Published: Oct. 10, 2011

Amway, MSU partner to send students to China

Contact(s): Stephanie Motschenbacher International Studies and Programs cell: (517) 648-9945 motsche3@msu.edu

ADA, Mich.  -- Direct-selling giant Amway and Michigan State University are partnering to provide Michigan college students with the opportunity to study in China through the "Amway China 100,000 Strong Scholarship."

The three-year program will be administered by Michigan State University's International Studies and Programs, Office of Study Abroad. Of the scholarships, 15 will be awarded to MSU students, with the other 15 to be awarded to students of other accredited four- and two-year West Michigan colleges: Grand Valley State University, Aquinas College, Calvin College, Cornerstone University, Davenport University, Kuyper College and Grand Rapids Community College.

Dana Boals, vice president for global for Amway Brand, said increasing young people's educational opportunities is key for the company.

"We're very excited to provide West Michigan students with an opportunity to immerse themselves in Chinese culture and gain valuable exposure and experience," she said. "China is a key international partner, and enabling West Michigan students to live and study abroad there will improve our region's talent pool."

Boals added that MSU's experience with study abroad programs was important when choosing a partner for the initiative.

MSU has ranked No. 1 among public institutions for study abroad participation for six years, according to the Open Doors report by the Institute of International Education. The university offers more than 270 programs in more than 60 countries.

"This grant will make opportunities to study in China more accessible to students who may not have otherwise considered a study abroad program," said Brett Berquist, executive director of the Office of Study Abroad. "Through the richness and diversity found within Chinese cultures, our students will learn how cultural traditions, history and language affect global business practices within the United States and Michigan."

Application requirements will include full-time college enrollment, demonstrated financial need and student essays outlining their interest in the scholarship.

The partnership resulted after Amway committed earlier this year to join the U.S. State Department's "100,000 Strong Initiative." The initiative, announced in 2009, seeks to significantly increase the number of students traveling to China and increase investments in the future of U.S.-China relations.

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