January 19, 2020

UMW Joins Coalition to Double Study Abroad Participation

The University of Mary Washington has pledged to join the Institute of International Education (IIE)’s Generation Study Abroad initiative to double the number of American students who study abroad by the end of the decade. The initiative also is focused on increasing the diversity of the students who study abroad, ensuring quality, and removing barriers to participation. UMW has committed to increasing the number of students who study abroad by 30 percent over the next five years.

More than 300 UMW students study abroad each year through various programs, like this faculty-led trip to the Galapagos Islands.  Photo by Professor Andrew Dolby.

More than 300 UMW students study abroad each year through various programs, like this faculty-led trip to the Galapagos Islands.
Photo by Professor Andrew Dolby.

As part of its commitment, the university hopes to create new study abroad initiatives and scholarships, provide increased support for students, and help students engage internationally through service learning, research, or internships.

“UMW recognizes the importance of preparing students to be global citizens able to function in the international marketplace,” said President Richard V. Hurley.

UMW emphasizes the importance of global awareness and believes that a study abroad experience enhances a student’s global outlook and overall education. Currently, more than 300 students take part in a study abroad program each year in dozens of countries around the world.

IIE’s Generation Study Abroad initiative now has more than 300 commitment partners, including colleges and universities of all sizes and types across the country, as well as study abroad organizations, foreign governments, and associations.

study abroad logoGeneration Study Abroad will engage educators at all levels and stakeholders in the public and private sectors to drive meaningful, innovative action to increase the number of U.S. students who have the opportunity to gain international experience through academic study abroad programs, as well as internships, service learning and non-credit educational experiences. Building on its nearly 100-year commitment to study abroad, IIE has committed $2 million of its own funds to this initiative over the next five years.

To learn more about study abroad opportunities at UMW, visit the Center for International Education located in Lee Hall or visit http://international.umw.edu.

For more information on IIE’s Generation Study Abroad initiative, and a complete list of commitment partners, visit www.iie.org/generationstudyabroad.

UMW Students Receive Fulbright, International Scholarships

University of Mary Washington students and alumni will travel, teach, and explore new cultures thanks to prestigious grants and scholarships. Charlotte Johnson '13 has received a Fulbright grant to spend a year in Germany. Charlotte Johnson, a 2013 international affairs and German graduate, is the 14th student to receive a U.S. Fulbright grant in the university’s history. Her scholarship continues a tradition of Fulbright awards at UMW over the past seven years. As a Fulbright scholar, Johnson will work for one year as an English teaching assistant in Germany. She will leave for her placement at the end of August. “I spent a year in Germany as a high school exchange student, so I have been dying to go back ever since,” Johnson said. “I want to go back as a leader as opposed to a student. This time, I can bring what I’ve learned [at UMW].” Johnson, a native of Tyaskin, Md., was very involved during her time at UMW, including as president of the club swim team, co-president of the German Club and a member of both the political science and foreign language honor societies. The Fulbright U.S. Student Program is the largest U.S. exchange program offering opportunities for students and young professionals to undertake international graduate study, advanced research, university teaching, and primary and secondary school teaching worldwide. The program currently awards approximately 1,900 grants annually in all fields of study, and operates in more than 140 countries worldwide. Shirley Martey '14 will spend one year in China thanks to two prestigious scholarship programs. Shirley Martey, a 2014 political science graduate, received a Boren Scholarship for a program in China. Boren Scholarships are funded by the National Security Education Program, a major federal initiative designed to build a broader and more qualified pool of U.S. citizens with foreign language and international skills.  NSEP’s Boren Awards program provides students with resources and encouragement to acquire language skills and experience in countries critical to the future security and stability of our nation. This year, 165 students were offered awards from a pool of  868 applications. Earlier this year, she was awarded the Department of State’s Critical Language Scholarship for an intensive language program at Suzhou University in China. She’ll spend two months in Suzhou after graduation, then travel to the Harbin Institute of Technology for nine months of study through the Boren Scholarship. “As a Ghanaian American woman, I hope to be able to contribute a unique perspective to the conversation about U.S.-China relations, helping to develop a mutual understanding of the differences in each other’s policymaking structures and processes,” Martey said. Shirley, a native of Centreville, Va., has served in leadership roles in multiple on-campus organizations, including as chapter president of the Pi Sigma Alpha and Mortar Board honor societies and as a peer mentor for underrepresented students. Students Zaire Sprowal and Katherine Hansen have received the Gilman International Scholarship for their summer studies in Guyana and China, respectively. The scholarship provides awards to U.S. undergraduate students who are studying abroad and receiving Federal Pell Grant funding at a two-year or four-year college or university. Sprowal will study with the UMW Guyana program under the leadership of Laura Mentore to gain the unique experience of living in an indigenous community and rainforest environment while developing his qualitative research skills. Hansen will participate in a two-month internship in Shanghai, China through the College of Business led by Wei Chen. Senior Michael Crawford will travel to Leipzig, Germany later this year thanks to a competitive scholarship from the German Academic Exchange Services, known as DAAD. Crawford will work alongside scientists to study how cow grazing affects plant biodiversity of grasslands. Crawford will work from October 2014 until July 2015 at the Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research in the Department of Ecological Modelling for a scientist named Volker Grimm. In working for Grimm, Crawford will work to simplify an existing ecological simulation that details how certain plants grow or do not grow in conjunction with cow grazing. DAAD is the largest German support organization in the field of international academic cooperation, and is a private, federally and state funded, self-governing national agency of the institutions of higher education in Germany. The scholarship is a similar award to a Fulbright scholarship, but is only for Germany. The organization awards competitive, merit-based grants for use toward study and research in Germany at any of the accredited German institutions of higher education.

Voices of Hope

Students from Afghanistan share their culture - and plans for the future - with UMW.

U.S. Passport Agency Coming to UMW, 9/19

Do you plan to study, intern, volunteer, do research, or simply travel abroad soon or in the coming year?
Do you need to either RENEW your Passport or get a NEW one?
If so, APPLY for your U.S. Passport at UMW!

Thursday, September 19, 9 a.m. – 1:45 p.m.

The Center for International Education (CIE), Lee Hall, Room 434

PLEASE stop by CIE, call 540.654.1434, or email lleahy@umw.edu  to make an appointment.
Walk-ins welcome too.

(Check or Money orders payments only, as credit cards are not accepted.
In addition, pictures to be take in advance of appointment.  Stop by CIE for coupons.)

Building Global Leaders

Students gain new perspectives during a two-week study abroad trip to Tanzania.

A World Class Education

Experience inspires Professor Jose Sainz to guide students abroad.

International Education Week Exposes Students to Opportunities Abroad

Students discuss international opportunities during the Study Abroad Showcase

Despite the threat of rain, countless students met at the Lee Hall terrace on Monday, Sept. 17 for the Study Abroad Showcase, the kickoff of the Center for International Education’s  second annual International Education Week. The week aims to expose students to a variety of opportunities abroad.

At the showcase, students who studied abroad in the spring semester or over the summer shared their experiences with other students and answered questions. The students represented 30 programs in 21 different countries.

“This is a show and tell for our students,” said Kate Jordan, study abroad program assistant in the Center for International Education.

Senior Jennifer Crystle helped organize and promote this year’s International Education Week. For her, similar events last year eased her “reverse culture shock” after a semester abroad in Spain.

“This can help them with their reintegration,” Jordan said.

Kate Jordan (left) talks with students during the Study Abroad Showcase

The week also included seminars on internships and scholarships and financial aid. The Education Abroad Fair on Friday, Sept. 21 gave parents and students the opportunity to explore more than 50 study abroad providers and UMW programs. On Saturday, CIE hosted an open house from 9:30 to 11:30 a.m. in Lee Hall, Room 434.

For more information, visit https://www.facebook.com/events/396880400379881/.

Faculty-Led Study Abroad Trips Reach Milestones

A group of students during the 2011 “Spain for All” trip.

Carol Quinn has been back in the United States for less than a week and she is already thinking of her next trip to Europe.

The University of Mary Washington senior was one of nine students who visited London, Amsterdam, Wurzburg, Munich and Vienna with the Psychology in Europe study abroad trip. The students, led by Associate Professor of Psychology Dave Kolar, spent two weeks at historical and cultural sites relevant to the study of psychology.

“The trip inspired me to return and do some of my own traveling in Europe,” Quinn, a psychology and sociology major, said. “I’m eager to go back. I wasn’t ready to leave at all!”

This summer, more than 100 students are studying abroad, either as part of UMW faculty-led trips, or through programs at other universities or organizations. Members of the UMW field hockey team recently traveled to Italy with Coach Lindsay Elliot to train and compete on an international scale.

Some trips have become UMW staples, like “European Capitals – London, Paris, Berlin, Prague and Vienna,” now in its 20th year, “Spain for All,” celebrating its 10th anniversary and “Psychology in Europe,” in its fifth year.

Students in the 2012 Psychology in Europe program visit the Camden Lock Market

Denis Nissim-Sabat, professor of psychology, developed the Psychology in Europe trip to expose students to the history of psychology they learn about during the year.

“History comes alive for them,” he said, noting the students’ opportunities to visit sites from a Holocaust concentration camp to Sigmund Freud’s house.

For Jose Sainz, director of the Center for International Education and associate professor of Spanish, the Spain for All program’s success is due to its emphasis on academic, cultural and personal experiences and its ability to adapt to students’ needs. Although the program started 10 years ago solely with Spanish courses, now it offers courses across disciplines, as well as service learning opportunities and internships.

“After a decade leading students, we still get messages on Facebook and emails from students who are now long gone from campus indicating that attending the program was one of the highlights of their time at UMW,” Sainz, leader of the trip, said.

Sainz and Associate Professor of Spanish Marisa Martinez-Mira will take 34 students to Spain this summer, from June 24 through July 27.

For two decades, the European Capitals program has been going strong. This year’s group of 16 students, led by Jack Kramer, distinguished professor of political science, and Porter Blakemore, associate professor of history, will return on Friday, June 8 after four weeks of travel.

The European Capitals trip makes a stop at British Parliament in London

According to the political science department’s newsletter, the trip includes a briefing with a member of the British Parliament, a private tour of the Palace of Westminster, a tour of Versailles, a concert of classical music provided by the Imperial Orchestra in Vienna and a briefing at the German Foreign Ministry in Berlin.

According to Kate Jordan, study abroad program assistant in the Center for International Education, summer study abroad programs like Spain for All and European Capitals are appealing for students because they require less time commitment than a semester-long or full-year program, while offering unique coursework.

“Not only do short term faculty-led study abroad programs give students flexibility in their course choices, but they have the opportunity to have an amazing intercultural experience at the same time,” she said. “Summer study abroad is also less expensive than many semester abroad programs, making it more attractive for some students.  In today’s increasingly competitive job market, students with international experience definitely have an edge.”