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WSU European Studies Program receives grant

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OGDEN — Weber State University has received a two-year $240,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Education to support students in pursuit of international careers in Europe. The WSU European Studies Program, the only one of its kind in any Utah public college and one of 29 in the country, was selected from among 130 applicants for the grant.

Typically, such grants are provided for students involved in Asian, Latin American and African studies, said Erika Daines, program coordinator and grant writer.

It is the first time in 10 years the award has gone to a European studies program, she said. International changes following the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks on America have re-emphasized U.S.-European relations in the common war on terrorism, she said.

The WSU program has been strengthened by LDS students who spent time in foreign countries on church missions. "We have students who are fluent in Albanian, Polish, Hungarian, Romanian and Ukrainian," she said.

The program gives them the cultural and historical perspective to put the language skills to use, she said. Some of her former students have gained jobs with international companies, and the demand for Americans with international expertise continues to grow.