hannah Schrauben, France & Italy
Morgan Singer, Singapore
Meghann Smith, Kenya
Sean Sutton, Argentina & Spain
Haley Tomlinson, Ireland
Katherine Tomlinson, United Kingdom
Nicholas Varner, Denmark & France
Rachel Bowen, United Kingdom
Katie Conley, France
Amanda Erwin, Singapore
Ashley Golden, France
Annamica Delabbio, New Zealand
Samantha Johnson, United Kingdom
Alicia Polinski, Italy
Andrea Ritz, China
Erin Rocha, Ghana
Zachary Sienel, Ireland
Amanda Smart, Ecuador
Kalee Stegehuis, United Kingdom
Ophelia Swanson, Mexico
Abby Zeigler, Dominican Republic​
Lauren's Story
Lauren med.jpgWhen sociology major Lauren Presutti came to CMU, she had not imagined that she would study abroad. Today, she is one of CMU’s most-travelled study abroad alumni, planning her fourth study abroad program and mentoring students who are exploring study abroad for the first time. Presutti fell in love with study abroad when she participated in the Australian Indigenous Program in Western Australia in the summer of 2011. The summer of 2012 found Lauren in Limerick, Ireland, and this past summer she studied at the Japan Center for Michigan Universities in Hikone, Japan. She is contemplating a semester-long program abroad for her senior year. “I realized that I wanted study abroad to be a big part of my college experience,” says Presutti.
The journey abroad has not always been easy. Initially, Presutti says, not everyone supported her plans to study abroad, and the accommodations she needed required a great deal of extra planning. Each journey took extensive preparation, including planning for any contingency, such as the possibility of in-flight damage to her power wheelchair. “I’m thankful for the assistance and support that I had in the Office of Study Abroad,” says Presutti. “Through careful planning, I was able to have extremely positive experiences abroad and lead by example for others who may have physical limitations.” A Centralis Scholar, Presutti emphasizes how grateful she is for the opportunities, including study abroad, afforded her by the scholarship.
Presutti recognizes that many students face a wide variety of barriers to study abroad that may lead them to believe, like she did, that study abroad is beyond their reach. She became a peer advisor in the Office of Study Abroad to be a positive support for students who are considering study abroad. Peer advisors, says Presutti, can really connect with these students. “We share our experiences and the concerns that we had at the beginning of the process,” she says. “We explain to them how things will work and to get them excited about study abroad. I really enjoy helping other students imagine themselves abroad.” Study abroad is not for one particular kind of person, she emphasizes, and with the right attitude, anyone can make it happen.
For Presutti, study abroad has changed the way that she thinks about what is possible. She talks about study abroad as a life-defining experience, bringing knowledge (of herself as well as her academic discipline) and confidence in her ability to advocate for herself and others. Her message to those considering study abroad is this: don’t focus on the barriers: dive in and make it happen!
Al's Story

When asked about why he volunteered so many hours at study abroad events across campus, Al Covington laughingly admitted that he appreciated any opportunity to talk to about his experience studying abroad in Quito, Ecuador. “I can honestly say it was the best experience I have had in my life,” he said, explaining that he wants to encourage others to consider studying abroad.

For Covington, a business major with a minor in Spanish, studying in Ecuador was an alternative to a summer internship that allowed him to develop his language skills and set himself apart from the competition on the job market. “Study abroad is right at the top of my resume,” he says.  He believes that this helped him secure a  full-time job in his field of study within six weeks of graduating in the spring of 2013. “I use my Spanish skills a lot [in my new job],” he says, “and they were very excited about my study abroad experience in the interviews.”

Stepping out of his comfort zone was daunting, Covington admits. “My biggest fears were, ‘will I make friends?’ and ‘will my host family be nice?’” In the end, he had little to fear, as the answers to both questions turned out to be a resounding ‘yes.’ He formed an especially close bond with his host family, and he still talks to regularly with them via Skype. Looking back on his semester abroad, he concludes that the relationships he developed in Quito were central to his positive study abroad experience, both personally and in terms of language development. “Without study abroad, I would not have the same confidence in my language skills.”

Covington’s advice for students considering study abroad is not to let concerns about cost stop them from exploring all their options. “They need to know that the Office of Study Abroad will help them identify funding opportunities for study abroad,” he says. While he admits that funding study abroad can sometimes include making tough financial choices, it is a choice that he is very glad that he made. “If I were asked to make the decision again, I would study abroad - ten times out of ten!”

Where Are They Now? Conversations with study abroad alumni
Emily Marvosh
Bachelor of Music '03
Major: Vocal Performance
Today: Freelance Musician
In the midst of a thriving musical career, Emily Marvosh has never forgotten her Michigan roots – or the international experience that inspired her musical journey. A CMU alumna hailing from Saginaw, Marvosh credits her study abroad semester in Vienna, Austria, with opening her eyes to the possibility of a career in music performance.

With guidance from the site director of her study abroad program, Marvosh had her first taste of operatic performance, Wagner’s Parsifal, during her first week in Vienna. Thus began a career-shaping obsession. Throughout her semester abroad, Marvosh spent as much of her time as possible in the opera houses of Vienna and Prague – often completing her homework while standing in line for tickets. When she returned to Mount Pleasant with a suitcase brimming with ticket stubs, programs, and with the revelation that making a living in musical performance was possible, Marvosh discovered that the CMU School of Music could provide the tools to set her on a previously unimagined career path.

Today, Marvosh encourages Music students to study abroad and to take in as many artistic performances as possible. “Studying abroad is valuable for students going into education as well as performance,” she says, “everyone is improved by experiencing as many things as possible.” Looking back on her study abroad experience, Marvosh says that she appreciated the value and career-implications of her experience in Vienna from the very beginning, but that the experience has grown more important to her with every passing year. If she could have done anything differently, she reflects, she would like to have spent a full year in Vienna instead of one semester, and applied herself more intensively to the study of the German language, which she has continued to use and find valuable throughout her career.
In the decade since her study abroad experience, Marvosh has performed widely, to great acclaim, both as a soloist and in ensemble casts.  Samples of her work are available on her website: For a more immersive experience, residents of the Mount Pleasant area will have the opportunity to see Marvosh live in concert on October 1, 2013, at Staples Family Recital Hall as part of the CMU School of Music Master Series. Marvosh and three other artists will present the world premiere of the Michigan Recital Project, a recital series celebrating the culture and history of Michigan, including four new pieces commissioned for the Project. Tickets will be available at the door and information is available at
Mike Tyle
Bachelor of Arts '09
Major: Merchandising & Design
Today: Designer, Esprit, Germany

Mike Tyle.jpgFor Merchandising and Design graduate Mike Tyle, an international internship was a natural choice to fulfill his program’s internship requirement. Having spent time in Germany after high school, Tyle jumped at the chance to return as a design intern for Penkov in Berlin in the summer of 2008. He has since returned to Germany, where he works as a designer, creating men’s tops for Esprit. Tyle’s interest and experience in Germany has been a common thread in his dynamic and international design career.

To secure the internship that was right for him, Tyle did more than peruse existing job postings. “I looked through issues of Vogue magazine,” he recounts, “and wrote to the companies, all over the world, that I was interested in.”  When Penkov responded, Tyle worked with his academic advisors and the Office of Study Abroad to ensure that the internship could meet the credit requirements for his program.   The resulting internship was the opportunity of a lifetime, he says, both because of the doors it opened later in his career and its impact on his personal worldview. “I’ve learned so much from living in different countries,” says Tyle, “about how things are different from the US, but also about how I understand and value things and experiences in my own life.”

Tyle’s advice to students considering study abroad is to seize the opportunity. “Working abroad shows employers that you can adapt and deal with different challenges you’ll come across, even in a different language and culture,” he says. In his own experience, study abroad has provided useful talking points in job interviews. Perhaps most important, however, is the new opportunities and perspectives that living abroad can provide. Even now, a year into his current job, his third time living in Germany, Tyle reflects that, “little things about the language and culture still surprise me every day. As much as I miss my family in Michigan, right now is my opportunity to be here and do this, and I am making the most of it…”

Blogs from Abroad: Spring 2013

​Elementary Education Major Samantha J. studied abroad in Kingston, UK
​Social Work major Callie A.
studied abroad in Hong Kong:
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“I have met countless incredible people from all over the world. This experience has taught me more than I will ever be able to express.” “Living and studying abroad has been one of the best experiences of my life. I can honestly now call Hong Kong my ‘home away from home.’”
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“I [live] by the motto “life begins at the end of your comfort zone... I’m taking another huge step outside of my comfort zone and could not be more excited about what the next chapter of my life has to offer. Thank you Office of Study Abroad and everyone who supported this dream every step of the way- I wouldn’t be here without you.”
- Political Science major Megan Blue, BSc. 2013, on her decision to pursue a Master’s degree in the Netherlands after a semester studying abroad at Leiden University
Read their blogs here!
 News in Brief: Gilman Scholarship Recipients
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