Students at the University of Wisconsin–Madison who are curious about studying abroad, but still reluctant about plunging into an overseas experience will have a new way to test international waters, starting next summer.
International Academic Programs (IAP), which offers the largest number of study abroad programs on campus, has developed UW Global Gateway Programs, short-term experiences in which diverse groups of first- and second-year undergraduates travel abroad accompanied by a UW–Madison faculty member.
Every participant selected for this program will receive a Global Gateway Scholarship, which covers all billed program costs and international airfare.
“Every student needs to develop the skills, attitudes, and knowledge to succeed in today’s increasingly diverse, interconnected world,” says Guido Podesta, interim vice provost and dean of the Division of International Studies, which is funding this program. “Creating this unique program is the latest in our ongoing efforts to make global issues and experiences a key part of the undergraduate experience at UW–Madison.”
“Through the Global Gateway Programs, we are aiming to make study abroad accessible to more UW–Madison students, earlier in their academic careers,” says Dan Gold, director of IAP, a unit of the Division of International Studies.
“We hope the Global Gateway experience will motivate students to further their exploration of international-related opportunities, and inspire their classmates to do the same,” Gold says. “As the tagline for this program says, ‘The world is closer than you think!’”
Each Global Gateway group will travel to a host country, which will serve as an experiential classroom. There, the faculty director will introduce students to issues of global importance and begin helping them prepare for success in an increasingly interconnected world.
In the inaugural program, to be held in the summer of 2014, Joe Dennis, professor in the Department of History, will accompany 15 students to Shanghai on a four-week experience designed to increase their awareness of China, while learning about the intersection of local and international issues and the forces of globalization.
Global Gateway locations, themes, and faculty will vary in an effort to encourage students from a broad range of majors and interests to participate.
“Global competency and awareness of international issues are core to the development of all UW-Madison students,” Gold says, “and international experiences play a key role in this development.”
-by Kerry G. Hill