University of Wisconsin–Madison students preparing to embark on a variety of international programs gathered recently at the Pyle Center – joined by family and friends – to hear words of encouragement and to receive scholarships to help pay their way.
More than 160 undergraduates were honored April 18, at the Spring 2013 Study Abroad Scholarship Award Ceremony, hosted by the Division of International Studies, International Academic Programs (IAP), and International Internship Program (IIP). Nearly $200,000 in scholarship awards were announced.
In opening remarks for the event, UW–Madison alumnus David Nagel (BS ‘75, MBA ‘76), highlighted the transformative impact of his own summer abroad program to Scandinavia.
“Before I left for Scandinavia, I was a chemistry major who had never even seen the ocean,” says Nagel, executive vice president of BP America and chair emeritus of the Division’s External Advisory Board. “I came back fully enthused about international culture, history, politics, and business. And while I did complete my BS in chemistry, I quickly followed this with a Wisconsin MBA in international business, and have pursued this interest for the last 30-plus years, including 12 years living abroad.”
Nagel is a strong advocate for students to have at least one international experience – of any length – during their tenure at the UW. He reminded the students not only of the richness of what they were about to enjoy, but also of their larger opportunity to build on the experience to help make a difference in today’s interconnected world.
“This is what the Wisconsin Idea of the 21st century is all about,” he says.
“Study abroad is such a transformative experience for students, we are truly grateful to the donors and alumni who provide the scholarships that make it possible for students to participate,” says IAP Director Dan Gold, who served as emcee for the ceremony.
“It is wonderful to have this opportunity to meet and honor the students, and their families,” Gold says. “It is great sharing their excitement about the journeys they are about to embark on.”