June 28, 2013
London. Rome. Kenya. Sydney. Beijing. When I was a student at MSU I used to hear of other students headed off to exotic places like these for study abroad experiences. I was actually filled with a burning jealousy because as a part-time student with a full-time job it just wasn’t an option for me.
I thought I’d go my whole life and never see the lands across the ocean or learn about people and cultures so different from my own.
Since that time years ago, (more than I really want to count, actually), study abroad has become even more common at MSU. As a student now, it’s easier than ever to get a world-view education beyond the classrooms in East Lansing.
The university administers more than 275 programs in more than 60 countries. Each year, close to 3,000 students travel outside of the United States and can be found in classrooms, research labs, field stations and internships sites all around the globe.
It’s not just to more traditional locales like London or Rome, but even as far flung as Antarctica to study science or ethics in Mali.
In fact, for the eighth year in a row, MSU sent more students abroad than any other public university. Pretty amazing that this pioneer land-grant college built on agricultural roots is now a leader in sending students around the world to study.
Students like Lilly Keyes, a senior majoring in journalism, whose beautiful photo essay from her study abroad course she just wrapped up in Italy is featured in the Student View>>
Students aren’t the only ones collecting experiences from around the globe. Many faculty members and researchers find themselves in other countries researching world problems, forming partnerships, helping communities or teaching.
Professors like Michael Kroth, associate professor of bassoon and associate dean of undergraduate studies in the MSU College of Music, has spent time in residence at Columbia’s Medellín Festicámara. Read his personal account in the Faculty Voice>>
And guess what? Sometimes dreams do come true—even if they happen decades after they were first envisioned.
Some of you probably know I was lucky enough this past year to finally have my own study abroad experience with MSU as part of the Spartans Will.360 crew that traveled to 11 countries in eight weeks documenting how our researchers are affecting the world. Talk about an education!
My globetrotting didn’t stop there. I’m currently sitting at a café in Glasgow, Scotland, while I write this. This time, I’m not traveling for MSU, but to see my daughter graduate from college. She decided she wanted her study abroad to be her entire college career, and it’s been pretty incredible.
I may be across the pond, but Spartans truly are all over. We went to lunch at a burger place in a charming lane in the West End. Above the counter are children’s drawings and what did I see? Yep…a “Go MSU Spartans!” coloring page.
Spartans Will—even here in Glasgow.