The Michigan Daily - New Student Edition - September 8, 1998 - 7C
Students travel the world to study languages, cultures
By Uma Subramanian
Daily Staff Reporter
Istanbul, Johannesburg, Paris and Rome.
The names of these cities cause many
University students to conjure images of
ancient civilizations, famous landmarks, and
the allure of foreign food and remote cultures.
ut at the University's Office of International
Programs and the Overseas Opportunities
Office at the International Center, these places
are no longer remote locations in textbooks.
The OIP is a branch of the University that
coordinates and runs study abroad programs
in countries all over the world.
Recently there has been a lot of interest in
study abroad programs due to the globaliza-
tion of the world markets. Many travel barri-
ers have broken down as communism gave
way to capitalism and given rise to partner-
ships between former enemies.
"A lot of students are looking to improve
language skills and broaden their horizons,"
said Susan Gass, an OIP advisor. "But more-
over many students are concentrating in area
studies abroad that give them additional acad-
emic experience in their field. Still others are
doing first-hand research on their heritage."
Regardless of what an individual's interests
are, there are an abundance of programs for
students to choose from. In conjunction with
the University, OIP offers 46 study abroad
During this Fall semester, nearly 500 stu-
dents will study abroad through OIP pro-
"Studying abroad in Prague gave me a great
idea of what vast cultural differences exist in
the world," said LSA senior Lori Cloutier, an
international relations major. "Even though I
didn't speak Czech when I went. I picked up
quite a bit while I was there."
Cloutier spent the Fall '97 semester in
Prague taking classes in economics and polit-
ical studies, while living among Czech stu-
The Czech Republic is a country that was
formerly inaccessible to American students.
But Cloutier said, interacting with people who
grew up under completely different circum-
stances was the most fascinating part of her
"The young people grew up under commu-
nism,' Cloutier said. "So it was interesting to
talk to them about the changing political situ-
Besides the benefits of a global experience,
Cloutier said her semester abroad enabled her
to get an internship with the State Department
in Washington, D.C., dealing with Eastern
"If I had my way, I think studying abroad
should be a requirement," Cloutier said.
Besides studying abroad through the
University, there are a variety of other ways to
see the world.
The 000 is filled with information dealing
with travel abroad, work abroad, and study
abroad programs from other universities.
The 000 prides itself on having informa-
tion about all the international programs
offered. In the 000 office, located on the
main floor of West Quad residence hall, there
are maps, guide books and vast quantities of
information regarding these programs availble
For anyone interested in travel abroad, 000
has presentations year round dealing with spe-
cific interest areas. Last September, 000 fea-
tured a study abroad fair and engineering pre-
sentations for internships in addition to other
"If I had my way, I think studying abroad
should be a requirement.f
- LSA senior Lori Cloutier
Another resource 000 provides is the peer
advisor program. The staff of 30 students each
have an individual area of expertise. The stu-
dents have office hours in which interested
individuals are free to meet with them and dis-
cuss their foreign experiences.
"There are a lot of ways to go abroad," said
00 director William Nolting. "This office
provides a multitude of resources and person-
al attention from people who have first-hand
experience with these things."
This summer the office placed a University
student in Iceland to research Arctic biology.
In the past, there have been students who have
done everything from researching Danish
architecture to working in a British pub.
There is yet another way for University stu-
dents to experience life abroad and to con-
tribute to the society to which one temporari-
The Peace Corps, which was first
announced by president John F Kennedy on
the steps of the Michigan Union in a 1961
speech, annually recruits about 35 graduating
seniors or graduate students to serve in a vari-
ety of countries around the world.
The University's peace corps office is the
fifth highest producer of peace corps volun-
teers in the country.
"I'd recommend the Peace Corps because it
is a fantastic opportunity to combine improv-
ing yourself with helping others," said Peace
Corps office director Sarah Naasko, who is a
Though a student is only eligible for the
Peace Corps after graduation, Naasko empha-
sized that the application process takes nine
months to a year to complete.
sRegents command over decisions at 'U'
By Jennifer Yachnin
Daily NSE Editor
The University Board of Regents may not be at
the top of most students' lists ofconcems, but their
decisions affect every University student.
The eight-member board meets once a month
with University president Lee Bollinger and the
University's executive officers to discuss and vote
n issues including contracts, tuition rates, room
and board rate increases and a variety of other
issues that are essential to the University's man-
The regents are elected in a statewide election
for eight year terms with elections taking place
every other year, but terms are staggered.
Although the board is composed of three repub-
licans and five democrats, board members said
they do not consider their affiliations when voting
or discussing University issues.
* "The tradition in the board has been that
lthough we are nominated at partisan conven-
tions, once we are on the board our sole interest is
in the University and that is not a partisan matter,
said Regent Philip Power (D-Ann Arbor).
Power added that there are exceptions to this
unspoken rule which include affirmative action
and the two lawsuits facing the University about
the use of race as a factor in the admissions
Regent Dan Horning (R-Grand Haven) said past
#xamples have included debate over the 1406 by-law
which allowed for an unmarried partners to be cov-
ered by University employee health insurance.
"For the most part the regents put their political
code away when they enter the room," Horning
During the upcoming academic year issues
under consideration by the board will include "the
affirmative action lawsuit, will continue to be a
topic of concern," Power said. He added that the
"Nike contracts which come up in a few years"
and the "commercialization of athletics" will also
be prominent issues.
I lorning said that the issue of setting the rates for
tuition -- decided each year in July after the state
appropriations have been approved for the academ-
ic year - will also be an item for diseision
"I think the budget situation will be at the fore-
front," Horning said. "We need to make sure we
can live within our budget for the school year."
The regents were responsible for the selection of
the University's 12th president in 1996. Ihe contro-
versial search lasted nearly a year and ended with
the selection of Bollinger, who had formerly served
as Dartmouth College provost from 1994-1996 and
also as University Law Dean from 1987-94.
"I think the board was subject to a lot of criti-
cism. We held our tongues and didn't participate in
character assignation with the governor or the
newspapers," Power said. "The fact that president
Bollinger is getting rave reviews implies that we
did a good job."
The terms of both Power and Regent Shirley
McFee (R- Battle Creek) end in December. McFee
has stated that she will not run for re-election, but
Power will run for a second full term in November.
"I've reached a point in my life where I'm cut-
ting back on commitments rather than adding
them," McFee said. "I've enjoyed my years on the
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