The Runner | New KPU International Exchange Program Explores Asia and the Pacific Rim

There are 36 countries around the globe involved with UMAP. (Kristen Frier)

KPU International is expanding its study opportunities for students. The team recently announced its partnership with University Mobility in Asia and the Pacific Consortium (UMAP), allowing students to form connections with “600 universities and colleges from 36 countries and territories across Asia and the Pacific Rim.”

KPU International offers exchange programs to universities in North America, Asia, Europe, and Oceania.

Zainab Al-koubaisi, KPU Director of Global Engagement, says KPU International has been working to “enhance its student mobility.” Similarly, the partnership with UMAP will “enhance the cooperation among higher institutions and opportunities for increasing mobility [students are] looking for.”

She says the partnership will also allow students to participate in the culture and economies of places they otherwise wouldn’t visit, allowing for a “more balanced exchange … between different partners around the world.”

At the time of writing, the UMAP exchange partnership includes two students from KPU, who can apply for scholarships towards their tuition fees. They are beginning this category with two students to make sure there is a balance in the number of students going out and coming into the program, according to Al-koubaisi.

Scholarships for studying in Taiwan and Japan are available to help students cover their tuition or travel and accommodation fees.

Some of the programs that the UMAP exchange offers include collaborative online learning and research networks.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, UMAP will offer an online program students can use to register for courses. They will have the freedom to choose any of the programs their respective exchange institution provides.

“We can choose up to 10 students, and … the fees would be waived where students can take online courses,” says Al-koubaisi.

The exchange program will most likely start in the spring semester of 2021. For now, the KPU International team is monitoring the transmission of the virus and travel restrictions before accepting students.

KPU International is working to make online courses more accessible for KPU students going on exchange and incoming international students.

“We’re very much excited about this,” says Al-koubaisi. “It’s basically a program that will allow us to continue offering and enhancing experiences and building international connections to our staff and students.”

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