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FAU'S Global Gateway
The Office of International Programs

The Office of International Programs (OIP) is a valuable resource for the FAU community, a literal global gateway to overseas learning opportunities. With a staff of four full-time employees and a number of part-time student assistants, the office designs and coordinates international study opportunities for FAU students and ensures that each student has a valuable educational experience. And the number of students pursuing "study abroad" — as the programs are often called — keeps growing.

During the 2005-06 academic year, more than 400 students traveled and studied under the programs of the office — a 20 percent increase over the previous year. And 2004-05 saw an increase of more than 10 percent over 2003-04. As that trend continues, the office is ready to meet the demand, working with faculty and students on expanding its programs.

"I can tell you that it has been an absolute pleasure working with the folks in the International Programs office," said Dr. Stephen Engle, chair of the history department. "We share the same values about the quality of the programs and the importance of study abroad for students."

A Study Abroad
Photo Exhibition

The Office of International Programs will offer an exhibition of photos taken by students while on their study-abroad experiences. The exhibition will open Oct. 26 in Studio 728 in the Reubin O’D Askew Tower on the Fort Lauderdale Downtown campus. For more information, contact Karen Esteve at (954) 762-5695 or kaeasteve@fau.edu.

The office works with departments and faculty members to offer a variety of Programs led by faculty. Current destinations span five continents and include Ecuador, England, Ghana, Italy, Germany, Thailand and Spain. Coursework is available in several colleges, including Business; Nursing; Architecture, Urban and Public Affairs; and Arts and Letters.

Slightly more than half of FAU's study-abroad students take part in three- to six-week summer programs led by FAU faculty members. For those wanting a more in-depth experience, many different semester- or year-long exchange programs are available in a variety of countries. OIP also works with external companies and partner universities on joint-study programs. Many of the partner universities also send students to study at FAU.

"A lot of planning is required to make sure these experiences are valuable for students," said Catherine Meschievitz, director of the Office of International Programs. "The programs must offer educational value and meet FAU standards for academic credit." The range of course options and models is diverse; for example, faculty can design the study of a foreign language through immersion — traveling to or living in a foreign country — or design specific courses in their disciplines, often conducted in collaboration with universities and institutes abroad. Departments in all colleges are increasingly looking into study-abroad opportunities, recognizing just how valuable an international experience is for students.

"We have a wide variety of options," says Meschievitz. "We will help any department or faculty members create a program that meets the needs of their students and degree programs."

In addition to faculty-led study-abroad programs and other semester- or year-long study and exchange opportunities, the office also coordinates several student fellowship programs (e.g., the student Fulbright Scholarship), manages the articulation of institutional agreements with other universities and helps the colleges increase on-campus teaching on international subjects. OIP can also help students and faculty track down fellowships and grants for overseas study and research.

More information on the Office of International Programs -- part of the division of Undergraduate Studies -- is available at www.fau.edu/goabroad. The website offers a comprehensive overview of steps to get a program up and running as well as steps students need to follow to get into a program.


 

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