Global Laker Night to bring alumni, current students together

Event focuses on international experiences, studynig abroad

By Meghan McBrady | 10/12/16 9:49pm

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GVL / Courtesy - Alissa Lane Professor Sebastian Maisel of the Oman/United Arab Emirates serves tea to students at the Study Abroad Fair wearing a traditional outfit (2015).

by Alissa Lane / Grand Valley Lanthorn

Choosing a major can be hard. Choosing where to study abroad can be even harder.

While Grand Valley State University’s Padnos International Center hosts various study abroad fairs during the academic school year, the center also hosts a “Global Laker Night” so undergraduate students can meet with study abroad alumni in an informal environment.

Designed to celebrate past GVSU students have studied abroad, the event, which will take place at The B.O.B Thursday, Oct. 20, also raises money to send undergraduate students abroad.

“It was a reunion of sorts, and still is that, but we’ve expanded it to current students who have studied abroad, and faculty and staff involved in studying abroad, and even people from the West Michigan community who study abroad,” said Mark Schaub, the chief international officer at the Padnos International Center.

With student tickets being $25 and non-student tickets being $35, the proceeds from the event will go to several study abroad scholarships.

Alissa Lane, outreach coordinator for the Padnos International Center (PIC), said the event is inclusive for anyone that has international experience, which includes students, international students, faculty and scholars at GVSU.

“A big part is that we wanted students to meet some alumni that have studied abroad,” she said. “The purpose really for the Global Laker Night is it to be a great way for alumni to share their life-changing experiences abroad and here at Grand Valley and to give back to the community,”

The event will include music played by the band Grupo Ayé, an Afro-Caribbean Latin jazz band, to appeal to an international brand of music.

“On a personal level, I think it is something students always remember,” Lane said “On a professional level, studying abroad can help students gang a wider perspective of their worldview and learn how to communicate, adapt and be flexible in different international cultures.”

As far as the Global Laker Event goes, the PIC is interested in bringing domestic students and international students a positive experience at GVSU. Whether it be abroad or not, having the chance to be exposed to different cultures around the world is an opportunity to attain a well-rounded and international education.

“Another aspect that comes from alumni attending this event is to see the impact of their donations toward these scholarships,” Lane said. “Past recipients will talk about how the scholarship they’ve attended from GVSU and talk about how their experience impacted their lives and career.”

“Giving this gift, sticks with people and really seeing the change you are making through this donation by talking to these alumni will set a course for an amazing journey abroad.”

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