"The key to being considered an 'international university' is
your international studies and foreign language courses," says
Tamara Williams, professor of Spanish and the recently-appointed special
assistant to the provost for international education.
International Grants: PLU students can compete for several national scholarships and grants that finance their study abroad opportunities. There are also the postgraduate international grants that finance education abroad after graduation. Most prominent among these are the Fulbright, the Rhodes, the Rotary and the Marshall scholarships. Rodney Swenson, professor of German and the Fulbright representative on campus, says there have been an "impressive" 51 PLU students who have won the Fulbright and gone abroad to work on projects of their choosing. "This is an investment in peace," he says. From the other side, there are specific international grants that are available to students from foreign countries to enable them to study at PLU.
International Faculty: More than just having a faculty with a passionate worldview vision, PLU has always boasted a large number of teachers from other parts of the world, both teaching on a long-term basis and on a time-limited exchange program. A prominent name on campus is that of Peter Grosvenor, a professor of political science from Wales. Asked if there is an office on campus that may list the names of such 'foreign teachers,' Grosvenor said that there wasn't. To find them, he said, "all you need to do is look in the campus directory."
International Students: The university has a special office, called International Student Services, to look after the interests of foreign students at PLU and help them adjust to the university and the culture, as well as assist them with legal and governmental regulations. From the start, Norwegian and other Scandinavian nationals have been numerous at PLU, but an exceptional number of students have come from Hong Kong as well as China. The Business School attracts a lot of these students. A special program called IMET, for the International Multi-Cultural Experience for Teachers and Degree Candidates in Education, brings many student-teachers from Norway for a semester of cultural immersion at PLU.
International Scholars: Unlike international students, these are older and more established persons who frequently have already earned their doctorates. A large number of them are teachers. They come to PLU, sometimes only for a summer term, to conduct research or improve their English.
Co-curricular Activities: In addition to studying international
themes, PLU students can participate in many other activities that look
to other cultures or countries for inspiration. Among them are the Norwegian
Association, the Celtic Club, the Chinese, French, German, Hawaiian,
Asian Pacific Islander groups, and the Mayfest dancers who perform ethnic
dances from all over the world.