I never studied abroad. As an undergraduate at Colorado State University in the early 1990s, I wasn’t even aware I had the option. It was nothing like DU, where most freshmen arrive on campus with the expectation that they eventually will study abroad through DU’s Cherrington Global Scholars program, which sends students to another country for advanced study at the same price they would pay for a quarter on campus. Looking at the photos that recent study-abroad students took on their travels—some of which are featured in this issue’s “Global Perspectives” feature—makes me wish I had taken the same opportunity.
In April, I had the chance to interview alumni couple Michael (BSBA ’08) and Amy (BS ’09, MBA ’09) Chamberlain-Torres, who in November took the plunge they’d been talking about for years. They quit their jobs, put all their possessions in storage and set off to travel around the world. They told me they both had grown up dreaming of travel, but that their study-abroad experiences at DU really lit the fire.
“My grandmother was a travel agent, and I remember seeing photographs and trinkets and journals that she had from all her travels when I was growing up, and it always inspired me to go see the world,” Michael said. “Studying abroad in Chile really made me think that it’s doable—that I can go out there and explore and the world’s not going to be a scary place but more of an amazing place.”
As I sit in my office, where I can look out the window and watch Penrose Library’s transformation from ’70s artifact to state-of-the-art Academic Commons, where I can see students whacking tennis balls with golf clubs in what’s become a favorite springtime sport, and where I can sense the growing excitement about the presidential debate the University will host in October, the DU campus itself seems like a pretty amazing place to me. That students get to add an international experience on top of all that is just more evidence that the University of Denver is dedicated to producing graduates who are globally aware and ready to change the world.