State Department fellowship takes OIP staffer Catherine Franklin to Indonesia to present study abroad workshops

The Office of International Programs’ Catherine Franklin recently hosted a series of workshops designed to help students at Indonesia’s Ma Chung University know what to expect when studying abroad.

Franklin outside Ma Chung University
Franklin outside Ma Chung University 

This effort is a reciprocal exchange project of the Young Southeast Asian Leaders Initiative (YSEALI) Professional Fellows Program, an initiative administered by American Councils and sponsored by the U.S. Department of State Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs. YSEALI is designed to strengthen leadership development and networking in Southeast Asia.

The workshops Franklin held focused on understanding the cultural differences between Indonesia and the United States to help get students interested in international opportunities and reduce culture shock. Franklin developed her presentation in partnership with Mustika Tarra, an international relations officer at Ma Chung University. As a YSEALI Professional Fellow, Tarra visited Wayne State for six weeks in 2019 to study professional pathways and career development strategies for students. A reciprocal exchange project was planned for 2020 but was scuttled in the pandemic.

Franklin ran four days of workshops, with one day outside the classroom to allow students to prepare presentations on what motivated them to study abroad.

“Some of them were nervous, others were more excited about it. They took it really seriously I was really proud of them, and they did well,” Franklin says. “We recorded all of their presentations so they will be able to see that afterward and think about how they could improve.”

These workshops have resonated with the students involved. Franklin reports that many of the students were eager to stay in touch after the workshop programs ended and were excited about their own study abroad opportunities.

"I would say by the end of the week, about half of the students were really excited for studying abroad in the U.S., as opposed to other countries,” explains Franklin. “Some of the others were really excited about the U.K., Japan and Australia."

Franklin also presented to a group of faculty from surrounding colleges and universities about the study abroad experience, and said she hopes to see some of her students on the Wayne State campus in the fall.

--By Patrick Bernas, Office of International Programs editorial associate

The Office of Fellowships is part of the Office of International Programs, which leads Wayne State’s global engagement by creating opportunities that foster international education and research, facilitate the exchange of individuals and ideas that promote global competencies and citizenship, and provide resources that support the expansion of the university’s global agenda. Follow us @WayneOIP

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