IPO News

Watch: Education Abroad Alumni Panel

Tuesday, November 24, 2020

As part of International Education Week 2020, IPO Peer Advisor Afia Abrafi ‘21 moderated this alumni panel featuring Laura Archambault ‘15 (Psychology), Patricia Camerota ‘16 (Communication), Eydis Lima ‘12 (Chemical Engineering), and Daniel Riecker ‘17 (Geography, French & Francophone Studies, Commonwealth Honors College). These alumni shared how education abroad impacted their UMass experience and post-graduate life. Watch below:

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Listen: Dignity and Respect in Action Podcast

Thursday, November 19, 2020

IPO's own Kalpen Trivedi (associate provost for international programs) and Chrystal George Mwangi (IPO Chancellor's Leadership Fellow) join the Office of Equity and Inclusion Podcast. They discuss International Education Week, the importance of this celebration within the UMass community,  the advancement of diversity, equity, and inclusion on our campus, the challenges faced by our international community due to the Covid pandemic, what "internationalization at home" means, and more!

Listen below:

Laura Barkowski ’19 smiling at the camera

Student Profile: Combating the Opioid Epidemic with Anthropology

Tuesday, November 17, 2020

Many students return from a study abroad experience with an expanded worldview—Laura Barkowski ’19 found a career. Barkowski studied abroad in Botswana during her sophomore year, leaving the United States a biology major and returning an anthropology major. 

Immersing herself in a new culture— including a vastly different healthcare system—inspired her to switch her major. “Studying abroad was a turning point for me, and my career,” she says. “It made me take a hard look at myself, and what worked for me. That’s why I switched majors when I got back—I was so interested in others’ perspectives impacting systems and functioning.”

Barkowski works for Boston Medical Center (BMC), focusing on opioid treatment, where her background in anthropology is important. “Most of my work is qualitative. I interview people about their experiences, and what the opioid epidemic looks like in their community,” she says. “My job is to look into why some treatments work and why some don’t.”

She continues: “The foundation of anthropology is helpful here. You need the perspective that all experiences are valuable,” she says.  “Before I studied abroad, i don’t know if i’d have been able to separate my own biases from information and observation in the job i do now. That’s very important.”

When Barkowski returned to the states, she accepted a position as a Peer Advisor at the International Programs Office. There, she took over leadership of the Contemporary Women Travelers workshop, which seeks to prepare women travelers for studying abroad in a variety of settings. “I felt an obligation to provide women with the tools they needed to navigate gender dynamics, regardless of where they choose to study,” she says.

Barkowski’s position at BMC is funded with a grant through 2023. After that, she plans on pursuing an advanced degree—potentially a PhD—in public health.

Get started with your education abroad journey at our Virtual Advising Center.

IPO to Host Pop Up Education Abroad Fair for IEW

Tuesday, November 10, 2020

The International Programs Office will host a Pop-Up Virtual Education Abroad Fair on Wednesday, November 18 from 4:30-7:00 p.m. An extension of our November 4 virtual fair, this event will utilize a new online platform where students explore virtual booths with over 60 international partners. The event is intended for students who are interested in studying abroad in summer 2021 and beyond.

Education Abroad Peer Advisor Jerry Chen will be available to answer questions for the duration of the fair.

Students will create a profile that matches their majors and intended destinations to best-fit study abroad programs. Registration is open now, and all students who register will have access to virtual swag. Students are encouraged to register early through this link.

The Education Abroad Advising Center is closed for all in-person business for the Fall 2020 semester but education abroad resources are available in our Virtual Advising CenterPeer Advisors and Education Abroad Advisors are available by appointment via Zoom to help students explore options and make plans for their education abroad.  Students can meet with us by following the instructions here.

This event is part of IPO’s International Education Week Programming for November 16-20. 

Watch: Centering Social Justice in Education Abroad

Friday, November 6, 2020

As part of our Virtual Education Abroad Fair November 4, we hosted "Centering Social Justice in Education Abroad," a dialogue between Dr. LaNitra Berger, author of Social Justice and International Education: Research, Practice, & Perspectives, and IPO Chancellor's Leadership Fellow Dr. Chrystal George Mwangi. The pair discussed social justice in the education abroad experiences, considerations for diverse students pursuing education abroad, and more. Watch the full event below:

 

 

Carol Lebold in Jordan

Lebold Honored with Lifetime Achievement Award

Thursday, November 5, 2020

NAFSA: Association of International Educators recently honored former Interim Director of Education Abroad Carol Lebold with the George Commenator Award. This lifetime achievement award for NAFSA’s Region XI (New England) recognizes members “whose professional life was dedicated to the field of international education, and who provided extensive service to the regional and national NAFSA community.”

Lebold recently retired from the International Programs Office after more than thirty years. She was nominated for the award by Associate Provost for International Programs Kalpen Trivedi. “I’m absolutely delighted that Carol Lebold has been chosen to receive this year’s George Commenator Award. She’s truly deserving of this lifetime achievement award for her long career of service to international education regionally, nationally, and globally,” Trivedi says. “Her commitment to fostering peace, justice, and equity through international exchange has been humbling to witness, and she inspires us all to be better practitioners and educators every day.”

She received the award at the closing ceremony of NAFSA Region XI’s Annual Conference on October 29th, 2020. Colleagues praised Lebold’s dedication to international education and her passion for working with students in videos shared at the event. “I really can’t imagine anybody who has earned this and provided as much service to the community {as Carol},” said Ken Reade, director of international student and scholar services at IPO.

“{Carol’s} contributions to UMass and the world of international programs are invaluable. She’s been a champion for {the communities of color at UMass} giving access to those who otherwise didn’t think they had access to international programs,” said Special Assistant to the Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs and Campus Life Sidonio Ferreira,

“{Carol has} been the best mentor. I couldn’t have asked for anyone more kind, giving, and knowledgeable to teach me so much about international education, who I am as a person, and what kind of advisor I want to be,” added AJ LeBlanc, education abroad advising center coordinator.

NAFSA is the world's largest professional association dedicated to international education. With over 10,000 members, NAFSA strives to increase awareness of and support for the contributions of international education and exchange in higher education, government, and the community, believing that citizens with international experience and global awareness are crucial to U.S. leadership, competitiveness, and security.  NAFSA’s IEL KC, under the aegis of the NAFSA Board of Directors, supports senior international officers and campus internationalization leaders who provide the vision and build commitment for comprehensive internationalization. To that end, the IEL KC coordinates the delivery of a comprehensive set of resources, sessions, workshops, and networking opportunities for senior campus leaders.

More information on the Commenator Award is available on the NAFSA website.

International Education Week 2020 Logo

IPO to Host International Ed Week November 16 to 20

Monday, November 2, 2020

The International Programs Office (IPO) is excited to announce our celebration of International Education Week (IEW) November 16-20, 2020. This year’s programming is built around the theme of “Coming Together,” and features sessions on education abroad, professional and career development for international students, self-care in times of Covid-19, and more. 

Associate Provost for International Programs Kalpen Trivedi and IPO Chancellor’s Leadership Fellow Chrystal George Mwangi will also be recording a special podcast with Vice Chancellor for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Nefertiti Walker. They will be discussing the importance of this celebration within the UMass community and IPO’s work as it relates to the advancement of diversity, equity, and inclusion on our campus in wake of the challenges faced by our international community due to the Covid pandemic. The episode will be available on the Office of Equity and Inclusion’s podcast page.

Additionally, the IPO website will be updated with profiles celebrating international education at UMass Amherst throughout the week. Check the Education Abroad news page and International Students and Scholars news page throughout the week for up-to-date listings.

“International Education Week provides an annual opportunity to celebrate the vibrancy of our international communities at UMass,” Trivedi says.  “The aim of all international education is to foster a globally engaged citizenry and, this year, rightly, our theme highlights resilience and unity at a time of global turmoil.”

IEW, a joint initiative of the U.S. Department of State and the U.S. Department of Education, promotes the benefits of international education and exchange worldwide. IEW seeks to prepare Americans for a global environment and attract future leaders from abroad to study, learn, and exchange experiences.

The week is co-sponsored by the International Programs Office (IPO), Office of Equity and Inclusion (OEI), Office of Professional Development (OPD), Graduate Student Senate (GSS), Student Affairs and Campus Life (SACL), Center for Multicultural Advancement Student Success (CMASS), Center for Counseling and Psychological Health (CCPH), Fine Arts Center (FAC),Student Legal Services Office (SLSO), and the Center for International Education (CIE),

See the complete schedule below:

November 16

International Scholar Meet and Greet

2:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m.
Join IPO Staff for an informal meet-and-greet social with International Scholars.

Access the event via Zoom.  Meeting ID: 95261893585

Watch Party - Black Lives Matter in a Global Context

November 16, 4:00 p.m. to 6:30 p.m.
Anti-Blackness and racism have negative effects on all aspects of higher education internationalization. Come watch and discuss this pre-recorded panel that explores existing barriers and future possibilities for promoting racial justice through international education.

Pre-register here.


November 17

Self-Care in Times of COVID

1:00 p.m. to 2:00 p.m.
Join Professor Ian Barron to discuss a framework for understanding the mental health challenges of COVID as well as learning strategies to mitigate potential negative impacts.

Access the event via Zoom. Meeting ID: 93614004337

Job Seeking Advice for International Students 

5:00 p.m. to 6:30 p.m.
Join this discussion with Marcelo Barros, author of The International Advantage: Get Noticed. Get Hired!

Pre-register here.


November 18 

INTERNATIONAL COFFEE HOUR

9:00 a.m. to 10:00 a.m.
Enjoy sipping your coffee or tea over great conversation with UMass international community and staff.

Access the event via Zoom. Meeting ID: 91267068501

Pop-Up Virtual Education Abroad Fair

4:30 p.m. to 7:00 p.m.
An extension of our November 4 virtual fair, this event will utilize a new online platform where students explore virtual booths with over 60 international partners. The event is intended for students who are interested in studying abroad in summer 2021 and beyond.

Education Abroad Peer Advisor Jerry Chen will be available to answer questions for the duration of the fair.

Pre-register here.

Life After UMass - Immigration Panel

5:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m.
Join Attorney Dan Berger to discuss a variety of immigration topics, including employment-based visas, permanent residency, and green cards.

Pre-register here.


November 19

Let's Stay Informed with SLSO & IPO

10:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m.
Navigating Immigration Rights and Policies during COVID as an International Graduate Student. An Informative conversation with Director of International Student and Scholar Services Ken Reade and Student Legal Services Office (SLSO) Attorney Bernie Stark.

Access via Zoom. Meeting ID: 96997221860

Education Abroad Alumni Panel

6:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m.
Enjoy this moderated panel with alumni from our Education Abroad program

Access via Zoom. Meeting ID: 93253264156 


November 20

Post-Election Community Support for International Students

9:00 a.m. to 10:00 a.m.
Having complex thoughts about the election?Join us for a supportive conversation with staff from the Center for Counseling and Psychological Health and International Programs Office.

Pre-register here.

TAKE A MOMENT: A Mixer Sharing Culture and Celebrating Identities

11 a.m.-12 p.m.
Join in to engage in student activities and conversation to build connections amidst geographical distance.

Register Here.

Let’s Talk International Edition

4 p.m.-5 p.m.
Join us for a friendly and  confidential consultation with a counselor from the Center for Counseling and Psychological Health (CCPH).

Register Here

Spring 2021 Update on Education Abroad

Friday, October 23, 2020

In light of today’s announcement about spring 2021 reopening, the International Programs Office (IPO) wants to make sure students interested in studying abroad know that a limited number of options remain open for new applications. If you are interested in a spring semester abroad, there are two important steps:

  • Check the list of spring 2021 Approved Programs for an up-to-date roster of programs likely to be available.

  • Visit the IPO Virtual Advising Center (VAC), which provides all of the in-person resources IPO typically offers, in a convenient, virtual setting. Information on programs, scholarships, health and safety, and more is available at the VAC 24/7.

We understand that planning for a study abroad program amidst so much uncertainty connected to the ongoing pandemic can be difficult, and we remain available to help navigate this complex process. Your Study Abroad Advisor will work with you to select a program, as well as make backup plans, including maintaining your enrollment in Spring 2021 courses at UMass and ensuring you have housing.

Those who are not ready for a spring 2021 semester abroad, can consider adding a virtual international internship experience to their regular UMass course load. More information on available internship placements, associated application process and costs, and next steps, is available here. 

And, of course, it is never too early to start planning for fall 2021, academic year, and even spring 2022 programs.

Associate Provost for International Programs Kalpen Trivedi

Director of International Programs Elected to NAFSA Leadership Position

Thursday, October 22, 2020

Kalpen Trivedi, associate provost and director of the International Programs Office (IPO), has been selected to serve in the chair stream for the International Education Leadership Knowledge Community (IEL KC) at NAFSA: Association of International Educators. The term for this position is January 1, 2021 to December 31, 2023.

“I am honored to have been selected by the members of NAFSA. Many thanks to my international education colleagues and UMass Amherst for supporting me in this leadership position,” said Trivedi, who is currently finishing his term on the IEL KC as Conference and Symposium Team Lead.

“Associate Provost Trivedi’s election to this leadership role at the nation’s leading international education organization is a well-deserved recognition of the prominence that he and his colleagues have brought to our International Programs Office,” said John McCarthy, provost and senior vice chancellor for Academic Affairs. “Both domestic students interested in studying abroad and International students and scholars seeking to join our campus are very well served by IPO’s exceptional care and concern for their well-being.”

NAFSA is the world's largest professional association dedicated to international education. With over 10,000 members, NAFSA strives to increase awareness of and support for the contributions of international education and exchange in higher education, government, and the community, believing that citizens with international experience and global awareness are crucial to U.S. leadership, competitiveness, and security.  NAFSA’s IEL KC, under the aegis of the NAFSA Board of Directors, supports senior international officers and campus internationalization leaders who provide the vision and build commitment for comprehensive internationalization. To that end, the IEL KC coordinates the delivery of a comprehensive set of resources, sessions, workshops, and networking opportunities for senior campus leaders.

“We count on the commitment of our members who volunteer their time and energy to continue advancing the field of international education and are truly appreciative of Kalpen’s dedication to the role, said Esther Brimmer, NAFSA executive director and CEO. 

The complete list of leaders elected in September 2020 is available on the NAFSA website.

Story via UMass Amherst Office of News and Media Relations.

IPO to Host Virtual Ed Abroad Fair

Thursday, October 15, 2020

The International Programs Office will host a Virtual Education Abroad Fair on Wednesday, November 4 from 4:00-6:00 p.m. Replacing the traditional in-person event, the fair will utilize a new online platform where students explore virtual booths with over 60 international partners. The event is intended for students who are interested in studying abroad in summer 2021 and beyond.

Students will create a profile that matches their majors and intended destinations to best-fit study abroad programs.  From there, they can attend live drop-in sessions, chatting with international partners and learning more about a wide array of program options. Fair resources will be accessible again on Thursday, November 5 from 7:00-8:00 p.m. with no live drop-in sessions.  

As part of the event, Dr. Chrystal George Mwangi, a Chancellor’s Leadership Fellow at IPO, will host “Centering Social Justice in Education Abroad,” a dialogue with Dr. LaNitra Berger. Berger, author of Social Justice and International Education: Research, Practice, & Perspectives, will be discussing how students can center social justice in their education abroad experiences and considerations for diverse students pursuing education abroad. More info here.

Registration is open now, and all students who register will have access to virtual swag. Students are encouraged to register early through this link.

The Education Abroad Advising Center is closed for all in-person business for the Fall 2020 semester but education abroad resources are available in our Virtual Advising CenterPeer Advisors and Education Abroad Advisors are available by appointment via Zoom to help students explore options and make plans for their education abroad.  Students can meet with us by following the instructions here.

Outlook for Spring ‘21 Study Abroad

Friday, September 11, 2020

Yes, you can still plan to study abroad for spring ‘21! The International Programs Office (IPO) is cautiously optimistic about study abroad in the spring semester of this academic year. While the pandemic will continue to affect our lives for the foreseeable future, we can’t predict what exactly those effects will be, neither here nor abroad. 

Since study abroad takes a lot of planning, students who want to have the option to study abroad in spring ‘21 need to be working on their applications now. Visit Ed Abroad’s Virtual Advising Center to get started. 

IPO has not issued a blanket suspension of all programs; instead, we are working to identify a portfolio of programs that we are confident will be available to students, possible to travel to, and that, as always, meet UMass’s rigorous standards for academic integrity, as well as health and safety.

 UMass Abroad (our program database) and the Virtual Advising Center will be the most up-to-date resources for advisors and students to determine what programs are available this Spring.  

George Mwangi to Join IPO As Leadership Fellow

Monday, June 15, 2020

Associate Professor in Higher Education Chrystal George Mwangi is joining the International Programs Office (IPO) as a Chancellor’s Leadership Fellow. George Mwangi will work with Associate Provost for International Programs Kalpen Trivedi for the 2020-21 academic year to help IPO develop and coordinate a global engagement strategy. 

“I am delighted to have the opportunity to collaborate with Professor George Mwangi in furthering IPO’s work,” says Trivedi, Associate Provost for International Programs. “Given her exciting academic work in equity and inclusion in international higher education, Professor George Mwangi is ideally suited to helping us develop a global engagement strategy grounded in social justice.”

George Mwangi’s scholarship broadly centers on 1) structures of opportunity and issues of inequity that impact the trajectory of diverse students into and through college; 2) internationalization efforts within higher education, the transnational nature of universities, and the use of higher education as a tool for international mobility/migration; and 3) African and African Diaspora populations in higher education with emphasis on the impact of race, racism, and coloniality on their educational experiences. 

Dr. George Mwangi is currently the principal investigator on a grant from the Worldwide Universities Network focused on comparatively understanding how higher education systems across six countries are pursuing diversity, equity, and/or inclusion for student success in their policies and practices. She serves as Associate Editor for the Journal on Diversity in Higher Education. Dr. George Mwangi has received multiple research awards from the Comparative & International Education Society and was the 2018 recipient of NAFSA’s Innovative Research in International Education award

Chancellor's Leadership Fellowships seek to cultivate future campus leaders by offering a half-time, one-year, temporary appointment to an administrative area on campus and by providing shadowing and mentoring from the leaders of the host units. In addition, fellows are expected to launch a significant program during the fellowship year.

Chancellor's Fellows have the opportunity to participate in university decision-making and to develop and demonstrate capacity for leadership in arenas that are not often a part of day-to-day faculty life. 

Full story via the Office of Faculty Development

IPO to Close From June 8 to June 15

Thursday, June 4, 2020

The International Programs Office (IPO) will be closed from June 8 to June 15, 2020. Staff will not be checking email or returning calls during this time.

Staff across the University will be on furlough at different times between June 1 – June 19, 2020.  Messages received the week of June 8 will not be read or responded to until the office re-opens on June 15.

Updated Summer 2020 Contact Info for Education Abroad

Wednesday, May 13, 2020

The online Education Abroad Advising Center is closed during the summer, but Education Abroad Advisors are here for you.  Please be sure to watch Online Essentials, a mandatory information session for all students in all majors interested in all countries, and when you’re ready to make a Zoom appointment, follow these instructions.  Not sure how to get started?  Send an email to abroad [at] ipo.umass.edu.

IPO offers study abroad programs all over the world, in countries like New Zealand, South Africa, Thailand, Scotland, and more. We are also offering scholarships with extended deadlines for fall 2020 and beyond.

Education Abroad Alums Named 21st Century Leaders

Wednesday, May 6, 2020

Two alums of education abroad at UMass Amherst have been named 21st Century Leaders by the university for exemplary achievement, initiative, and leadership.

Christopher Clark of Westfield, a Commonwealth Honors College student receiving a degree in environmental science and STEM-German, plans to pursue a master’s degree in environmental health sciences from the University of Michigan’s School of Public Health and eventually a Ph.D. Clark worked in the research lab of Professor Alicia Timme-Laragy in environmental health sciences doing toxicology research. Clark’s leadership experience includes working on the steering committee and as a community organizer for Westfield Residents Advocating for Themselves, which led an effort that resulted in a CDC-sponsored exposure assessment and an increase in regulation for per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS). Clark also served on the Student Government Association as chief of staff and undersecretary of sustainability. He has received numerous academic awards, including a Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship awarded by the U.S. State Department to study abroad in Germany.

Jonathan DeMarco of Hopkinton is a civil/environmental engineering major who will begin work as an environmental engineer in New York City upon graduation. He plans on studying for a master’s degree from UMass Amherst as well. DeMarco has worked as a student ambassador in the dean’s office of the College of Engineering and worked as an engineering study abroad essentials coordinator with the International Programs Office (IPO) at UMass to implement a long-term IPO program that will assist engineers to engage in study abroad. He was involved in the Engineers Without Borders chapter on campus and traveled to Kenya and Ghana to assist communities by implementing various water-related infrastructure.

Read the full story via University News and Media Relations

Deadline for Fall 2020 Abroad Programs Extended

Friday, May 1, 2020

The International Programs Office (IPO) is extending the education abroad application deadline for fall and academic-year programs to July 1, 2020. IPO hopes that by extending the deadline, students and their families have additional time to feel confident in their decisions as to whether or not to study abroad.

Correspondingly,  the deadline to commit to fall study abroad is also extended to July 15, or five days after students are accepted by their program (if it is after July 15). Host university or partner programs may have earlier deadlines. Students are encouraged to complete applications in a timely fashion. 

A list of common questions and concerns is available here, but please understand some answers will vary based on your program. Please reach out to your Education Abroad Advisor for any additional or program-specific questions.

2020 Scholarship Deadlines Extended

Monday, April 27, 2020

The deadlines for both the Education Abroad scholarship and the Education Abroad Merit scholarship have been extended to May 29. The Merit scholarship is a highly competitive program awarding $1,000 per application cycle (fall, spring, academic year, calendar year). The minimum GPA to qualify is 3.6. The Education Abroad scholarship is open to all UMass students with high financial need, with priority given to Pell Grant recipients. Awards start at $500 per semester.

Students participating in a fall, academic year, or virtual summer 2020 program through the International Programs Office (IPO) are encouraged to apply. Recipients will be notified July 1.

More information on these and other IPO scholarships is available on our website.

Virtual Summit to Examine Equity in Higher Ed

Tuesday, April 14, 2020

How can higher education foster equity while serving a variety of constituents, and what does it look like?  These questions—among many others—will be on the table when UMass Amherst hosts the virtual Higher Education Equity Summit on April 24 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. EST. Students, faculty, staff are encouraged to preregister for this free event by April 19 through this link.

The summit, funded by a grant from the Worldwide Universities Network (WUN) is a part of a larger global initiative led by Dr. Chrystal A. George Mwangi on equity in higher education, with related events on campuses in Ghana, India, South Africa, Ireland, and England. 

Dr. Gerardo Blanco, Associate Professor and Associate Academic Director at the Center for International Higher Education at Boston College, will serve as keynote speaker. Blanco—who earned his doctorate from UMass Amherst—focuses his research on the intersections of quality, branding and position, taking in a context of global competition in higher education. 

A panel discussion featuring Associate Provost for International Programs Kalpen Trivedi, Rutgers University’s Vice Chancellor for Diversity, Inclusion, and Community Engagement Anna Branch, and CEO of AFA Diversity Consulting, LLC Dr. Amer Ahmed will follow Blanco’s address. The group will discuss and debate what “success” means in the university context, how it can be achieved given the myriad local and global pressures impacting higher education, and how higher education improves or hinders equity (locally and globally) in its pursuit of success. 
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““In higher education we use the term ‘success’ a lot, but what outcomes are we really seeking to address? For campus administrators working in their specific areas, how are we really defining what it means? Is there a common understanding of it, is it about serving the university, serving the community?” says Associate Professor for Higher Education (and event co-organizer along with UMass Professor Sangeeta Kamat and Assistant Professor Jonique Childs) Chrystal George Mwangi. “Dr. Blanco can speak to that, and the panelists can unpack it through their lens.”

This event is co-sponsored by the Researching Diversity, Inclusion and Student Success Project; Worldwide Universities Network UMass College of Education UMass International Programs Office, Center for Student Success Research, and the UMass Undergraduate Student Success Office. Contact Dr. George Mwangi with questions. 

Education Abroad Peer Advisors posing

Education Abroad Advising Now Available Virtually

Thursday, April 9, 2020

In keeping with the UMass Amherst campus policy of remote work, the International Programs Office (IPO) is currently closed for in-person business. However, Education Abroad advising services are now avilable virtually. 

Education Abroad Essentials, a mandatory information session for all students in all majors interested in all countries, is now available online. You will not be able to meet with your Education Abroad Program Advisor until you have attended. 

After you have completed Essentials, you can book a Zoom appointment with a peer advisor.

Education Abroad Advisors are available during the summer; students should email abroad[at]ipo.umass[dot]edu for more information.

IPO offers over 450 study abroad programs all over the world, in countries like New Zealand, South Africa, Thailand, Scotland, and more. We are also offering scholarships with extended deadlines for fall 2020 and beyond.

The International Programs Office Building

IPO Services Available Remotely

Wednesday, March 18, 2020

In keeping with the UMass Amherst campus policy of remote work, the IPO building is currently closed for in-person business. All advising and student-support activities continue during this time and IPO staff members are available via phone or email. Please contact the appropriate staff member for your query by visiting our staff directory. 

Education Abroad Essentials, a mandatory information session for all students in all majors interested in all countries., is now available online. You will not be able to meet with your Education Abroad Program Advisor until you have attended. 

After you have completed Essentials, you can book a Zoom appointment with a peer advisor.

If you are unsure whom to contact, here are some general email addresses for your reference:

General Study Abroad Inquiries: abroad[at]ipo.umass[dot]edu

For study-abroad students and families affected by CoVID-19 issues: coronavirus-ipo[at]umass[dot]edu

Please note that IPO is receiving an extremely high volume of calls and e-mails currently on account of the study-abroad and travel disruptions as a result of the global CoVID-19 situation. Up to date information about the University’s response to CoVID-19 (including IPO-specific information, residential information for international students, and other campus services) can be found at: www.umass.edu/coronavirus. Information on most general topics and FAQs regarding travel and study-abroad can be found there. The main IPO phone line 413 545-2710 will continue to be monitored during business hours

UMass AMherst student Makhai Dickerson-Pells ’21

Student Perspective: Identity and Intersectionality in the Dominican Republic

Monday, February 24, 2020

Makhai Dickerson-Pells ’21 is a double major in history and anthropology and a peer advisor in the Education Abroad office. Dickerson-Pells studied abroad in the Dominican Republic during his freshman year as part of IPO’s Emerging Scholars program, which sends first-generation students from the Commonwealth Honors College abroad. 

Reflecting on culture and race as aspects of my identity was a vital part of my experience abroad. I was faced with a different concept of race and ethnicity in the Dominican Republic— the term “people of color” is completely different in a country where the majority of people are black and brown. Intersectionality of identities is present anywhere in the world, but I tried to be more aware of it while I was visiting the Dominican Republic.  

In the U.S., many people view race as black and white, but in the Dominican Republic colorism—discrimination based on the social meanings attached to skin color— is the predominant factor. Haitian people who live in the Dominican Republic speak Spanish, know Dominican dance and culture, and may identity as Dominican, yet they’re still treated as second class citizens and refused support or access to certain jobs and rights. This bothered me because I grew up in a place where identifying as being black or part of the African diaspora can be a uniting force, but Dominicans refused to identify as black or accept the influence of the African diaspora to their culture and history, and discriminated against darker Dominicans and Haitians.  

My ideas of race and ethnicity were also challenged as I identify my ethnic background as black and Native American, or Cape Verdean and Wampanoag. In terms of phenotype and racial background I share a lot in common with Dominicans who are mixed with African, European, and Indigenous roots just like I am. However, I more strongly identify with my African roots and am prouder of my ancestry than many of the Dominicans I encountered are. My discussions of race, ethnicity, history, politics and more brought about reciprocal acknowledgment and understanding of our differing values that I will continue to value for the impact it has had on my own views and academic interests to this day. 

As you begin your journey, you may find that you are seen and understood by individuals from your host country in a completely new context from how you see yourself. Encounters with new worldviews and perspectives can foster productive intercultural dialogues and greater opportunities for learning, but they can also be surprising, challenging, or even deeply unsettling. Regardless of your identity, I encourage everyone to learn about the cultural context of the communities among which you will live while abroad and to reflect on your personal experiences. 

ONSA To Offer Spring Scholarship Sessions, Workshops

Monday, February 24, 2020

With multiple education abroad scholarship deadlines looming this spring, the Office of National Scholarship Advisement (ONSA) is here to help. ONSA is hosting a series of scholarship workshops and information sessions throughout March and April. These sessions promise to provide a solid launching pad for current juniors interested in applying for scholarships with fall 2020 semester deadlines.

Scholarship topics covered include Study in Asia; National Scholarships for Study in the U.K; the Fulbright U.S. Student Program (overseas research or teaching English abroad); the Truman Scholarship (public policy); the Soros Fellowship (graduate school); and the DAAD Study Scholarship & Long-Term Research Grant in Germany.

The Fulbright info sessions will be split into two topics: general information and how to write an application. Students are advised to attend the general info session before the application session.

Spacing is often limited; students are encouraged to register online if attending. A full listing of sessions is available below.

Spring 2020 ONSA Workshops/Info Sessions:

Fulbright General Info Session 

Monday, March 2
12.00 PM – 1.00 PM
Commonwealth Honors College Events Hall / pizza lunch 

Fulbright General Info Session

Wednesday, March 4
10.00 AM – 11.00 AM
Commonwealth Honors College Events Hall

Fulbright General Info Session

Monday, March 9
11.00 AM – 12.00 PM
Elm Hall room 210

Fulbright General Info Session

Thursday, March 12
12.00 PM – 1.00 PM
Commonwealth Honors College Events Hall / pizza lunch

How to Write a Fulbright Application

Monday, March 23
10.00 AM – 11.00 AM
3rd fl., Commonwealth Honors College

How to Write a Fulbright Application

Wednesday, March 25
2.00 PM – 3.00 PM
Elm Hall room 224

How to Write a Fulbright Application

Monday, March 30
11.00 AM – 12.00 PM
Elm Hall room 210

How to Write a Fulbright Application

Thursday, April 2
2.00 PM – 3.00 PM
Elm Hall room 210

Applying for U.K. Scholarships Info Session

Tuesday, April 7
10 AM – 11 AM
3rd fl., Commonwealth Honors College

Applying for Asia Scholarships Info Session

Wednesday, April 8
1.00 PM – 2.00 PM
3rd fl., Commonwealth Honors College

Applying for U.K. Scholarships Info Session

Thursday, April 9
2.00 PM – 3.00 PM
3rd fl., Commonwealth Honors College

Truman Scholarship Info Session

Tuesday, April 14
10.00 AM – 11 PM
3rd fl., Commonwealth Honors College

DAAD German Info Session

Tuesday, April 14
12.00 PM – 1.00 PM
Commonwealth Honors College Events Hall / pizza lunch

Soros Fellowship Info Session

Wednesday, April 22
12.00 PM – 1.00 PM
Commonwealth Honors College Events Hall / pizza lunch

UMass Amherst student Jessica Rodriguez ’19

Student Perspective: Foster Children Abroad

Thursday, February 20, 2020

Jessica Rodriguez ’19 is a recently graduated peer advisor in the International Programs Office. She studied abroad at the University of Limerick in Ireland for the 2016-17 academic year. Growing up in Massachusetts and Florida, Rodriguez became a foster child during her teenage years; this provided a unique perspective on studying abroad. 
 
I spent the first 13 years of my life growing up around the central Florida area. I went to five different elementary schools and two different middle schools in Florida before moving to Watertown, Massachusetts (my mother’s hometown) in eighth grade. Constantly moving from place to place due to financial insecurity taught me to be adaptable and open from a young age, as I was always having to make new friends in new places.  
 
I went into foster care as a junior in high school. This experience forced me to grow up quickly and become very independent. It also motivated me through much of college. The percentage of foster children graduating from a 4-year college is below 3% (according to the National Foster Youth Institute). I have always been driven and college was my best ticket out of the low-income situation to which I had become accustomed. So, I double majored in chemical engineering and environmental science with the hopes of becoming an environmental engineer. 
 
I studied abroad for a variety of reasons. I wanted to travel outside of the U.S., experience new cultures, and challenge myself. Being a foster child, I figured that if I could manage to make going abroad for a year work financially and academically, then I could do anything I set my mind to! My study abroad experience was full of learning (academically and personally), growing, and adapting. 
 
Studying abroad is an important and valuable experience. Most foster children—or even students from low-income backgrounds or tough family situations—do not even think studying abroad is an option. I want other students to know that despite the hard times, you can create positive experiences and move forward and push yourself and try new things. These are some of the best steps you can take to break free and grow, even though it’s tough. 
 
I am continuing my studies at UMass Amherst this fall, pursuing a master of science degree in plant and soil sciences. Once I complete this degree, I will begin looking for a career in the environmental engineering field, with the possibility of a PhD in the future. 

 

A logo saying "absentee vote"

Important Voting Information for Abroad Students

Thursday, February 20, 2020

The 2020 United States elections will be held on Tuesday, November 3, 2020. On the national level, all 435 seats in the United States House of Representatives, 35 of the 100 seats in the United States Senate, and the office of president of the United States will be contested. 

Are you a US Citizen who is eligible to vote?  Make sure your ballot is counted while you are abroad!

Please visit the U.S. Vote Foundation to find important information on

  • Upcoming Election Dates and Deadlines
  • Eligibility Requirements
  • Identification Requirements
  • In-Person, Online, and Snail Mail Options
  • Verifying That You are Registered to Vote
  • Voter Registration
  • Requesting an Absentee Ballot

Choose your state from the drop down menu and make sure you meet your state's requirements. 
Do not miss the deadline to register to vote in the November elections.  Be sure to request your absentee ballot and return it on time so your vote will be counted.

CIEE, IPO to Offer Matching Grant for Summer Pell Recipients

Monday, February 10, 2020

The International Programs Office (IPO) is excited to share a scholarship opportunity for students who already received a Federal Pell Grant and applied for Frederick Douglas Global Fellowship (FDGF).  CIEE, a leader in international education and UMass Education Abroad Partner, is awarding the Frederick Douglas Global Scholars to all qualified applicants.

CIEE will guarantee the $1,500 grant, which can be used toward any UMass-approved CIEE summer 2020 program. Additionally, UMass will match the amount, bringing the total to $3,000 toward the cost of a CIEE summer study abroad program.

Financial aid is rare for summer programs, and students are encouraged to consider this unique opportunity. The application deadline is February 14, 2020.

Information on completing the UMass study abroad application, as well as the list of approved CIEE summer program locations can be found here. Please note that this process is a mandatory component of going abroad, and needs to be completed in addition to the CIEE scholarship application.

To learn more about the award, and start your CIEE scholarship application, please visit the CIEE Frederick Douglas Global Fellowship page.

Students from the UMass Public Health in Cuba program

Comparing Health Care Delivery in Cuba

Tuesday, February 4, 2020

How do you earn a semester’s worth of credits for less than the cost of in-state tuition? If you’re a member of the UMass Amherst School of Public Health and Health Sciences program, you might do it by going to Havana, Cuba.

UMass Public Health in Cuba, a new program launched in February 2019, offers students the opportunity to immerse themselves in the island nation’s unique health care system while learning a new language. The first iteration of the program was supported by a successful grant through the Marlene M. Johnson Innovation Challenge. The program design strongly aligns with the broader goals of the 100,000 Strong in the Americas initiative to increase the annual number of U.S. students studying in Latin America and the Caribbean to 100,000 and bring 100,000 students from that region to the United States by 2020. 

Students travel in groups of up to 20 with four UMass faculty members, traveling to Havana for three-week blocks. Each block comprises a different UMass public health course. This intensive model lets students focus deeply on one topic at a time. Courses change depending on the faculty associated with the program. In spring 2019, courses included Community Development and Health, Global Women’s Health, Environmental Controversies, and Food Toxicology.

Alongside their public health courses, students also take a semester-long course in intensive Spanish especially for health care professionals. Equivalent to two semesters of Spanish at UMass Amherst, the course is taught by a University of Havana faculty member and is connected to a service-learning project allowing students to become more keenly engaged in the community. 

Senior Lecturer and Public Health Sciences Undergraduate Program Director Gloria DiFulvio coordinated the program’s design with the International Programs Office. DiFulvio says the program provides unique opportunities for undergraduates—whether it be traveling to Cuba (a recent development), or spending time abroad with their professors. “Cuba is like a hidden country. It has been difficult for U.S. citizens to travel there yet we have a lot to learn from their health care system,” she says. “The sense of community in Havana is really strong. When it comes to health, the attitude is that health care is a human right. It is not dependent on employment as it is in the U.S.” 

DiFulvio says this attitude is what has allowed Cuba’s public health care program to thrive. All Cuban citizens have access to health care free of cost; the only expenses they incur are for medicine, and even those are cheaper than in the United States. The Cuban health care system supports an infant mortality rate and a life expectancy rate comparable to those of the United States. 

These factors make study of health care in countries with markedly different health care than the U.S. an important addition to the studies of public health majors. “When studying public health, it is helpful to obtain a global perspective,” DiFulvo says. “Students will benefit by studying health and health care in different cultures and political systems to gain an understanding of how health and justice play out in those countries. 

The Cuba program is bringing 16 new students to the island in the spring of 2020. 

2019 Holiday Hours

Wednesday, December 4, 2019

Holiday hours at the International Programs Office (IPO) begin the week of December 23:

  • Monday, December 23: 8:30 a.m.—4:30 p.m.
  • Tuesday, December 24: 8:30 a.m.—4:30 p.m.
  • Wednesday, December 25: Closed
  • Thursday, December 26: 8:30 a.m.—4:30 p.m.
  • Friday, December 27: 8:30 a.m.—4:30 p.m.
  • Monday, December 30: Closed
  • Tuesday, December 31: Closed
  • Wednesday, January 1: Closed

On December 26 & 27 staff are available to assist you but the main door is locked for security purposes. Please call 413-545-2710 for assistance. 

  • The Education Abroad Advising Center will close for Winter session on Thursday, December 19 and will reopen January 21.  
  • Peer Advising Learning Commons hours and Wednesday evening Essentials will end on Wednesday, December 11 and will resume January 21.  
  • Education Abroad Advisors are available during the break by calling 413-545-2710 or emailing us. 
UMass Amherst Student Mahdiar Edraki on campus.

Politics Hits Close to Home, When Home Is Far Away

Thursday, October 17, 2019

Mahdiar Edraki ’19 may never forget his 2017 winter break. At home in Dubai, he was preparing to return to UMass Amherst to continue his undergraduate studies in mechanical engineering. He had just finished saying tearful goodbyes to his friends when he received word that due to a recently enacted travel ban, he wouldn’t be able to return to campus. 

President Trump had recently signed legislation forbidding entry to the United States for residents of several Muslim-majority countries, including Iran, where Edraki lived until he was seven years old. Although he had been in Dubai for most of his life, it made no difference; as far as the United States was concerned, he was an Iranian citizen. 

Edraki was stuck, and worried about the future of his academic studies and career. “I take my education seriously. I was already thinking about my post-graduation plans, and in a split second, the president took all of that away from me,” he says. “It made me realize how uncertain things are in my life. I thought of all the blessings I had in my life, and how they could be taken away with basically a snap. It made me appreciate my opportunities more.” 

Edraki contacted the International Programs Office (IPO)’s Director of International Student and Scholars Services Kenneth Reade. Before he knew it, an email tree addressing his situation began to grow. Director of Education Abroad Advising and Student Success Carol Lebold and professors in the engineering department worked with IPO advisors to formulate a plan to ensure that Edraki’s education continued uninterrupted.  

Very quickly a solution was reached. With IPO’s assistance, Edraki would study abroad at the University of Waikato in New Zealand. It would be easier to get a visa to go there, and the semester started in February, allowing more time to prepare. He was able to enroll in general education courses, and a dynamics course crucial to his major.  

After lobbying the U.S. embassy for months, and a legal challenge to Trump’s travel ban in the U.S., Edraki was assured he could enter the United States legally. He returned to UMass Amherst the following semester, inspired to repay the university for the help. In gratitude, he immediately began training to be a resident assistant in the dorms. “Everyone wanted to make sure I succeeded and did well,” he says. “It made me feel like I’m part of this community.” 

Edraki and was honored for his “exemplary achievement, initiative and leadership” as one of the university’s 21st Century Leaders when he graduated from UMass Amherst this spring. He will pursue his doctorate in mechanical engineering at Northeastern University in fall 2019.  

IPO To Host Mandatory Orientation for 2020 Travelers

Friday, October 4, 2019

The International Programs Office (IPO) will host its Pre-Departure Orientation on Thursday, December 5 from 7:00-9:15 p.m. in the Campus Center.

The orientation—mandatory for all students planning to study abroad in Winter 2019/20, Spring 2020, and Calendar Year 2020—provides a combination of practical tips and important information to help students prepare for travel. The event features stories from education abroad alums and international students, country and region-specific information, question and answer sessions, and opportunities to connect with other students studying abroad. Critical health and safety material will also be covered.

If you are unable to attend due to class or work, you will be required to participate in an online makeup session. If you are no longer planning to study abroad, please be sure to log into your UMass Ed Abroad account and change your status.

If you have any questions, please contact the IPO Programming team or your Education Abroad Advisor.

Eckman to Direct Education Abroad in the International Programs Office

Friday, September 27, 2019

The International Programs Office (IPO) recently named Mark Eckman director of education abroad.

Eckman comes to IPO from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee (UWM) where he most recently served as the senior international officer and director of study abroad at the Center for International Education. He also served as partnerships coordinator there in 2007. Previously, Eckman served as assistant eirector of global student services at St. John’s University in New York.

During his time at UWM, Eckman expanded access to programs for students, creating a more robust emergency response protocol, engaged faculty program leaders from traditionally underrepresented academic areas, and positioned UWM as a leader in international education within Wisconsin.  His research interests include fiscal models for international education offices and programs, the establishment of reliable metrics for assessment— both for students and for programs—and the impact of motivation and self-efficacy in the identity development of study abroad participants.

The International Programs Office facilitates a global education network for the University, sending domestic students abroad and bringing international students’ and scholars’ talents and expertise to campus. IPO Associate Provost Kalpen Trivedi says, “I am delighted that Mark Eckman has agreed to join the International Programs Office after a competitive national search.  He has a strong background in faculty engagement and developing innovative study abroad programs.”

Eckman earned a master of education degree in educational leadership in college student personnel from Marquette University as well as a bachelor of arts degree in political science from Beloit College.

He is an accomplished international traveler, having traveled internationally for the first time at the age of five. While in high school, Eckman studied for a summer in Seville, Spain, and as a junior at Beloit, he spent a semester in Quito, Ecuador. During his time at Marquette, he decided to combine his love of international travel and international exchange with his passion for working in education.

Story Via UMass Amherst News and Media Relations

 

Associate Provost for International Programs Kalpen Trivedi

UMass Director of International Programs Office Awarded Presidential Fellowship

Friday, August 23, 2019

Kalpen Trivedi, associate provost and director of the International Programs Office at the University of Massachusetts Amherst has been awarded a Presidential Fellowship by the Association of International Education Administration (AIEA).

The fellows program provides mentorship for new senior international officers (SIOs), necessarily limited in number and of high prestige. Five fellows are matched with an experienced SIO, who will serve as mentor throughout the school year. Over the last 10 years, the fellows program has provided mentorship for over 40 new SIOs in international higher education.

“Trivedi’s leadership of International Programs has been exceptional, and I am not surprised that the AIEA chose him for this honor,” said John McCarthy, provost and senior vice chancellor of Academic Affairs.

Trivedi has been with the International Programs Office for over six years, and three years in his current role, where he leads campus strategy and initiatives for comprehensive international engagement. Trivedi is a regular contributor and presenter in various international forums and has published on current topics in international higher education. 

He serves on the International Education Leadership Knowledge Community as symposium and training lead for NAFSA: Association of International Educators, as well as being a member of the NAFSA National Trainer Corps. Trivedi is recent vice-chair and current steering committee member of the U.S. Department of State’s Overseas Security Advisory Council (OSAC) Academia Working Group. He also serves on other international education organization boards.

Trivedi was educated in India and the United Kingdom and holds degrees from Gujarat University, Oxford University (Radhakrishnan Scholar) and Cambridge University (Cambridge Commonwealth Trust Scholar). He has a doctorate in Medieval Literature from the University of Manchester (University Research Scholar) and has held a Mellon Research Fellowship at the Huntington Library in San Marino, Calif.

Trivedi joins presidential Fellows from Chicago State University, Howard University, the University of Tennessee Knoxville and Lincoln College.

Story via UMass Amherst News & Media Relations

Eleven Students Studying Abroad with Gilman and Freeman Scholarships in Summer, Fall 2019

Friday, July 12, 2019

Eight students will study abroad in Africa, Asia, and Europe in fall 2019 with the support of Benjamin A. Gilman Scholarships, as well as three studying in Asia with Freeman-Asia scholarships. 

The Gilman Scholarships for fall 2019 are:

  • Ifeoluwa Asere ’21, a public health sciences major from Boston for study in Ghana

  • Ayla Baraka ’21, a Japanese language and literature major from Boston for study in Japan

  • Zaidimary Barreto ‘20, a classics major from Worcester for study in Greece

  • Seamus Dann ’21, a Japanese language and literature major from Holyoke for study in Japan

  • Jeffrey Dunn ’21, a Russian, European & Eurasian studies major from Winthrop, Maine for study in Russia

  • Alexander Griffith ’19, a linguistics and anthropology major from Cummington for study in Israel

  • Alison Kane ’20, an anthropology major from Kingston for study in Russia

  • Adrelys Mateo Santana ’20, a psychology and Spanish double major from Lawrence for study in Spain

The students awarded the Freeman-Asia scholarship for 2019 are:

  • Kamran Noori Shirazi ’21, biochemistry and molecular biology major from East Longmeadow for study in China

  • Madeline Andrews ’21, English and Japanese language and literature double major from Chelmsford for study in Japan

  • Elizabeth Castellon ’21, a theater major from Boston for study in Japan

The UMass Amherst students submitted their applications with the guidance of the International Programs Office (IPO) and financial aid services. IPO offers workshops to bring awareness to these and other scholarship opportunities each semester, working with each student to think critically about their study abroad experience and develop strong applications. 

Full story via University News and Media Relations

 
UMass Amherst Student Daniella Iannuazzi

Education Abroad Alum Iannuzzi Named Commencement Student Speaker

Monday, May 6, 2019

Education Abroad alum Daniella Iannuzzi ’19 will be this year’s Student Speaker at Undergraduate Commencement on Friday, May 10. Iannuzzi, a Finance major and Education minor, went abroad to Italy during her junior year, visiting ten countries across Europe.

Iannuzzi said her experience abroad directly inspired her speech. “My whole speech is about appreciating the little moments in life. I’ve always been a person to appreciate the little moments, and being abroad helped me realize that more,” she says. “When you look back, the little moments are actually the big moments. When I look back and think about my time abroad, everything that was amazing—things like spending time and laughing with my roommates—was a ‘little moment.’”

Full story via UMass Amherst News and Media Relations

UMassGives and International Programs Office Logo

Support IPO During UMassGives

Thursday, April 25, 2019

The International Programs Office (IPO) will be raising money for scholarships during this year’s #UMassGives campaign April 29- 30, 2019. IPO facilitates a global education network for UMass Amherst, sending domestic students abroad and bringing international students’ and scholars’ talents and expertise to campus. A donation to our scholarship fund helps deserving students and scholars realize their goal of participating in a global academic community.

Please support us with a tax-deductible donation on April 30, 2019 from  2:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m.(Eastern Standard Time) during our #UMassGives power hour.

IPO To Host Mandatory Orientation for Fall 2019 Travelers

Monday, April 1, 2019

The International Programs Office (IPO) will host its Pre-Departure Orientation on Thursday, April 18 from 7:00-9:30 p.m. in the Campus Center Auditorium.

The orientation—mandatory for all students planning to study abroad in calendar year 2019—provides a combination of practical tips and important information to help students prepare for travel. The event features stories from education abroad alums and international students, country and region-specific information, question and answer sessions, and chances to connect with other students traveling abroad. Critical health and safety material will also be covered.
 
If you are unable to attend due to class or work, you will be required to participate in an online makeup session. If you are no longer planning to study abroad, please be sure to log into your UMass Ed Abroad account and change your status.
 
If you have any questions, please contact the IPO Programming team or your Education Abroad Adviser.
 

Umass Amherst Alum Lily Valentin

Lily Valentin ’12: “Recreate a Life for Yourself Abroad”

Tuesday, March 5, 2019

Many students pursue education abroad to pad their resume and get a better job, and Lily Valentin ’12 wants to help. Valentin works for Adzuna, an English job search engine that aggregates employment opportunities from all over the world into one convenient website.

Founded in 2012, the company has grown to serve jobseekers in 16 countries, including the United States and Canada. “We focus on having every job for every job seeker,” Valentin says. “We use smarter, more effective search tools to get results that match what they’re looking for, making the job search a more enjoyable experience for everyone.”

As a Country Manager for the United States and Canada, Valentin says she coordinates “anything and everything that has to do with running a website from a business perspective—including public relations, marketing, consumer inquiries, business development, and account management.”  Before joining Adzuna, Valentin worked in the beer industry in the U.S. and tech industry in Southeast Asia.

Valentin spent her junior year abroad in Barcelona, Spain, taking courses for her Marketing degree from the Isenberg School of Management. She found the experience to be an immersive complement to studies at UMass Amherst. “Most of the professors were ex-professionals in their fields, and a lot of the coursework drew from real life experience,” she says. “I found that most of the courses encouraged you to work as teams, as opposed to individual work, with a focus on real-life scenarios.”

Although she has always had global ambitions, Valentin credits her experience in Spain with giving her the courage to live abroad permanently. “Studying abroad gave me the added confirmation that it’s possible, and tangible to pick up and relocate,” she says. “With a little bit of support, some research, and some gusto, you can recreate a life for yourself abroad.”

ONSA To Offer Spring Scholarship Deadline Info Sessions, Workshops

Friday, March 1, 2019

With multiple Spring scholarship deadlines looming, The Office of National Scholarship Advisement (ONSA) is here to help. ONSA is hosting a series of scholarship workshops and information sessions through March and April.  These sessions promise to provide a solid launching pad for current juniors interested in applying for scholarships with fall 2019 semester deadlines.

Topics covered include Study in Asia, National Scholarships for Study in the U.K. and Ireland, the Fulbright U.S. Student Program (research or teaching English abroad), the Truman Scholarship (public policy), and the Soros Fellowship (graduate school).

Workshops on the nuts-and-bolts of scholarship applications, such as How to Write a Personal Statement and “Translating Your Experiences into Scholarship Applications, will also be offered.

All spring national scholarship info sessions require online registration, with some sessions having limited spacing; students are encouraged to apply early.

ONSA is committed to educating the UMass Amherst community about nationally competitive scholarships, and mentoring students and recent alumni in their pursuit of these opportunities. They provide advisement and support to academically talented students through their application process for highly competitive scholarships, including essay reviews, reflection conversations, and interview practice.

Spring 2019 ONSA Workshops/Info Sessions:

FULBRIGHT FRANCE INFO SESSION Monday, 4 March

10 AM – 11 AM

CHC Conference Room 305

FULBRIGHT INFO SESSION

Wednesday, 6 March                                                

10 AM – 11 AM

Elm Hall classroom 224                                                           

and                                                        

Monday, 18 March

2.30 PM – 3.45 PM Elm Hall classroom 214                                                           

and                                                       

Wednesday, 20 March                                                          

10.10 AM – 11 AM

Elm Hall classroom 224                                                         

and

Wednesday, 27 March (PIZZA LUNCH)

12.20 PM – 1.10 PM

Elm Hall classroom 214

TRUMAN INFO SESSION

Friday, 22 March (PIZZA LUNCH)

12 PM – 1 PM

CHC Conference Room 351

UNITED KINGDOM SCHOLARSHIPS INFO SESSION Monday, 25 March

2 PM – 3 PM

CHC Conference Room 351

STUDY IN ASIA SCHOLARSHIPS INFO SESSION Friday, 29 March

10 AM – 11 AM

CHC Conference Room 351

HOW TO WRITE A PERSONAL STATEMENT Monday, 1 April

2 PM – 3 PM                                                           

and                                         

Wednesday, 3 April                                                               

10 AM – 11 AM

Both in CHC Conference Room 351

HOW TO TRANSLATE EXPERIENCES INTO A SCHOLARSHIP APPLICATION Monday, 8 April

2 PM – 3 PM                                                        

and                                                       

Friday, 12 April                                                      

10 AM – 11 AM

Both in CHC Conference Room 351

SOROS FELLOWSHIP INFO SESSION Tuesday, 23 April

11 AM – 12 PM

CHC Conference Room 351

UMass Amherst Again Named Top Producer of Fulbright Awards

Wednesday, February 20, 2019

For the fourth time in five years, the University of Massachusetts Amherst has been named a “Top Producing Institution” of Fulbright student awards among research colleges and universities. 

The 2018-19 rankings from the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs appear in the Chronicle of Higher Education. With 13 students receiving scholarships in the distinguished competition, UMass Amherst tied with Dartmouth College and Duke University in the 15th position.

UMass Amherst received the same distinction in the Fulbright Student Program for three consecutive years beginning with the 2014-15 rankings. And last year, UMass Amherst was named a top producing institution in the Fulbright Scholars category, with seven faculty members given awards to teach or conduct research on four continents.

Read The Full Story at UMass Amherst New Office

2019 Gilman Scholarship Applications Now Open

Tuesday, February 5, 2019

Applications for Summer 2019, Fall 2019, and Academic Year 2019-2020 Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarships are now open. The Gilman Scholarship, a U.S. Department of State program, offers grants of up to $5,000 to U.S. undergraduate students of high financial need. Additionally, students studying a critical need language may be eligible to receive the Critical Need Language Award, a supplemental grant of up to $3,000. 

All applications are due Tuesday, March 5, 2019 by 11:59 p.m. (central time).

The Gilman Program aims to diversify the kinds of students who study and intern abroad, and the countries and regions where they go, by supporting U.S. undergraduates who might otherwise not consider these unique and valuable opportunities due to financial constraints.

Full details, including qualifications are available at the Gilman website. UMass Amherst is typically among the institutions awarded the most Gilman Scholarships every year. Staff at the Education Abroad office proactively work with any student to assure the strongest possible application; interested students must meet with an Education Abroad advisors before applying. Book an appointment by emailing abroad [at] umass.edu or calling 413.545.5247.    

Learn More About Other Scholarships to Help You to Study Abroad 

UMass Amherst Student James Fritz ’19 (Second From Left in Back) And Other Winners of the CAPA Outstanding Achievement Award.

Fritz ’19 Earns Outstanding Achievement Award

Friday, January 25, 2019

James Fritz ’19 was recently recognized with the CAPA Global Education Network’s Outstanding Academic Achievement Award. Fritz, a Political Science major, studied in England in Fall 2018.

Fritz’s coursework focused on politics and the relationship between England and the European Union, including an internship with the Local Government Association. “I was able to work within the Houses of Parliament during the height of the Brexit debates, and was in regular correspondence with actors within those debates,” he says.

“I saw the opportunity to add a very useful experience to my resume that would help in gaining future employment—this experience of global political affairs will surely prove invaluable in my future endeavors,” he adds.

Every semester, CAPA asks its faculty members to nominate deserving students to be honored for outstanding academic achievement. Fritz was recognized for excellent class participation, and a paper on multiculturalism and London as a global city. He calls his stand-out paper “an attempt to greater understand the intricacies of London’s seemingly endless pool of cultural diversity.”

IPO offers an Education Abroad/CAPA scholarship, among many others.

For more information on available CAPA programs, consult our programming page.

UMass Amherst Students Glorimar Estevez  and Cassandra Georges

Estevez, Georges Named Gilman Scholars

Monday, January 7, 2019

Glorimar Estevez ’20 and Cassandra Georges ’19 are furthering their studies in psychology, linguistics, and public health through travel grants, while engaging in communities abroad. The pair are among 26 UMass Amherst students to earn Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarships this year.

The Gilman Scholarship grant program enables students of limited financial means to study or intern abroad, gaining skills critical to national security and economic competitiveness. Of more than 10,000 applicants, fewer than 3,000 scholarships are granted annually.
 
Estevez, a sociology and Portuguese major, will use the funds to study abroad in Florianópolis, Brazil, for the 2018–19 academic year. In addition to courses in her majors, she plans to immerse herself in the culture, by teaching English in a local school, which will help her minor in education, and through community gardening.
 
In addition to her academic work and cultural learning, Estevez has one more goal—to become trilingual. She already speaks English and Spanish. “When you’re learning a language, there’s only so much you can do without experiencing the people and culture,” she says.
 
Georges, a public health major, traveled to Chiang Mai, Thailand, this past summer. She worked at an American health clinic and gained a new perspective on global health issues by examining them in an international setting. “Public health is really big in Thailand, and I’m interested in what kind of initiatives they’re tackling there,” she says.

Georges honored her upbringing as a foster child by volunteering at Baan Kingkaew orphanage. “It’s close to my heart,” she says.

The pair each received $2,000 from the Institute of International Education (IIE) Generation Study Abroad Travel Grant. The fund helps students from a broad range of backgrounds participate in academic, internship, or service-learning experiences abroad. They are among 50 of nearly 1,500 applicants to receive funding. 

2018 Holidays Hours In Effect December 20

Tuesday, December 11, 2018

IPO will operate under the following adjusted hours for the upcoming winter break:

Mon, Dec 24       8:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.
Tues, Dec 25       CLOSED
Weds, Dec 26       8:30 a.m.- 4:30 p.m.
Thurs, Dec 27     8:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.
Fri, Dec 28           CLOSED
Mon, Dec 31       CLOSED
Tues, Jan 1          CLOSED

IPO will re-open (and resume normal business hours) on Weds, Jan 2 8:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.

During the Break:

  • ISS & EA Advising by appointment only.
  • ISS WALK-IN advising will resume on Tues, Jan. 22, 2019.
  • Education Abroad Advising Center will re-open on Tues, Jan. 22, 2019.
  • Questions? Please give us a call at 413-545-2710 

     

Associate Provost for International Programs Kalpen Trivedi

Trivedi Named to NAFSA Leadership Post

Friday, November 2, 2018

Kalpen Trivedi, associate provost for international programs, has been appointed to serve as a member of the International Education Leadership Knowledge Community of NAFSA: Association of International Educators.

Trivedi’s two-year term will focus on NAFSA’s conference and symposium planning team.

He will assume the post in January and at the organization’s leadership meeting in Washington, D.C., in February.

NAFSA is the world’s largest nonprofit association dedicated to international education and exchange. It has 10,000 members at more than 3,500 institutions in more than 150 countries.

Story Via UMass Amherst News and Media Relations

UMass Amherst to Celebrate International Education Week Nov. 5 to 9

Wednesday, October 31, 2018

As part of International Education Week, the university will host events Nov. 5-9 that celebrate international exchange, the richness of cultures from around the world, education and community.

Highlights include the inaugural “Stand United, Fight Hate” lecture to be delivered by author and scholar of racism Ibram X. Kendi at the Fine Arts Center on Wednesday, Nov. 7 at 6 p.m. His talk will be based in part on his forthcoming book “How to Be an Antiracist.” The event is free and open to the public, but tickets must be reserved through the Fine Arts Center.

The week kicks off Monday, Nov. 5 from 3:30-5:30 p.m. at the Science and Engineering Library with a Building Bridges art exhibition and reception showcasing UMass Amherst worker-artists. Building Bridges fosters new connections among campus community members from varied backgrounds through art and creative expression, as well as through courses aimed at amplifying the voices of immigrant employees.

Other events include a coffee hour where students and other community members can meet over free coffee, tea and international snacks; panel discussions on safety for women traveling abroad and about race and ethnicity abroad; and the Yuri Kochiyama Cultural Center’s film festival showcasing Asian American experiences with “My Life in China,” “Nailed It” and “Yappie.”

“I’m very gratified that UMass Amherst continues to be a destination of choice for international students and scholars,” says Kalpen Trivedi, associate provost for International Programs. “International Education Week gives us a valuable opportunity to celebrate their presence and community on campus as well as highlight the important work of building an inclusive community that goes on each and every day at UMass.”

Chancellor Kumble R. Subbasway said, “I am delighted that we are again celebrating International Education Week. We are stronger for sharing our cultures, and UMass Amherst will always provide a welcoming and supportive learning environment for all members of our community.”

This fall, the university welcomed more than 1,000 new international undergraduate, graduate and exchange students from 61 countries. In all, international students at UMass Amherst represent more than 115 countries.

The university also surpassed a 2017 record, with 1,344 undergraduate students traveling abroad to study.

International Education Week is a joint initiative of the U.S. departments of State and Education for a worldwide celebration that highlights efforts to prepare citizens for a global environment.

To show support for the UMass Amherst international community, share posts and photos on social media using #IEW2018.

A Full Listing of IEW 2018 Events Is Available Here.

IPO To Host Mandatory Orientation for 2019 Travelers

Tuesday, October 16, 2018

The International Programs Office will host its Pre-Departure Orientation on Thursday, November 29 from 7:00-9:15 p.m. in the Campus Center Auditorium.

The orientation—mandatory for all students planning to study abroad in calendar year 2019—provides a combination of practical tips and important information to help students prepare for travel. The event features stories from education abroad alums and international students, country and region-specific information, question and answer sessions, and chances to connect with other students traveling abroad. Critical health and safety material will also be covered.

If you are unable to attend due to class or work, you will be required to participate in an online makeup session. If you are no longer planning to study abroad, please be sure to log into your UMass Ed Abroad account and change your status.

If you have any questions, please contact the IPO Programming team or your Education Abroad Adviser.

A photo from Italy

Submissions For Fall Photo Contest Now Being Accepted

Friday, September 28, 2018

Submissions are now being accepted for the International Programs Office (IPO)’s annual Education Abroad Photo Contest. We are interested in photos telling the visual story of your time abroad, fully illustrating the immersive and dynamic experience of studying in a foreign country.

We need diverse images—in location, ethnicity, age, and academic focus of student work. Of particular interest are photos that capture: interactions with local residents, aspects of the host country’s culture, the essence of your host school or host city, or your academic experience or educational engagement abroad.

The contest will open for submissions on September 28; students who studied abroad any time between Summer 2017 and now are encouraged to enter.

Submissions must be sent to Joshua Murray by October 26, 2018 at midnight.

IPO, Office for Equity And Inclusion to Offer Free Passports to New Applicants

Wednesday, September 26, 2018

The International Programs Office (IPO) is co-sponsoring a “passport caravan” event for first time passport applicants October 12 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. in the Design Building Atrium.  Students in need of a new passport (not a renewal) who are U.S. citizens, current freshmen, sophomores, or juniors enrolled at UMass Amherst are eligible for a free passport. 

A full application is available here; the application must be filled out ahead of the event.

The Council on International Education Exchange (CIEE) is co-sponsoring the event along with IPO and UMass Amherst's Office for Equity and Inclusion.

To pre-register for the event, or for any questions, email Cristina Sosa.

Jonathan DeMarco ’20: “Engineers—or Anyone— Should Study Abroad”

Friday, September 21, 2018

Jonathan DeMarco ’20 is a Civil Engineering Major at UMass Amherst who studied abroad in France last semester. Before he left, he didn’t think it was possible to study abroad and graduate on time in his major.

DeMarco recently wrote about his experience in a blog at CEA Study Abroad:

“ I was hearing things like, ‘Engineers can’t study abroad, our curriculum won’t allow it,’ or ‘You won’t learn what you need to learn to be an engineer if you go abroad and you’ll have to stay an extra year.’ I would like to say that these things are absolutely not true.”

Read the rest at CEA Study Abroad.

Essentials Sessions to Begin September 4

Thursday, September 6, 2018

Education Abroad Essentials, a mandatory information session for all students interested in studying abroad, begins Tuesday, September 4.

Essentials runs in the International Programs Office (70 Butterfield Terrace) Monday through Friday at 10:00 a.m., 11:00 a.m., 2:00 p.m., and 3:00 p.m., and in the Calipari Room in the W.E.B. DuBois Library Wednesdays at 6 p.m. 

Note: On Thursday, September 6, we will not have Essentials at 2 p.m. or 3 p.m., but all other sessions will be open; there will be no Essentials in the Calipari Room on October 3.

Students who attend will learn:

  • Eligibility requirements
  • How to plan coursework
  • How financing works
  • How to start researching programs that will meet student goals

Study abroad students will not be able to meet with an Education Abroad Program Advisor until they have attended. For more information, email abroad[at]ipo.umass[dot]edu, or call 413.545.5247.   

Applications for 2019 Gilman Scholarships Now Open

Thursday, August 23, 2018

Applications for Spring and Summer 2019 Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarships are now open. The Gilman Scholarship, a U.S. Department of State program, offers grants of up to $5,000 to U.S. undergraduate students of high financial need. Additionally, students studying a critical need language may be eligible to receive the Critical Need Language Award, a supplemental grant of up to $3,000. 

The Gilman Program aims to diversify the kinds of students who study and intern abroad, and the countries and regions where they go, by supporting U.S. undergraduates who might otherwise not consider these unique and valuable opportunities due to financial constraints.

Full details, including qualifications are available at the Gilman website. UMass Amherst is typically among the institutions awarded the most Gilman Scholarships every year. Staff at the Education Abroad office proactively work with any student to assure the strongest possible application; interested students must meet with an Education Abroad advisors before applying. Book an appointment by emailing abroad[at]umass[dot]edu or calling 413.545.5247.    

All applications are due Tuesday, October 2, 2018 by 11:59 p.m. (central time).

Absentee Voting For Fall Study Abroad Students

Friday, July 27, 2018

With all 435 seats in the U.S. House of Representatives and 34 of 100 seats in the Senate on the ballot in November, are you registered to vote while studying abroad? Approximately 300,000 U.S. students studying abroad are eligible to vote by absentee ballot, able to affect national, state and local races. 

U.S. Vote Foundation is a nonprofit, nonpartisan charitable organization supporting overseas U.S. citizens to register and request their overseas absentee ballots. Get started now by registering to vote through their online form.

Umass Student Brennan Dwyer '18

Initiatives Come to Fruition

Tuesday, May 29, 2018

Mechanical engineering major Brennan Dwyer ’18 knew he wanted to study abroad but wasn’t sure that was possible given the sequential courses required for engineering students to graduate in four years. Recognizing that education abroad is challenging for some majors, the International Programs Office (IPO) found new partners to give engineering and nursing majors opportunities for international experiences.

For the first time in the summer of 2016, students from the College of Nursing were able to enroll in courses at University College Dublin, Ireland, and University of Oviedo, Spain.  For engineering students, IPO now collaborates with three new universities that offer engineering courses: Heriot-Watt University in Scotland, Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, and Swansea University in the United Kingdom. As a result, in 2015–16, 17 students took two or more engineering courses abroad, compared to seven in 2014–15.

Dwyer took three engineering courses at University College Dublin, an existing partner,in the 2016 spring semester that matched the courses he would have enrolled in at UMass Amherst. “I really wanted to make this work,” he says, “When else in your life are you going to be able to change countries and schools?” He says he was exposed to a different style of teaching and learning and enjoyed living in Ireland and learning more in-depth its history and culture. “It forced me to be a bit more outgoing and independent,” Dwyer says.

In the new initiative for nursing students, they have the option of studying in Irish and Spanish universities, taking up to three courses.  In a new partnership, the Spanish department has joined the nursing college and IPO by accepting credits from Oviedo that can be applied to a Spanish certificate.

Umass Amherst Alum Evialina Yakimovich ’17

Study Abroad Yields German Scholarship

Tuesday, May 22, 2018

For Evialina Yakimovich ’17, a year of study abroad in Germany led to a German summer internship and scholarship for graduate school. The management and sustainable development major is attending the University of Mannheim in Baden–Württemberg on a full scholarship awarded by DAAD (German Academic Exchange Service).

She began her adventures in Germany as a junior when she spent the year at the University of Mannheim. She recalls that even before the year was over, she wasthinking, “How do I get back here?” One way was winning the DAAD scholarship.

She chose the University of Mannheim based on its reputation for excellent management and business programs and affordability. She says courses were taught by professors from all over the world.For example, she studied sustainability and business with faculty from Australia. Determined to extend her stay in Germany, she secured in the summer of 2016 an internship at BASF Corporation, one of the world’s largest chemical companies. During the internship, Yakimovich continued her cross–cultural experiences by meeting other interns and employees from all over the world.

Academically, she says she developed skills in international marketing. After an intensive language course and a year of practicing daily essentials, like ordering coffee, she overcame the language barrier.

“Every day I was forced to go out of my comfort zone and what is familiar to me.”

She says she was aided by establishing routines and sharing a hobby. A rock climber, Yakimovich says getting to know other climbers at a rock gym near the Mannheim campus helped her branch out from the American and international student community and make German friends. —Ashley Nadeau

Moralee to Lead UMass Oxford Summer Seminar

Wednesday, May 9, 2018

Jason Moralee, Department of History, has been appointed as the incoming Director of the UMass Oxford Summer Seminar. He will assume this position in Fall of 2018, succeeding the outgoing director, Jenny Adams, Department of English.

In assuming the directorship, Morlaee will take charge of a program started over 50 years ago by former English Professor Ernest Hofer. One of the oldest American summer programs in Oxford, the Summer Seminar allows students to take two UMass honors courses in the humanities, social sciences, and natural sciences during a six-week term at Trinity College. Summer 2018 course offerings will include Shakespeare, Jane Austen, the Economics of Brexit, British Politics, and British Perspectives on the American Revolution. In addition to these courses taught by British academics, three UMass faculty will teach two courses: Children, Teens, and Media (Erica Scharrer and Lynn Phillips, Department of Communication) and The Psychology of Sherlock Holmes (Tammy Rahhal, Department of Psychology).

The dates for this year’s seminar are June 30 – August 10. In addition to courses, students will take field trips to London, Bath, and Stratford. Applications for next summer’s program will be available this summer via the Oxford Summer Seminar website.

“The International Programs Office is excited to work with Dr. Moralee and continue the brilliant work that Professor Adams has done in aligning the Oxford Summer Seminar with the UMass curriculum and the needs of the 21st century study abroad student,” said Stacy Lutsch, IPO’s Director of Academic Initiatives.

Cooper Heilmann ‘19: Look to Denmark For Climate Change Solutions

Tuesday, May 8, 2018

Cooper Heilmann '19 recently returned from a “life-changing” 5 months abroad in Denmark with a fresh perspective on combating climate change in the U.S.

“Danish climate awareness extends all the way to the local and individual level. Upon arriving in Copenhagen, I instantly noticed a cleanliness in the air, a noticeably quieter buzz of traffic. Bicycle highways that run parallel to every street and extend far into the suburbs are populated by hundreds of cyclists commuting to and from work," Heilmann writes. "The city has provided bicycle parking lots and traffic infrastructure, as well as an efficient bus and metro system accessed by quickly tapping your 'rejsekort' (travel card) on an electronic scanner.”

Heilmann recommends embracing local solutions to climate change with the hopes of expanding the efforts nationally. "While higher levels of government may be hamstrung by lengthy discussion and the influence of interest groups, local governments can take their own initiatives to foster sustainable living and practice," he says.

Read the entire column in the Daily Hampshire Gazette.

Nancy Condon, Community Ambassador in the International Programs Office

Nancy Condon, IPO Community Ambassador, to Retire After 23 Years

Wednesday, May 2, 2018

After 23 years at UMass as Advisor to International Scholars in the International Programs Office (IPO), Nancy Condon will retire this month. In addition to advising international scholars, faculty and staff on the nuances of US immigration regulations, Nancy has also been instrumental in coordinating the “Round the World Women” program in conjunction with the Amherst Town Committee for International Students. Over the years, Nancy has also been very involved professionally with NAFSA: Association of International Educators, and the International Student & Scholar Forum, as well as the Five College International Office Group.

“It has been a pleasure working with and being a part of the immigration process for thousands of UMass researchers and professors over the past 23 years,” states Condon.  “From the initial inquiry by the departments; to the preparation of visa documents; to the trepidation of consular interviews; and finally, sharing the excitement of a new home in the UMass Amherst community, working at the International Programs Office has given me an appreciation for the similarities and differences of cultures and a lifetime of worldwide friendships.”

Ken Reade, Director of International Student and Scholar Services, adds “Nancy has literally welcomed the world to UMass Amherst over the course of her 23-year career in the IPO. Her kindness, care and generosity to the international scholar community has touched the lives of thousands. Nancy has served as a loyal ambassador to UMass, and its extended global reach, and we all owe her a tremendous amount of gratitude for her loyal service. I am delighted for her and her family upon her retirement and wish her all the very best.”

The campus community is invited to attend a reception in honor of Nancy on Wednesday, May 9 from 5:00 p.m. -7:00 p.m. in the Marriott Center (11th floor of the Campus Center). Please RSVP to Kstender[at]umass[dot]edu by May 7 if you would like to attend.

Umass Student Kailee Kennedy ’18

Kailee Kennedy Study Abroad: Best Year of My Life

Monday, April 30, 2018

Kailee Kennedy ’18 realized the importance of diversifying her study abroad experience and chose three unique opportunities for expanding her practical knowledge of public health
and intercultural communications. After securing three scholarships to fund the bulk of her trips, the Commonwealth Honors College student with a double major in public health and Spanish was able to fulfill her study-abroad aspirations.

In the summer of 2016, she studied Spanish in Santiago, Dominican Republic, and volunteered at a public health clinic. Just a few months later, Kennedy studied global and public health in Manipal, India, with the Alliance for Global Education, an International Programs Office partner.
Lastly, in spring 2017, she studied health care and medical Spanish and volunteered and led workshops at a community-health facility that serves individuals with HIV in San José, Costa Rica. “It was the best year of my life,” Kennedy says.

Kennedy understands firsthand the importance of internationalization and cultural immersion. Ultimately, she believes that studying abroad not only taught her about other countries and
communities, it also gave her a more accurate perspective on American culture and public health policy. “I realized that problems are part of every country, and you need to educate yourself, and you need to adapt and not impose your cultural beliefs on others.”

Of her three different experiences, Kennedy notes that her time in India was the most challenging and rewarding. While taking classes at Manipal University, Kennedy completed a research project on adolescent health in rural and urban areas. Her research examined the differences between the public and private sector and considered how various groups approach taboo topics, such as reproductive health, mental health, and substance abuse.
—Ashley Nadeau

Help Support Students Like Kailee With a Donation to our Scholarship Fund During #UMassGives

A group photo of 15 Emerging Scholars in Commonwealth Honors College

Emerging Scholars Study Abroad

Wednesday, April 25, 2018

In a pilot program, 15 Emerging Scholars in Commonwealth Honors College spent two weeks during the summer in the Dominican Republic learning the country’s history and culture—and even finding the time to build a vegetable garden at an elementary school. The study-abroad
experience for the first-generation college students is part of an effort by the campus to increase participation in international education.

“Increasing study abroad is one of the ways we help students grow socially, academically, and intellectually,” says Alexandrina Deschamps, associate dean at the honors college and director of the Emerging Scholars Program. Kalpen Trivedi, associate provost for international programs, says students from diverse and underrepresented groups at UMass Amherst, and across the country, typically don’t consider education abroad. “We are trying to change the face of study abroad to be more inclusive and rewrite the narrative that education abroad is not just an elite experience,” he says.

Spearheaded by Chancellor Kumble R. Subbaswamy, the International Programs
Office (IPO), the honors college, and the Council of International Educational Exchange partnered to create and cofund the program. Deschamps, who was responsible for the four-credit course that culminated in the trip, says the pre-trip studies included examining the tensions between Haitians and Dominicans, as well as the history, geo-politics, and socioeconomics of the island nation.

Faculty members Mari Castañeda, chair of the communication department, and Joseph Krupczynski, director of Civic Engagement and Service Learning, accompanied the students. “As faculty, we provided ways for the students to connect their experiences in the Dominican Republic with their education at UMass. We had multiple academic discussions and group reflections during the trip that allowed the students to understand how their personal experiences are related to critical thoughts and ideas,” says Krupczynski.

The students, mostly sophomores who spent their first year in the Emerging Scholars Residential Academic Program, say their two weeks in the Dominican Republic taught them many personal and academic lessons. They experienced the challenge of language barriers, the perspective of being an outsider, and adapting to a new culture. “The students learned the important lesson of stepping out of their comfort zone and being open to non-U.S. modes of thinking and ways of life,” notes Castañeda.

Maria Arenas ’20, a comparative literature major, says she enjoyed learning the differences among bachata, merengue, and salsa dances. But on a deeper level, she says, the group’s work to build a vegetable garden for young students for educational and culinary purposes left
an indelible memory. “The garden,” she says, “will leave something meaningful and lasting for the children.” Jonathan  Maciel ’19, a junior economics major, says visits to museums were inspiring. “It’s one thing to learn about this history in class, but to actually stand in the places where the events took place is a special kind of learning experience,” he says.
—Judith B. Cameron
 

Support The International Programs Office

 

Diversity Abroad & StudentUniverse Scholarship Contest: $500 + Round Trip Airfare

Tuesday, February 6, 2018

Diversity Abroad is excited to announce they have partnered with StudentUniverse for the #PictureMeAbroad Contest to offer a $500 scholarship and round-trip international airfare for students studying abroad in the Summer 2018, Fall 2018 and Spring 2019 semesters.

The #PictureMeAbroad contest seeks to showcase the changing face of study abroad through the experiences of the DiversityAbroad.com student community. One challenge to increasing the participation of underrepresented and diverse students in Study Abroad programming is that marketing initiatives have historically bypassed these populations leaving many students to ask the question “are these programs really for me?” To combat this trend, the #PictureMeAbroad Contest seeks to highlight students from diverse and non-traditional backgrounds by asking them to submit short videos highlighting their background and why they would like to study abroad.

Ethnic/racial minority, high financial need and first generation college students are strongly encouraged to apply.

There are two prizes available: one grand prize winner will receive a $500 Diversity Abroad Scholarship + round-trip international airfare provided by StudentUniverse. Runner up will receive a Diversity Abroad and StudentUniverse Swag Bag + a Bluetooth Smartphone Travel Kit.

To learn how to enter and for more information, students should visit: https://www.diversityabroad.com/contest

The deadline to apply is February 28, 2018 at 11:59 pm PST. Winners will be selected and announced two weeks after the end of the contest.

 

 

International Education Week: A Global Celebration at UMass Amherst

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Thank you, UMass Amherst!  #YouAreWelcomeHere!

 

Gilman Scholarship: Japan Adventures

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Sharon Chen, Communication '18, spent her Spring 2017 semester at Kansai Gaidi in Japan. She was one of fourteen UMass students awarded the Gilman International Scholarship- Official Page for their education abroad.

Check out her adventures in Osaka, Tokyo, Kyoto, Nara, Kobe, Wakayama, Nagoya, Sapporo, and Hiroshima!

Kicking Across Borders

Monday, June 12, 2017

Five years ago, Eliza Shirazi ’13 was a communication and public health major at UMass Amherst, studying abroad in South Africa, and teaching a kickboxing-inspired group fitness class. Now, Shirazi, founder of Kick It By Eliza, has 60 trained instructors and plans to bring the unique fitness program to international venues. “I wouldn’t have the courage to do all this without the experience of study abroad,” Shirazi says. 

Shirazi first began teaching “Kick It By Eliza” during her first year at UMass Amherst. With experience, she has refined the music-driven movement approach to fitness and female empowerment. This summer, the popular class was offered at Flying Kites, a Boston-based charitable organization that operates a school in Kenya. Further helping the charity, the Kick It Crew trekked for Flying Kites up Mt. Kilimanjaro in Tanzania.  

Her success, she notes, was launched during her junior year abroad at the University of Cape Town in South Africa. At Cape Town, she taught “Kick It” to her fellow students. Shirazi explains that group fitness hadn’t been very popular at the school, but by the end of the semester the mirrors of her class would be fogged up by the heat of the participants. “Kick It” had become one of the most popular fitness classes on the Cape Town campus. 

Shirazi cites that class as one of the highlights of her study-abroad experience and says that it gave her the confidence to start her own business. She knew that if her class could work in another country and help her reach across cultural differences, she could take it anywhere. And she plans to. Kick It By Eliza is developing  “Kick It International,” with classes taught all over the world.  

Jakob Lengacher; IPO Alumni Success Story

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

As Jakob Lengacher ’15 tells it, he enrolled at UMass Amherst to pursue a degree in physics and took a Chinese language class for fun. When he failed his first physics exam but aced assignments in Chinese, Lengacher realized he was in the wrong major. He is now a Fulbright scholar at Heilonjiang University in Harbin, China, where he spent his junior year abroad. “It was phenomenal, in a word. I wouldn’t have been able to speak Chinese nearly so well if I hadn’t done a year there.” 

After changing his major to Chinese, Lengacher spent a year abroad to develop his Chinese language skills. A member of Commonwealth Honors College, he won a prestigious Boren Scholarship. The Boren Scholarship funds undergraduates studying less commonly taught languages and who wish to pursue a career in national security. Lengacher, who was initially drawn to physics because of his dedication to nuclear nonproliferation, says he was a great fit for the federal program. 

Lengacher’s Fulbright Scholarship is an extension of his undergraduate study-abroad experiences. His research studies the Shanghai Corporation Organization, an intergovernmental international organization formed in 2001 to promote peace among the People’s Republic of China, the Russian Federation, and other neighboring countries. Lengacher’s project examines the organization’s role in the development of renewable energy and environmental policy. Lengacher emphasizes the importance of people-to-people contact for diplomacy. As he sees it, “research is just half of the Fulbright. The cultural exchange is as important if not more so.”  

Beyond improving his Chinese, Lengacher credits his study-abroad experience with his current achievements and personal development. He says that study abroad gave him validation for his choice of major, helped him realize the professional applications of his degree, and built his self-confidence. And he has the accolades to prove it—a year after his graduation, he was recognized by Yale University’s China Hands magazine in its 2016 list of 25 Under 25: Leaders in U.S. China Relations.