University of Michigan-Dearborn: Where American Industry Meets Midwest Wildlife and the Middle East
If you are looking for proximity to American industries, Middle Eastern culture, green spaces and exciting work opportunities, look no further.
The University of Michigan-Dearborn is a public university which was established in 1959 with a class of only 34 students. Since then it has transformed into a well-recognised, metropolitan university offering degree programs in engineering, business administration, liberal arts and sciences and teacher education. With a student body of over 9,000, UM-Dearborn is currently ranked sixth amongst public regional universities in the Midwest by the US News & World Report. And its College of Business has been named an outstanding business school for the eighth consecutive year by The Princeton Review.
Being a student of UM-Dearborn can be an intangible experience. Here’s why:
Experience Scenic Michigan
The University is based in Dearborn, a suburb of Detroit in the southeast of Michigan, and has been endowed with over 70 acres of preserved natural areas in its backyard. One-third of the campus has even been designated as a Natural and Historic Area. Its Environmental Interpretive Centre is a gateway to a 300-acre Environmental Study Area accessible to university students, school groups and the public. This area features several natural habitats, such as a mature beech-maple forest, an upland mesic forest, a floodplain forest, meadows, a lake, and the Rouge River on its western border.
If you enjoy taking long walks and scenic drives for recreation and reflection, the surrounding areas offer many picturesque options.
Savour a Taste of the Middle East
Dearborn has one of the largest Arab communities outside the Middle East. More than 30 percent of the city’s population comprises Arab-Americans, who are quite a diverse group, hailing from Lebanon, Yemen, Palestine, Syria, Iraq, Egypt, Jordan and many other countries. The city is said to have the largest percentage of the total Arab-American population (nearly 40 percent).
Middle Eastern students can feel quite at home here, amidst the bilingual signboards, halal meat at fast food chains and countless Middle Eastern restaurants serving shawarma, hummus, kebabs and other Arabic dishes.
Other international students can become well-versed in the culture and history of the Middle East while studying at UM-Dearborn. They can visit the Arab American National Museum in the city, which is a rich resource on the history of Arab immigration to the US.
Forge Ties with Ford
Dearborn is also well-known for being Henry Ford’s home and the world headquarters of his multinational auto company, the Ford Motor Company.
UM-Dearborn’s campus was built with Ford Motor’s gifts of USD 6.5 million and a 200- acre piece of land on the Fair Lane estate of Henry and Clara Ford. The University thus has a strong association with Ford Motor Co.
Another Ford gift to UM-Dearborn is the Ford Collaboratory, an innovation site where the university’s students, faculty members and community partners are encouraged to linger. In this space they work on community-based and group projects, and activities requiring technology-based interactions.
The century-old Ford House is located next to the campus, where students and other visitors can enjoy a guided tour, catching a glimpse of the story and life of a very prominent American family. International students can also become acquainted with other significant events in American history by visiting The Henry Ford Museum, a history museum in Dearborn, which displays many historical exhibits such as the presidential limousine of John F. Kennedy, Thomas Edison’s laboratory, Rosa Parks’ bus and so on.
Become a World-class Automotive Engineer
UM-Dearborn’s College of Engineering and Computer Science offers strong engineering and computer science training programs. These include an impressive Automotive Engineering program which provides great engineering talent to the large and thriving auto industry in Michigan.
With Ford Headquarters located nearby and many tier one automotive supplier companies based in Dearborn, a master’s degree and a Ph.D. program in Automotive Systems Engineering helps prepare students to work in the auto industry and meet its evolving technology/design needs.
Gain US Market Experience
UM-Dearborn offers its international students numerous employment opportunities via its Curricular Practical Training (CPT) and Optional Practical Training (OPT) programs. This means that international students can gain valuable US market experience while completing their degree programs.
CPT is temporary employment authorisation for international students in the US, who are on a F-1 Student Visa and are enrolled in a college-level degree program. It is considered an integral part of an established curriculum and includes alternate work/study, internships or cooperative education. CPT is available only prior to the completion of a degree program.
OPT is temporary employment directly related to a student’s field of study. During OPT, an international student remains on an F-1 Student Visa status and is permitted to work for one year while receiving practical training to complete his education. F-1 international students who receive a science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) degree can also apply for a 24-month extension, giving them a total of 36 months of post-graduation employment permission from the United States.
Many UM-Dearborn students have benefited from these programs. Between 2011 and 2016, CPT and OPT employment of UM-Dearborn international students has increased by a whopping 767 percent! The University’s Career Services office helps its student and alumni find suitable full-time and part-time positions at various partner organisations.
At UM-Dearborn there is thus potential to be part of a lively, close-knit community; to be nurtured in a fantastic, multicultural environment, and to avail incredible opportunities for professional achievements.