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EDITORIAL: Adventure of a lifetime

Program creates appreciation for cultural diversity, enhances academic experiences


Breckenridge junior Holly Gregory poses with a camel in a desert in Merzouga while studing abroad in Morocco.

Breckenridge junior Holly Gregory poses with a camel in a desert in Merzouga while studing abroad in Morocco.

Last year 674 students participated in the Study Abroad program. Beyond their academic pursuits, they gained valuable cultural and personal experiences in countries like Morocco, Swaziland and Brazil. It's likely even more students will participate in the program this year.

Study Abroad's mission is to foster personal and intellectual growth to prepare students for productive careers, meaningful lives and responsible citizenship in a global society. By participating, students increase their awareness of and appreciation for cultural diversity and gain new perspectives that enhance their academic experiences. 

Central Michigan University has stressed diversity and inclusion over the years as strategic goals, and evidence of their commitment is in the Study Abroad program. 

Even with a $20 million budget shortfall last year, financial aid offered to students involved in international studies program was not cut. That monetary support helps students who otherwise would not be able to afford to study overseas, because almost 70 percent of study abroad participants receive a form of financial aid.

Beyond sipping wine in Italy or eating cheese in France, the greater importance of the CMU Study Abroad program is vital to students. Due to changing American demographics and our economy feeling more impact from global markets students are showing they want to know more about the world around them. 

At last week's convocation, Provost Michael Gealt said, “We are a family made up of all races, genders, sexual orientations, and religions.”

Study abroad gives students the opportunity to see this first hand in countries around the world. 

Gealt continued, “I encourage you to take the time to meet and learn from each other to prepare for your career in a global society.”

Having to learn a new language and meeting people different from your peer group offer benefits to participants beyond an addition to a resume. The program encourages personal growth and can help prepare students for success in a globally-focused economy. These lessons help you grow as a person.  

When students come back to CMU, they aren’t just bringing college credits with them, they are bringing an international perspective back home. Through this program, students get to participate in academic and personal experiences with people from different races, faiths, classes and cultures.

The Study Abroad staff believe in the idea of preparing for a global society.  

Three times a week at 11 a.m. Monday, 3:30 p.m. Wednesday and 2 p.m. Thursday a Study Abroad 101 session takes place at Ronan Hall 344 for students looking for information about the program. You can also visit the Office of International Affairs, Ronan Hall, Room 330.

Go to a Study Abroad 101 session, then prepare for a journey of a lifetime.