Watch for the possibilities.
Joe Elder offers that piece of advice to students preparing to embark soon on a variety of international programs, experiences that will take them far from the University of Wisconsin–Madison campus.
The students, along with parents, family and friends, and university staff, packed the Pyle Center’s Alumni Lounge on April 17 for the Spring 2014 Study Abroad Scholarship Award Ceremony, hosted by the Division of International Studies, International Academic Programs (IAP), and International Internship Program (IIP).
Elder, a professor of sociology, languages and cultures of Asia, and integrated liberal studies, was instrumental in shaping and maintaining of the longest-running study abroad programs at UW–Madison.
In his keynote remarks that kicked off the ceremony, he highlighted the transformative experiences of three of the more than 1,500 UW students who had participated in the study abroad programs to India and Nepal.
“You’ll be scared,” he tells the students, “but you’re gutsy.”
Elder’s remarks set the stage for the announcements of scholarship awards to help students pay their way. Nearly 200 students received $555,525, which includes funds from International Studies and IAP, from other units at UW–Madison, and from private foundations.
IAP Director Dan Gold, who served as emcee for the event, notes that the turnout was the largest at an awards ceremony since he arrived at UW–Madison two years ago.
“With the addition of the Study Abroad Scholars and Global Gateway Scholarships, we are able to give more funding to more students, including increasing the diversity of study abroad participants by targeting underrepresented student groups,” Gold said. “It is wonderful to see so many students able to add this important experience to their undergraduate careers. Tt was a delight to honor them as they embark on their journeys.”
Gold praised the generosity of donors – “those who understand the importance of a global educational experience towards the academic, personal, and professional development of our students.”