Study Abroad introduces new search engine

Courtesy / gvsu
Study Abroad Peer Advisers Megan DeKievit assists Alyse Griffis in her search for a study abroad trip.

Courtesy / gvsu Study Abroad Peer Advisers Megan DeKievit assists Alyse Griffis in her search for a study abroad trip.

Jackie Smith

The Grand Valley State University Padnos International Center is kicking off the school year by making the Study Abroad option a little easier for students. Along with planning several new events to raise awareness of opportunities abroad, the center has also developed a new search engine that helps students more efficiently browse for an appealing study abroad experience.

“The Padnos International Center is proud to launch the new GVSU study abroad search engine,” said Alissa Lane, the Study Abroad outreach coordinator. “This tool will revolutionize the way students are able to search for GVSU study abroad programs, allowing them to browse based on what subject they want to take abroad, which semester they would like to (study abroad), (which) country they want to travel to and more.”

The search, which features GVSU faculty-led programs, GVSU partnership programs and GVSU Internships Abroad, prepares students for their meetings with advisers.

“The new search engine allows students to access the most up-to-date information,” said Megan Lendman, a Study Abroad peer adviser. “This means it’s easier for a student to find a program that interests them. Therefore, students are more prepared for advising, allowing us to more deeply explore program specifics with them.”

The search engine works to expand students’ study abroad opportunities. If a student looks through the search and can’t find a GVSU program that travels to their country of choice or that covers the subject that interests them, students can always choose to participate in a non-GVSU program. About half of students who study abroad at GVSU choose this option because it allows them to study with any reputable program in the world.

After browsing the new search engine, a student’s next step is to come to a Study Abroad First Step
Meeting. These meetings cover all the basics of study abroad, including picking a program, garnering funding, understanding academic information and more.

Meetings are 5-6 p.m. every Wednesday in 130 Lake Ontario Hall and every Thursday in 040 Mary Idema Pew Library. Students who can’t make the meetings can drop in any time during office hours for advising.

Many students who have taken advantage of the study abroad programs have found the experience rewarding. Caitie Key, a senior at GVSU, recently spent her summer studying abroad in France.

“I went [to France] through GVSU and the PIC center, and they offered an amazing experience abroad with the comfort of knowing GVSU supported me through every step,” Key said.

Students can access the new search engine by visiting

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