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Campus Senate raises study abroad prospects for students

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Provost Lynn Pardie visited the University of Hull to explore various opportunities for UIS students through international exchange programs abroad.

As of 2012, UIS has had exchange programs and affiliations with over 30 different nations and universities internationally through the Global Experience program. This includes the Republic of Gambia, Japan, China, Italy, England, and Mexico.

In a recent Campus Senate meeting, Pardie informed the Senate on her travels alongside three faculty members and Jonathan GoldbergBelle, director of international programs to the campuses of the University of Hull in Yorkshire and Queen’s University of Belfast, United Kingdom. Essentially, their aim was to deepen their relationships with both universities for the benefit of UIS students and faculty in future study abroad and exchange programs.

UIS student Michael Stephens shared his experience while studying abroad at the University of Hull, “I had a great study abroad experience at Hull. Personally, I made a few friends that I have kept in touch with since I left. Academically, I had opportunities for proctoring research and taking classes that we did not offer at UIS. Overall, it was neat to temporarily attend a university [with] a different culture to experience and learn from.”

“The world is interconnected. Practical-minded students would benefit from the study abroad opportunities as a resume builder, to add something that other students may not have,” said GoldbergBelle. He explained that through the study abroad program, students can learn about new cultures, about themselves and about their abilities to adapt and thrive in varying cultures.

Pardie visited the University of Hull’s campus on the opening day of their school year. UH has about 14,000 students and roughly 8,000 on their satellite campus of Scarborough. UIS’ visiting staff learned more about the institution of higher learning and found that they have great faculty interest in joint ventures with UH.

Pardie informed the Senate that UIS has a long history with UH in exchanging of students. Our students go there through international programs available to students on campus, which UH refers too through their International Mobility and Partnerships (IMAP) Office.

The central link between these two universities and UIS is the appreciation of American culture and Abraham Lincoln. A new step in strengthening the relationship between UH and UIS is the Wilberforce Institute for the Study of Slavery and Emancipation (WISE) at Hull. According to WISE, it is an interdisciplinary institute that “will provide a forum for academic discourse and interaction; and will actively partner others in advancing public understanding of both historic and contemporary slavery.”

WISE also has a brick memorial wall for slavery emancipation behind the institute that honors those who fought for slave emancipation, people who made significant contributions to emancipation efforts and those enslaved. On the day UIS faculty visited the campus, they were installing the Lincoln brick.

A long-term dream for UIS is to develop a master’s degree program offered by both institutions and a team  teaching opportunity for faculty exchange. Faculty members also went with GoldbergBelle to Queens University of Belfast in UK to further explore unique opportunities for faculty and students.

Queen’s University professor Catherine Clinton has an extensive background in Lincoln history as a Lincoln scholar and she has visited UIS on numerous occasions. Queen’s University also provides students with programs offered in history, anthropology, political science, legal studies and philosophy.

This means that UIS students will have even more study abroad opportunities than ever before. They will include unique colleges for a full-long semester and/or year-long exchange. Summer opportunities will also be available.

To learn more about the Global Experiences program and study abroad visit, http:// www.uis.edu/internationalprograms/globalexperience/

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