The Program in International and Comparative Studies provides students the skills necessary to learn about new cultures, languages, and international governance structures, helping them develop their academic and professional aspirations. If there’s anyone that proves how studying abroad encourages this method of study, it’s Michael Fabatz.

During his years at the University of Michigan, Fabatz has studied abroad in three different countries with three different courses of study. He spent a month in Peru learning about indigenous communities and then spent Fall 2018 in Madrid, Spain on an advanced language program, and Winter 2019 in Geneva, Switzerland studying multilateral diplomacy. These experiences helped him realize the importance of stepping outside of his comfort zone by taking risks and being open to new people, places and perspectives. 

“Growing up in my small town of Fenton, Michigan gave me a very “Americanized” worldview because it was a homogenous community with little diversity. When I came to Ann Arbor and joined this program, there were people of all different identities, nationalities, and languages, and it became apparent to me how valuable and fulfilling it was to learn from these new perspectives. My International Studies classes encouraged me to accept and celebrate individual differences and gave me the confidence to embrace the value of my own uniqueness,” Fabatz said.

Moving forward, Fabatz will use his degree coupled with his Political Science and Business courses to work for the Department of Justice in their Healthcare Fraud Unit. Eventually, he wants to have a career in counterterrorism and national security.

Michael Fabatz

BA International Studies (International Security, Norms and Cooperation), BA Political Science; minor in Business ‘20

Hometown: Fenton, MI

Affiliations: Kappa Alpha Pi Pre-Law Fraternity

Future plans: “Working for the Department of Justice in their Healthcare Fraud Unit. Want to have a career in counterterrorism and national security.”

Fondest memory of his experience in PICS: “My fondest memory of the PICS is being able to study abroad in three different locations over the course of my four years at Michigan. Coming into the Program I knew I wanted to have a very different educational experience and I loved the flexibility of PICS and how so many advisors and professors were supportive of my plans and aspirations. I loved the diversity and backgrounds of all the people I was able to meet through this program and I am so grateful for all the support and guidance from PICS.”

Is there anything you would like to express to your peers, parents, professors, or others?:

“Thank you for showing me it is ok to take risks and to embrace otherness with a more open mind, and for teaching me to focus more on what we have in common so that we can celebrate our differences as opportunities for growth.”