CGSE Adds Programs

Faculty approves three new partner programs for study abroad in India and New Zealand

Rachael Franchini ’19, Associate News Editor

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The Center for Global Study and Engagement (CGSE) has added partner programs at three sites in India and New Zealand to its study abroad offerings, following unanimous votes of approval from the faculty at their Dec. 1 meeting. Programs at the School for International Training in New Delhi, India and Jaipur, India and at the University of Otago in New Zealand will be open to students starting in the fall of 2016.

According to Michael Monahan, associate provost and executive director of CGSE, all of the “ground work” for the programs has been finished and students will be able to start applying in Feb. 2016. He expects that the program in New Zealand will attract students in STEM fields, while the programs in India will draw students from a variety of academic disciplines.

“In [all three] programs, this is really a big plus for students who want these new opportunities,” Monahan stated.

The University of Otago is the “premier science research facility in New Zealand,” said Monahan.  He reports that the university  “draws students from all over the world,” especially in the areas of earth and environmental science and other STEM fields.

According to Monahan, Dickinson students have studied abroad at the University of Otago before, but had to go unaffiliated with Dickinson and fund it themselves since their financial aid did not carry over. They have always reported a “very positive experience,” and now students will be able to study in New Zealand through an official partner program.

Monahan also predicts that the New Zealand program will attract students interested in the study of indigenous cultures, as the University of Otago is the first to offer classes about the Maori, the indigenous people of New Zealand.

“Students [who] want to go to Oceania are not the same ones who want to go to England,” Monahan stated.

The programs in India are predicted to attract students from a wide range of social sciences and business disciplines.

“We think [the India] programs will attract students in health studies, sustainability, language, development, anthropology, women and gender, international studies, international business and management,” Monahan said, noting that the programs will be especially interesting to students “ looking at questions of NGO (nongovernmental organizations) management, ethical investing and microfinance. India has themes of religion and culture, and global themes like public health and nonprofits.”

In addition to approving the new partner programs in India, the faculty voted to terminate the partner program relationship with CIEE in Hydrabad, India. According to a report submitted by the Global Education Advisory Committee to the faculty, student evaluations and on-site visits by Professor of American Studies and English Sharon O’Brien and Professor of Sociology Susan Rose indicated that the program was not offering “consistent resources” to students and did not provide Dickinson students a “good study abroad option.”

Monahan hopes that these new programs will bring more students to study abroad, and it is unlikely that they will decrease the popularity of already existing programs.

Monahan states that students who want to go to India are generally “self-selecting” and “don’t want to go somewhere else.”  He said that there are “very specific reasons why someone wants to go to South Asia, India in particular.”

He does not expect that the New Zealand program will detract from enrollments at current science-based study abroad programs, including the Norwich, England program and Dickinson in Australia.  Due to the high popularity of the Australia program, Monahan predicts that students might “move from considering Australia to New Zealand,” but that it will probably not take students away from the Norwich program.

The process of obtaining a new study abroad program starts with a faculty, administrator or student proposal.  The India programs were spearheaded by Heather Bedi, Assistant Professor of Environmental Science, O’Brien and Rose.  The New Zealand program was headed by Samantha Brandauer, Director of Education Abroad for CGSE, and Moira Kelley, Coordinator and Study Abroad advisor for CGSE.

After the proposal is made, the idea is presented to the Global Education Advisory Committee, which is headed by Monahan.  This committee is comprised of approximately “a dozen” people who look at proposals from both “academic and viability perspectives,” according to Monahan.

Following approval from the Global Education Advisory Committee, the proposal is made to the Academic Programs and Standards Committee (APSC), which, according to their website, is an all-college committee with administration, faculty and student members who revise curriculum, reauthorize faculty positions and review programs.

After discussion and approval by APSC, the programs went to the full faculty for majority-style voting Tues., Dec. 1.

According to Monahan, “there was some good discussion, and then the programs were all approved unanimously…what carried the [India proposals] was some really superb work by the professors…the leading one in my mind was Professor Bedi, the real architect of the program along with Professors O’Brien and Rose…they did a great job and answered a lot of questions.”

Applications to study abroad for the Fall 2016 semester through partner programs or foreign study sites is February 15, 2015.  For more information about study abroad, visit www.dickinson.edu/global.

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