CMCers seize global opportunities, learn leadership skills
As William Galbreath ’24 prepared to study for a semester in Lima, Peru through Claremont McKenna College’s Center for Global Education (CGE), he set some goals, which included taking classes at a local university with Peruvian students—all taught in Spanish—and immersing himself in Peruvian culture through a homestay.
Hugging an alpaca in Cuzco was simply a bonus.
After Galbreath returned to CMC from his sojourn in South America, he discovered he had a whole new perspective, and a deeper appreciation for what he was learning in the classroom. And as a senior, he’s now focusing his post-graduation career search on companies that offer international travel or have international offices. “I’d love to go back to Latin or South America to work!” he said.
For Kristen Mallory, who has been with CMC’s Global Education program since 2004, these life-changing experiences are precisely why she encourages CMC students to seize the off-campus opportunities that her team makes possible, through academic coursework and internships both in the U.S. and abroad.
At its core, the CGE program provides opportunities for students to hone their abilities “to cultivate respect and understanding of self and of others, while learning the skills necessary to become global leaders.”
CMC pays the study abroad or international exchange program tuition and fees, including room and board, and provides a travel allowance toward the cost of the round-trip airline ticket from Los Angeles to the study abroad destination.
In addition, the Shaw Wagener ’81 Global Scholars program provides direct financial support for students who qualify for need-based aid, first-year summer internships, and stipends for students on financial aid to go abroad in the spring semester of their sophomore year to non-English speaking countries. For those Wagener Scholars who meet specific benchmarks, additional summer internship and summer savings support is available beyond the first year.
Besides overseeing the Study Abroad Program, Mallory and other members of the CGE team also manage the logistics for the Washington and Silicon Valley Programs, and coordinate student fellowships and national awards.
This fall, the CGE set a record for the number of students —164— either studying abroad or taking part in the Washington or Silicon Valley Programs in one semester with another record number scheduled for spring 2024.
Mallory, who is the director of the Center for Global Education, organizes information sessions, as well as individual meetings with students to gain an understanding of their goals.
With her own international experience that includes two years teaching English as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Chad, and as a study-abroad student in Paris, Mallory offers key advice to those who want to study overseas.
First and foremost, students should ensure they have a passport valid for six months beyond their planned date of return, she emphasized. Currently, passport wait times are two to three months – too long to secure the student visa prior to departure.
In addition, Mallory offers assurances to students that each study abroad program opportunity has a “built-in infrastructure to catch you if you fall.” She also assures CMCers with a yearning to live globally that they will have a clean and safe place to call home and that each program provides course options to return to CMC with a full semester of academic credits.
Through it all, Mallory and her team talk students through any concerns, assisting them to find the best opportunity to meet their personal, academic, and professional goals, and offering “a bit of tough love if necessary, so when a student leaves our meeting, they say, ‘I'm really glad that I made this appointment,’ and are surprised because they may have thought they couldn’t fit a global semester into their academic career. After all, with over 120 programs in 43 countries, there is a program for every student.”
Galbreath, an organizational studies major, advises students to meet with the CGE to discuss their goals and, “Know your reasons for studying abroad – not your friends’, not your family’s, but your own personal reasons. Don’t be afraid to go somewhere new, even if that means you will be the only CMC/5C student in the program. I was the first CMC student to do my program in Peru in over 10 years and would do it all again!”
Interested in pursuing an opportunity with the Center for Global Education? Visit https://www.cmc.edu/global-education
Study Abroad (Fall ’24): December 4, 2023
Study Abroad (AY ’24-‘25): December 4, 2023
*Oxford Study Abroad (AY ’24 – ’25 AND Spring ’25): December 4th, 2023 ((*Note that Oxford applications are due by December 4, 2023 for either full AY ’24-’25, or for spring ’25)
The Washington Program (Fall ’24): February 19, 2024
The Silicon Valley Program (Fall ’24): TBD, spring 2024