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WKU Wants to Send More Students Overseas, Especially Those Not Normally Targeted By Study Abroad


Western Kentucky University wants to expand the number—and demographic—of students who take part in its Study Abroad program.

The school is trying to convince more students who are from low-income families or minority groups to study overseas.

Natasha Breu, a journalism major from Clarksville, Tennessee, is an example of the kind of student WKU wants to be a part of Study Abroad.

Breu studied for a month in Italy this summer, visiting cities such as Rome, Florence, Siena, and Ostia. She said she overcame some initial doubts about whether she could succeed in the program, and soon realized it was the perfect opportunity for her.

“This is something that was completely obtainable for me, and other students like me, coming from a low-income, minority background...first-generation college student. Because my parents had never experienced anything like that.”

John Sunnygard, Associate Provost of Global Learning and International Affairs at WKU, said the school is expanding the number of disciplines that have Study Abroad options.

“So that a student can go earlier in their academic career. Because students who Study Abroad are more likely to graduate than students who don’t, especially students who are first-generation college students, minority college students, and—believe it or not—men.”

Sunnygard added that a number of government and university scholarships are available to help students with the cost of studying overseas.

WKU is hosting a Study Abroad Fair Wednesday, Sept. 11, at the Mahurin Honors College and International Center, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

You can hear our interview with John Sunnygard and Natasha Breu about the impact of taking part in Study Abroad by clicking on the “Listen” button above.

Kevin is the News Director at WKU Public Radio. He has been with the station since 1999, and was previously the Assistant News Director, and also served as local host of Morning Edition.
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