A unique partnership between Union and Hobart and William Smith Colleges, both traditional leaders in faculty-led off-campus programs, was launched this year.
The partnership is a way to cost-effectively send more students to more locations, offer pre-departure orientation programming for students, and find ways to link returning students' international experience with campus intellectual life.
It's also expected to increase the pool of engaged faculty, achieve administrative efficiencies, and serve as a model for other institutions. The partnership was funded in 1999 by a $400,000, four-year Andrew W. Mellon Foundation grant.
The partnership has received a $192,676 award from the U.S. Department of Education to enhance a study-abroad program in Hanoi, Vietnam, to be launched next spring. The program is one of several in which both colleges have a converging curricular interest. It will benefit from distance-learning resources; additional support and training for faculty to adapt and develop resources for use in distance learning; training of three peer counselors on each campus; and some additional faculty development.
The partnership is also involved in the Brazil program (Portuguese, women's studies, Latin American studies); the Galway, Ireland program (Irish studies, and other disciplines at the National University of Ireland, Galway); the Kenya program (African studies and Swahili), and the Rennes program (French language, literature, and culture).
The partnership aims to improve the experience of study abroad through four international cultural assistants, students on each campus who've been trained in cross-cultural facilitation at The School for International Training in Brattleboro, Vermont.