GVSU to host PIC study abroad reuniun
Study abroad reunion to raise money for scholarship
While studying abroad is an experience most students wish to pursue, many do not have the financial
means to do so. To raise money for those in need, the Study Abroad Alumni Association has joined
forces with the Padnos International Center to hold a reunion for alumni of the study abroad program.
“(Buying a ticket) may seem like a small contribution, but it is really huge,” said Alissa Lane, one of the
Taking place on Sept. 26 from 6 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. at the Guest House of downtown Grand Rapids, this
is PIC’s first study abroad reunion. Tickets cost $25 for students and $35 for non-students, and they
must be bought in advance as they will not be available at the door. Organizers hope to bring together
those who have studied abroad to share their experiences, while giving students an opportunity to
network. Most importantly, the event aims to raise money for the Mark A. and Elizabeth C. Murray
Scholarship, which is awarded to students who wish to study abroad but cannot afford to do so.
“We’ve wanted to do an event like this for a while,” Lane said. “It raises money for a great scholarship,
which there is a huge need for. The scholarship has been awarded to four to eight students a year
since 2008. We’re looking to expand that; we’re hoping to do more.”
The reunion will also feature presentations by students who have benefitted from the Murray
Scholarship. Grupo Ayé, a Grand Rapids-based Latin band, will provide the soundtrack for the night:
Puerto Rican salsa music.
While the event aims to entertain, it’s also meant to allow for networking opportunities.
“It’s an opportunity to meet a lot of different people who study abroad,” said Leah Sarnicola, who
helped to organize the event. “People who study abroad don’t stay in one place for too long so it’s
always nice to get people together.”
Devin Streur is a veteran of the study abroad program, having previously studied in Sydney, Australia.
A peer advisor at the Padnos International Center, he has also been to Tanzania through the program.
“I am just looking forward to hearing other people’s stories,” Streur said. “Once you have been abroad,
it is great to converse with others about what they experienced and how your own experiences were
similar or different. It’s also a great way to figure out where you should travel next.”
Lane said she is also looking forward to what connections people will make.
“We have an incredible international community (at GVSU), and sometimes we don’t get a chance to
get together,” she said.
With an international menu planned that samples several countries, the event aims to be a fun way to
reconnect by enjoying a variety of food and experiencing music from different cultures.
To RSVP, visit www.gvsu.edu/pic/reunion.