Global Opportunities for PLU Administrators & Staff

A group of students and staff member Andrea Michelbach in Oaxaca, Mexico

J-Term 2023 Mexico, Andrea Michelbach

J-Term 2020 Hawaii, Nicole Juliano

Short-Term Study Away Program Assistant

This opportunity was created in 2003 as part of the university’s global and cross-cultural education initiatives. Administered through the Wang Center, it aims to provide PLU faculty and staff with a demonstrated interest in global education with the opportunity to participate in one of PLU’s short-term programs in a support capacity. The program aims to provide faculty and staff with a first-hand experience of PLU’s study away opportunities. Additionally, it is designed to continually broaden and deepen the understanding, within the PLU community, of the institution’s mission-driven commitment to global education.

Contingent on pre-approval of staff supervisors and VPs and faculty chairs and deans as appropriate, all benefits-eligible (0.50 FTE and above) PLU faculty and staff that have been employed by the university for at least one-year by the application deadline are eligible to apply for the Short-Term Program Assistant Professional Development Opportunity.

The application for the 2025 Study Away Program Assistant opportunity is now closed. Applications for the 2026 cycle will open in Spring 2025.

Please note: The Program Assistant application is designed to capture information about the applicant’s skills, strengths, and experience. The Wang Center will review this information in order to match a program assistant with a program and faculty leader that would benefit from those strengths. As such, the Wang Center does not publish a list of programs that need an assistant and instead invites applicants to broadly consider what skills and experience they could bring to a short-term study away program.

There are things you can only learn by being physically present and immersed in a particular place. The language, the people, and the culture to name a few are some of the more obvious. However, I would argue that some of the deepest and most significant learning is about yourself. Who you are and how you fit in the world. A world that suddenly expands and gets smaller simultaneously. I certainly engaged in that kind of learning, however, when you accompany students on their own journey and assist a faculty member on theirs as they deliver course content in this context, you receive a type of professional development that is very different from a workshop that you would attend on campus or a conference in another US city. Rather than building skills you are utilizing them. Further, you are navigating your own jet lag and fatigue, your own culture shock and sense of disorientation, and your own feelings of homesickness while helping students navigate these feelings too.

Laree Winer, Associate Director, Wild Hope Center for Vocation
J-Term 2019 Program Assistant, Greece: Religions of the Ancient Mediterranean

Alumni Travel 2018 N. Ireland, Rosemary Raynolds & Kathy Engle