The goal of the project is to build the capacity of selected Appalachian’s international partner institutions to successfully host Appalachian and other U.S. students who pursue studies at their institutions as part of their academic programs. The project is funded by the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs for two years (2009 – 2011). The targeted countries are Egypt, India, South Africa, and Taiwan, locations where Appalachian has signed new agreements in the last two years. This goal entails two objectives:
- Developing processes and procedures for Appalachian partners in Egypt, India, South Africa, and Taiwan to host U.S. undergraduate students interested in studying for a semester or a year at their institutions; and
- Conducting workshops for Appalachian partners in India and South Africa on how to host U.S. students participating in International Service-learning and Community-Based Research opportunities while also helping them to build their own capacity to offer similar opportunities for their students.
Under this project, Appalachian plans to conduct activities in three phases:
Appalachian will send groups consisting of three faculty and staff for two-week visits to partner institutions in Egypt, India, South Africa, and Taiwan. These individuals will work with partner institutions in those countries to develop their capacities to host Appalachian and other U.S. students.
Faculty/staff from partner institutions in Egypt, India, South Africa, and Taiwan will visit Appalachian for two-weeks of internship-type experience in the Office of International Education and Development. While at Appalachian, these representatives will review policies and procedures for international student exchanges; observe the process of receiving and registering international exchange students for classes; participate in international student orientation program; observe student organizations and how they helps international students acclimate to Appalachian and Boone and encourages Appalachian students to study abroad; and, observe the types of services provided for international students. Additionally, these representatives will attend selected academic classes and participate in discussions with faculty members.
In the third phase of the project, a small number of Appalachian faculty and staff will visit partner institutions in Egypt, India, South Africa, and Taiwan for a mix of short and long visits. Follow-on visits by Appalachian faculty/staff to partners.
In establishing institutional partnerships in Egypt, India, South Africa, and Taiwan, Appalachian seeks to diversify and completely change the destinations and nature of its study abroad programs. Mirroring the national trend, 79.3% of Appalachian students study abroad on short-term, faculty-led programs, mostly in the summer. Only 21% study abroad for a semester or a year. Appalachian seeks to establish a good balance between short-term and long-term study abroad participation in its programs. Additionally, Appalachian wants to encourage students to go abroad for Service-learning, research, internships, and student teaching. The University has identified India and South Africa as strategic locations for Service-learning and community-based research. This project will help Appalachian work with its partner institutions in Egypt, India, South Africa, and Taiwan to develop their capacity for hosting Appalachian and other U.S. students at their institutions.
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