GV celebrates 50 years of international programs


Courtesy / GVSU

Ava Ostach, Staff Reporter

From Monday, Jan. 6 through June 19 in the Lake Ontario Hall Red Wall Gallery, there will be an exhibition in honor of 50 years of international programs at Grand Valley State University. This gallery will include photos and texts about each program, an overview of the history of the program and what each one has to offer to students on campus.

At the gallery wall, students are able to visualize the different programs available and see stories shared by fellow students who have studied abroad. By putting this on a gallery wall, it is easier and more accessible for students to learn about the benefits of study abroad.

GVSU’s study abroad program has grown tremendously over the years. Beginning with the first partnerships with universities in Poland, Yugoslavia, and Japan, GVSU now has partnerships with universities all over the globe.

“There are diverse program options for every academic track at GVSU,” said Study Abroad Outreach Coordinator Alissa Lane. “GVSU awards around $450,000 in study abroad scholarships every year. GVSU has partnerships with over 30 institutions around the world and offers over 30 faculty-led programs. We now have programs all over the world, from Tanzania to Chile to Romania.”

GVSU holds a variety of options for students who are looking to travel, and this comes with rewarding experiences as well that come along with international travel. Students will learn to interact with cultures across the globe and immerse themselves in a whole new world based on whichever destination that is chosen. These tools can be utilized in a student’s future career and become an excursion that changes one’s life forever.

“To this day, I still look back at my own study abroad experience as being the best decision I ever made for myself,” Lane said. “My time studying abroad in China, the United Kingdom and the Czech Republic gave me a global perspective, humbled me, and gave me a confidence in myself I never could have imagined. I am forever grateful for that experience and consider myself lucky to have the opportunity to help Lakers start their own journey every day.”

GVSU hosts plenty of opportunities for students to be able to study abroad. Some of these opportunities include scholarships and financial resources available in Lake Ontario Hall, and the wide variety of different programs for majors all across the board. This year at GVSU, the community will be celebrating 50 years of stories from students who have been able to immerse themselves in a completely new culture on the other side of the world.