News and Announcements
WSU Students Travel The World In An Afternoon at Study Abroad Fair
WSU students crowded tents on Gullen Mall on September 20th to learn about Wayne State’s abundant and diverse study abroad opportunities, which range from ten-day cultural excursions worth a single credit to yearlong, 30-credit academic immersion in foreign universities.
The WSU Office of Study Abroad and Global Programs hosted its annual Study Abroad Fair to publicize the start of the application process for more than 30 foreign study programs in Africa, Asia, Europe, the Middle East and the Americas. Faculty and staff from the individual programs were on hand to provide information and field inquiries about cost, credits, and cultural experience. Margaret Ogg, office program coordinator, events and marketing, said the fair is popular because “it allows students to get a comprehensive look at all of our offerings and get answers to their questions all at one time. Since a lot of the answers to their questions depend on their major, students like going straight to the source for each program.”’
Study abroad programs have long been attractive to foreign language majors, but students of all disciplines increasingly are seeing the value of gaining cultural competence and interdisciplinary opportunities through foreign study. The fair revealed interest among students with a range of majors.
Carolyn Fullilove, a junior from Barbados majoring in Africana studies, came for information about study in South Africa. “I want to learn about the land of my grandfathers,” she said. Brandon Norris, a senior majoring in biology, also wants to study in Africa, specifically to increase his understanding of political unrest, genocide and public health challenges. An aspiring medical student, he hopes one day to help reduce mortality from cholera, malaria, and other third-world plagues. Meanwhile, psychology majors Candace Dallo, a junior, and Ashley Yaldo, a senior, came with their hearts set on study in Europe. “We really want to travel and see historic places,” Yaldo said. “Everything about studying in Europe sounds appealing.”
Among the many faculty at the fair were Raffaele DeBenedictis, an associate professor of Italian who takes students each summer to Abruzzo for a four-week intensive Italian course in a 13th Century Benedictine monastery; Shifra Epstein, an anthropologist/folklorist adjunct professor who takes students each May to Israel and the West Bank to better understand the Palestinian-Israeli conflict through personal interaction with both populations; and Linda Speck, an adjunct professor who leads “Art & Architecture in Paris,” a ten-day spring program through which students discover museums, gardens, restaurants and other attractions in the French capital.
Asked what feedback they get from students after studying abroad, faculty response was unanimous: “They say, ‘this experience changed my life.’”
For more information on WSU study abroad opportunities, visit http://studyabroad.wayne.edu/