Campus wins praise for international focus
An early leader in international education and study abroad programs, the University received the prestigious 2006-07 Andrew Heiskell Award for Innovation in International Education in the category of “Internationalizing the Campus.”
The award came from the Institute for International Education (IIE), one of the world’s largest international education and training organizations.
UD’s curricular and co-curricular international programs, many coordinated by the Center for International Studies (CFIS) and others by academic units and Residence Life, will be featured as a “best practice” in international education by IIE’s Networker magazine and best practices web site. IIE’s sponsors include the U.S. Department of State, the U.S. Agency for International Development, the U.S. Department of Energy, the World Bank and several prominent private foundations.
“The University of Delaware has a long and proud tradition of promoting international education, dating back to 1923 when it established the first study abroad program,” UD President David P. Roselle says. “In recent years, many at the University have worked hard to increase study abroad opportunities, to add scholarship support for study abroad students, to negotiate agreements with foreign institutions and to administer programs in agriculture, business and other disciplines to aid foreign nations.
“Our academic units also have increased the number of foreign students at the University and the number of countries they represent. This recognition of the good work of our University colleagues by the Institute for International Education is thus especially gratifying.”
Provost Dan Rich says the University’s goal is “to add an international aspect to all facets of a student’s life,” noting that more than 40 percent of all students take part in study abroad.
“Students not only benefit from their own personal experiences, but they and the faculty members who direct these study abroad programs also bring that new global perspective back to campus,” Rich says.
Lesa Griffiths, CFIS director, and Lisa Chieffo, CFIS associate director of student programs, nominated UD for the award for offering students opportunities for “an education on a truly global scale.” In addition, Roselle wrote a letter of nomination in which he cited the CFIS oversight of UD’s 75-plus agreements with partner institutions around the world and the center-run programs.
“The award is a celebration of UD’s commitment to global citizenship and the enthusiastic manner in which the entire campus community has embraced internationalization,” Griffiths says. “Our goal has been to provide opportunities and programs to encourage globalization in and out of the classroom and to provide study abroad initiatives that circle the world, on all seven continents.”
There also has been a 70 percent increase in UD study abroad programs over the past five years. To encourage all students to study abroad, CFIS has awarded more than $350,000 in need-based scholarships and academic scholarships.
One example of study abroad opportunities is the visual communications program, which enrolled its entire junior class of about 30 students in its annual summer program in London. Another is the Learning Integrated Freshman Experience programs, in which 123 first-year students since 2002 have studied in Australia, Costa Rica, London, Mexico and Spain, with more trips scheduled in the future.
Among the innovative classroom-based curricular initiatives cited in the nomination is the recently created bachelor of science in international business studies, a joint project of the Lerner College of Business and Economics and the Department of Foreign Languages and Literatures.
The Department of Foreign Languages and Literatures also has joint majors with the Department of Political Science and International Relations in Spanish, French and German, requiring a semester of overseas study. About half the majors at UD have a language requirement.
Another initiative cited by Griffiths and Chieffo is the Global Citizenship Faculty Fellows. It encourages faculty to include global content in their courses and has enlisted about 60 faculty members. The University also offers area studies, such as the African Studies, Latin American Studies, East Asia Studies, Continental European Studies and, in the future, Islamic Studies programs.
There are specific exchange programs that contribute to globalization, as well. The UD Discovery Learning Experience encourages service learning or study abroad and has a student exchange with Imperial College of London. UD also has partnered with the University of Sarajevo, with support from the U.S. Agency for International Development, to open the Sarajevo Graduate School of Business, which graduated its first class of 22 students with master’s degrees in business administration in May 2006.
The Department of Hotel, Restaurant and Institutional Management has a student exchange and degree program with the Swiss School of Tourism and Hospitality.
In Romania, UD is providing technical assistance in preventing the spread of avian influenza and has an existing partnership in public policy with Babes Bolyai University.
Cocurricular activities that promote internationalization include the “America and the Global Community” and the “Global Agenda” speaker series and the International Film Series. Also on campus, there are 30 registered student organizations with an international component.
For more information on CFIS, go to [http://international.udel.edu]. For more information on IIE, visit [www.iie.org].
And, for a look at a recent study-abroad program—the first of its kind at the University—see pages 28-29 in this issue of the Messenger.