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The Blue & Gray Press | February 26, 2018

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International week promotes study abroad

Eiffel2BY CATE STACKHOUSE

The University of Mary Washington’s Center for International Education (CIE) held its second annual International Education Week, featuring different events to promote studying abroad.

On Monday, Sept. 16, CIE and campus dining joined together to host a “Global Café” in Seacobeck Dining Hall. Students were able to enjoy international cuisine in the Faculty Dining Room, and students ate at nation-themed tables that were hosted by UMW students who had studied abroad in those countries. This allowed students to hear about and get a feel for what study abroad experience is like.

“Global Café was the highlight of the week,” said Jose Sainz, director of the center for international education. “There were over 200 students in attendance.”

On Tuesday and Wednesday, CIE offered students the chance to attend Study Abroad 101, an information session, where students were informed on the process for applying to do a study abroad program, as well as about the different study abroad programs offered through the university.

“The information they gave was super helpful,” said freshman Lauren Clipper. “I plan to study abroad in Australia at some point.”

Students were told of semester programs and year-long programs, as well as faculty-led programs and summer programs. Students were also informed of when they can start studying abroad, and how to choose the best time to study abroad that will work with their major and allow them to graduate on time.

CIE informed students about the minimum requirements students need to meet to be able to study abroad and how transferring credits from studying abroad works. Students attending were given a check sheet to help them figure out specifics such as when to study abroad, costs, transferring credits and even how to convince their parents that it is affordable.

“There was an increased number of students coming through the office,” said Sainz. “There was more interest in studying abroad shown by students this week than previous weeks.”

On Thursday, Sept. 19, students were able to go to the CIE offices in Lee Hall to meet with a United States Passport Agency Representative. Students were able to renew an old passport or apply for a passport for the first time. CIE also offered coupons to students for discounts on passport photos at CVS.

CIE and the University Programming Council hosted an international trivia night at the Underground on Thursday night. Students answered international-themed trivia questions to win prizes and EagleOne money. Students also entered into a drawing to win one of two Study Abroad scholarships from CIE, each of $300.

On Friday, Sept. 20, a Peace Corps info session took place, and students were able to meet with a Peace Corps Representative on campus.  On Friday night, there was a free international dinner at the Center for Faith & Leadership.

The Study Abroad Fair took place on Saturday, Sept. 20, in Lee Hall 411. Students could visit booths set up in four different rooms to learn about programs offered. There were representatives from programs that worked with UMW, as well as past study abroad students that to students interested in going on the same programs or to the same place.

“Study Abroad adds an important cultural element to education,” said Sainz.

The Study Abroad Fair offered pamphlets for students to learn about different programs that UMW works with, as well as faculty-led programs. Students were also given information about costs and requirements of each program.