Magazine article University Business

More Schools Send Freshmen Abroad: Giving New Students Opportunities for Overseas Travel

Magazine article University Business

More Schools Send Freshmen Abroad: Giving New Students Opportunities for Overseas Travel

Article excerpt

Study abroad has been reserved traditionally for upperclassmen, but institutions that include Michigan State, Kent State (Ohio), Florida State, American University (D.C.) and the University of New Haven (Conn.) are offering students the chance to learn overseas before or during their first year of college.

Michigan launched Freshman Seminar Abroad in 2003 with organized spring break trips to Mexico and Quebec. Jim Lucas, director of the program, cites then-president M. Peter McPherson for pursuing international efforts, as well as supporting a transitional program for new students with an overseas component.

Now students can travel overseas in the summer before their first year. In 2015, participants could choose Brazil, Cuba, Ireland or South Africa. "We aligned the first-year seminar with our four-year programs to encourage continuous cultural growth, analytical thinking and integrated reasoning," says Lucas.

On the trips, students spend two to three hours a day in a classroom and the rest of the hours partaking in field visits, which Lucas says are designed to support the seminar theme and cultural learning, as well as exploring local highlights. This year's seminar tracks include "Sustainable business and entrepreneurship" and "Folk and fairy tales: Values and ethics of European cultures."

[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]

Some believe studying abroad increases retention and graduation. A chief criticism of that notion is that participants usually fit a certain mold--for instance, white females from upper-class backgrounds whose chances for college success are already high.

In the fall of 2016, Kent State will debut its Freshmen in Florence program, giving students, even those needing financial assistance, the chance to spend their entire first semester at the Italian campus. It's part of the school's Florence Summer Institute, to which administrators want all students to have access. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.