International Educator - January/February 2013 - 40
| University of Michigan | Ann Arbor, Michigan
The Peace Corps connection is an indelInternational Opportunities ible part of the identity of the University of for Undergraduates Michigan, which enrolls nearly 6,000 interPresident Coleman also created in 2009 the national students and offers instruction in Challenge for the Student Global Experience 65 languages, from Bamana and Bosnian to that has raised tens of millions of dollars for Tamil and Twi to Urdu and Uzbek. Founded education abroad scholarships. She found inalmost two centuries ago, U-M (it prefers the ternal funds to match $1 for every $2 of large hyphen and never tires of seeing its block letdonations, made the first gift herself, and later ter M logo stamped on sweatshirts and signs) donated her 2011 salary increase as well. boasts the seventh largest endowment of any More than half of Michigan students (53 U.S. university ($7.8 billion), according to the percent) now study outside Europe, comNational Association of College and Univerpared with 38 percent eight years ago. The sity Business Officers, and conducts more Center for Global and Intercultural Study research ($1 billion-plus) than any campus within the College of Literature, Science other than Johns Hopkins, according to the and the Arts, operates the largest education National Science Foundation. Constitutionabroad office on the decentralized campus. ally autonomous, it has weathered large cuts Senior Natalie Bisaro overcame a fear U-M faculty serve as resident directors of 40 of education abroad thanks to the in state funding and still managed to hire of its 90 study abroad programs. The center Global Intercultural Experience for dozens of new, tenure-track faculty, all while Undergraduates. also runs a service program called Global squeezing over a decade nearly a quarter-bilIntercultural Experience for Undergradulion dollars in recurring costs from its $1.6 billion operating budget. ates (GIEU) that sends 200 students in small groups, each with a “We have navigated this period well. We’ve remained on our up- professor, to 15 to 20 places in need around the globe each summer. ward trajectory and been able to do a lot of things we wanted to Senior Natalie Bisaro, a communications and comparative do, like increase the number of students who are studying abroad,” literature major, spent a month in Grenada working with young said Provost Philip Hanlon. children. “Before going, I was kind of terrified of studying abroad, to be honest,” said Bisaro. “This was all pretty much life changing.” She later spent a semester in Switzerland and took a sports manRamping Up International Activities From a campus with 27,000 undergraduates and 14,000 graduate students, the education abroad numbers have doubled since 2004–05 to nearly 2,000 in 2010–11, with 1,300 others heading abroad for service, internships, and other noncredit opportunities. President Mary Sue Coleman has made it her mission to, as she put it, “ramp up our international efforts,” in part by leading deans and faculty on carefully planned trips to Africa, China, and Brazil that have produced expanded research partnerships and other initiatives. The 2008 trip to Ghana—on which she brought the Michigan Gospel Chorale—and to South Africa led to creation of an African Presidential Scholars Program that brings ten promising young scholars to Ann Arbor each year for residencies, as well as establishment of a new African Studies Center within the International Institute. Coleman has expanded a partnership with Shanghai Jiao Tong University (SJTU) in Shanghai, where a Michigan faculty member is dean of the UM-SJTU Joint Institute that confers dual degrees in engineering. The U-M Medical School has a $14 million research partnership with Peking University. At the same time, a top-level U-M task force ruled out opening a branch campus in Senior Vice Provost for Academic Affairs Lester Monts pushed for undergraduates’ place in major international initiatives. China, as some universities have done.
INTERNATIONAL EDUCATOR J A N + F E B . 13