International Studies Receives $100,000 Gift for Study Abroad


DATE: Tuesday, February 13, 2007

CONTACT: Ronnie Hess, Director of Communications, Division of International Studies, UW-Madison, (608) 262-5590,


Madison, WI – More University of Wisconsin-Madison students will be able to study abroad on year-long programs, thanks to a substantial gift from The Pritzker Pucker Family Foundation, the Division of International Studies announced today.

Gigi Pritzker Pucker, an alumna of the UW-Madison’s Nepal study-abroad program, made the $100,000 gift on behalf of the Foundation.

“It’s especially gratifying to receive funding from one of our program’s past participants,” says Gilles Bousquet, dean of International Studies. “This very generous gift will make a world of difference to our students, especially in the areas of language learning and year-long study abroad in places outside our students’ “comfort zones.”

According to Bousquet, students receiving the grants will study abroad on year-long programs in Central and Eastern Europe, Africa, Asia, and Latin America. UW-Madison students increasingly are choosing to study in non-traditional and non-English speaking countries, mirroring a national trend reported in the Institute of International Education’s (IIE) annual report, “Open Doors 2006,” published in November.

“The UW-Madison Nepal Program changed my life in so many ways,” Ms. Pritzker Pucker says. “The impact has been lifelong and I am so pleased to be able to help other students have this experience.”

The gift will enable the UW-Madison to offer grants of up to $5,000 per student per year. The awards will be made based on a combination of factors, including financial need, demonstrated academic excellence, and the nature of the academic program proposed for the time spent abroad.

“This is wonderfully generous,” says Joe Elder, professor of Sociology, and Languages and Cultures of Asia. For many years, Elder was the director of the UW-Madison’s Center for South Asia, and is the academic director of the University’s study abroad programs in South Asia. “Gigi’s earlier gift in 2004 has made it possible for 30 students to study abroad in countries such as India, Nepal, Thailand, China, Kenya, Egypt, Ecuador, Russia, and Hungary. Her gift is guaranteed to expand and enrich the lives of another group of students beyond their imagination.”

In 2004-2005, over 1,600 UW-Madison students studied abroad on over 150 UW-Madison programs offered by several campus units, or in non-UW-Madison programs for which the students received transfer credit. The Division of International Studies’ International Academic Programs offers the largest number of study abroad programs at the University. UW-Madison ranked No. 11 nationally in the total number of students studying abroad, according to the IIE.