A World Class Education

Jose alternate_web

Jose Sainz was 18 when he left his home in the bustling city of Bilbao, Spain, to live with a host family in a one-stoplight Michigan town. “Being flown out to the middle of Detroit, it was like, ‘Where do I go from here?’ ” Sainz, UMW associate professor of Spanish, said about the start of his experience as an exchange student in the ’80s. But confusion turned to confidence as he got used to American culture and learned to thrive in it. Since he stepped onto the Fredericksburg campus in 2001, Sainz has pushed to give Mary Washington students the same opportunity he had. Each year since, he has led students to his native Bilbao. And in 2011, he established the Center for International Education. Now, as the center’s first director, he wants all UMW students to study abroad. “It really complements their education,” regardless of major, said Sainz, an authority on the history, politics, and culture of 20th-century Spain. He earned a master’s degree in foreign language and … [Read more...]