VOLUME 11, NO. 3 FEBRUARY 1998
Global fair largest ever
he annual Global Opportunities Fair held in late September boasted an attendance of 600-700 students. The event in Alden Memorial featured booths with project program directors, faculty advisors, members of the Interdisplinary and Global Studies Division staff, as well as students who have completed projects at off-campus sites. "We had 351 applications by the close of business on the day of the deadline and more have come in since then," says Natalie Mello Acuña, program administrator for the Interdisciplinary and Global Studies Division. "This eclipsed the 175 applications received by the deadline last year."
Students were asked to select their top three choices of off-campus residential sites. The most popular choice was London: 99 top choices over three different terms. Although no project site exists in Africa, students were asked about their interest in that continent and 70 students were identified. About 170 students showed interest in Australia, where several projects have been completed in the past through WPI's Fire Protection Engineering Program. Delft, Netherlands, brought in 41 top choice votes, followed closely by Costa Rica and Darmstadt, Germany, at 34 each; Puerto Rico received 26, Thailand 25, Venice 21 and Denmark 20.
The high numbers of students that showed up and expressed interest were attributed to several factors, according to WPI administrators. "The current freshmen were recruited with more emphasis placed upon the global program by the Admissions Office," says Acuña. "WPI is the clear leader compared with all other technological universities in the country by virtue of the opportunities offered through its global program, and the word is getting out. Another factor is the work by our Global Ambassadors [students who have been to off-campus sites]. Their enthusiasm is infectious. I can't say enough about their influence."
WPI sends more than 200 undergraduates off campus each year via its Global Perspective Program. With the introduction of free U.S. passports to all entering WPI students in 1998, this renewed interest in the Global Perspective Program is expected to increase even further, say WPI administrators. (See separate story on passports in the Fall 1997 WPI Journal).
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