Students in the IMC program at UWA have the unique opportunity to study abroad in Geneva, Switzerland.

Two students, Kaitlynn Beaird and Whitney Fulton, will take the plunge into foreign study beginning later in the middle of February.

“I have always wanted to study abroad so when the opportunity presented itself, I couldn’t let it pass me by,” Beaird said. “Not only will I be learning to live with people from a different country, 40% of those who live in Geneva aren’t even from Switzerland so I will also be communicating with those from all over the world.”

Beaird, who is a sophomore in the IMC program, has been very involved in the program in her time at UWA thus far, and felt that the study abroad program would allow her to continue that pattern.

“My time spent studying abroad will give me an even better ‘hands-on’ approach to my major,” Beaird said.

This unique opportunity is a result of the work of dedicated UWA faculty.

“Dr. Mark Davis has been working to set up study abroad agreements for UWA students,” said Dr. Amy Jones, the program coordinator for IMC. “He asked me to hold an interest meeting for business and IMC students because our students take courses in marketing and business, and several of the options at the study abroad schools involve courses in those same topics.”

This made the IMC program an obvious fit for the existing agreements that UWA has in place. HEG in Geneva is where the two students will be studying, and is an excellent location for a spring semester overseas according to Jones.

“In Geneva, the opportunity exists in the spring semester because their spring semester is from February through June, and their fall semester overlaps with the fall semester here,” Jones said.

Students who attend HEG will take their fall semester at UWA. The system provides a solid balance between domestic and foreign cultures and lifestyles. A single semester overseas could provide not only a once in a lifetime experience, but a chance to experience education in a new environment.

“I feel that after my time in Switzerland, I will able to approach, communicate, and work with just about anyone I encounter – a quality that is much needed in the professional world,” Beaird said.

The study abroad agreements are organized in a manner that is student-friendly, and make the transition between learning environments hassle-free. They can send students here, and we can send students there. Students do, however, need to remain on track to graduate in a timely fashion according to Jones.

“You actually pay your tuition here at UWA, and you are enrolled in credit hours here, Jones said. “You take courses in Switzerland that transfer here.”

“We don’t have our exact class schedule yet, but I will be taking several marketing, leadership, and communications classes, as well as a French for beginners class,” Beaird said.

This first pair of students hopefully will not be the last as the program is expected to grow. For more information about studying abroad with IMC, contact Dr. Amy Jones at _ajones@uwa.edu_ (mailto:ajones@uwa.edu).

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