June 23, 2024

#UMW Abroad

Our UMW students and faculty are world travelers – from Guatemala to the U.K., Ireland to Quebec, and Poland to Costa Rica, Mary Washington was represented around the globe this Spring Break through Faculty-Led Study Abroad programs!

Check out this compilation of student photos: https://storify.com/UMaryWash/umwabroad-this-spring


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.

UMW Student Receives Scholarship to Study in China

University of Mary Washington senior Shirley Naa-kowaa Martey’s quest to become fully fluent in the Chinese language will soon become a reality. The political science major is the recipient of the Chinese Critical Language Scholarship sponsored by the U.S. Department of State. Shortly after her graduation this May, Martey will travel to China for nine weeks to immerse herself in the country’s culture and language. “This scholarship means an opportunity to move toward my goal of attaining proficiency in Mandarin [Chinese] in an immersive environment,” said Martey, who added that she has searched for ways to learn Chinese language and culture beyond her classes at UMW.  “I want any opinion that I contribute to be one that people take seriously, and the scholarship puts me on that path.” Shirely Naa-kowaa Martey spent eight weeks in Taiwan in 2013. Shortly after graduation in May, she will travel to China. This is not the first travel abroad experience for Martey, who spent eight weeks at the National Cheng Kung University in Taiwan as a recipient of the 2013 Ambassador Summer Scholarship from the Taiwan-U.S. Sister Relations Alliance (TUSA). “While I was in Taiwan, my post-graduation plans changed from going straight to grad school to focusing on becoming fluent,” Martey said. “I don’t want to be that fresh-faced student who reads books about China, has some language classes, and thinks she is qualified to talk about China in a graduate school or a professional setting. That’s not credible.” Martey, who describes herself as Ghanaian American, hopes to teach English in Taiwan and eventually seek her master’s and doctoral degrees. “Martey’s is precisely the type of prestigious academic achievement of which the UMW community should be proud,” said Jack Kramer, chair and distinguished professor of political science and international affairs. “It says a lot about the quality of our students and the education they receive here.”

Up Close and Personal

Students had incredible encounters during a faculty-led trip to the Galapagos Islands.

Immersed in Guyana

Artifacts from the indigenous Amazonian people known as the Waiwai surround Anthropology Professor Laura Mentore as she pores over her latest research—cultural perceptions of water in light of climate change—in her office at the University of Mary Washington.

Immersed in Guyana

Professor Laura Mentore takes students on the trip of a lifetime.

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/.