During the second media timeout of the WKU Men’s Basketball game on Thursday, February 21st, over fifty WKU study abroad students gathered on the court in support of international education at WKU, waving red towels and sporting study abroad t-shirts that were distributed prior to the game. The students were accompanied by Dr. Gordon Emslie, Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs, and Dr. Craig T. Cobane, Chief International Officer. Both are strong advocates of study abroad at WKU. Additionally, WKU’s own Big Red showed his support for study abroad by joining the group on the court toting a giant globe.
This spotlight event is a way for the Office of Study Abroad and Global Learning (SAGL) to bring attention to the growing importance of education abroad programs and to recognize students who embody WKU’s vision of “international reach.” Not only were former study abroad students invited to take part but also program leaders, international exchange students, and WKU students who will be studying abroad in upcoming terms. Honors College students Maddie Wright and Claire Bellar, who both plan to spend fall 2013 at Harlaxton College in Grantham, England, said that they enjoyed being part of the recognition and receiving free t-shirts. “It was good to be on the court and meet other people involved with study abroad,” commented Claire.
Susanne Scott, a Junior Biology Major who went on a faculty-led winter program to Ecuador also expressed her excitement about feeling connected with other study abroad students. “It was really cool to see everyone that studied abroad all in one place,” she remarked after the recognition. The group of students who gathered on the court, however, represented only a small percentage of Hilltoppers who pursue education abroad opportunities every year. In the 2011-2012 academic year, around 550 WKU students studied abroad, and that number is expected to rise this year based on current enrollment numbers.
The Office of Study Abroad and Global Learning exists to help WKU students find the right academic program abroad and to locate the necessary financial support to assist students to have life changing international experiences. For more information about Study Abroad events, view the event calendar on the SAGL website at www.wku.edu/studyabroad. The office can be contacted via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or by telephone at 270-745-5334.