3/23/2017 Greg Fullam ’18

International Program Initiatives Expand Study Abroad Access

As part of the Next Generation Initiative, a strategy for launching talented underserved students, Franklin & Marshall College’s Office of International Programs has created new efforts focused on increasing access and opportunity to study abroad.

Recent initiatives include expanded options for science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM), a diverse slate of summer travel courses and awards, and a streamlined course-credit approval process.

“I want to help ensure that all students have access to these intercultural experiences, that all students think study abroad is something that they can do,” said Ali Janicek, assistant dean for International and Off-Campus Study.  

  • Story author Fullam did a semester abroad in Madagascar. Here he is riding in a charette in the village of Ekonka on the southern tip of Madagascar. Story author Fullam did a semester abroad in Madagascar. Here he is riding in a charette in the village of Ekonka on the southern tip of Madagascar. Image Credit: Greg Fullam '18
  • Fullam participates in the Feraomby ceremony in the village of Anororo in the Lac Alaotra region of Madagascar. Fullam participates in the Feraomby ceremony in the village of Anororo in the Lac Alaotra region of Madagascar. Image Credit: Greg Fullam '18
  • Fullam stands at the top of a waterfall with one of his classmates in Manantantely, Madagascar. Fullam stands at the top of a waterfall with one of his classmates in Manantantely, Madagascar. Image Credit: Greg Fullam '18
  • Fullam overlooks Antananarivo, the capital city of Madagascar. Fullam overlooks Antananarivo, the capital city of Madagascar. Image Credit: Greg Fullam '18

The work already bears fruit. Today, between 50 and 55 percent of students now study abroad at some point during their academic careers at F&M, compared to roughly 40 percent in 2011.

In one of the most popular options, F&M professors design summer travel courses in subjects and locations that interest them, a process now facilitated by the staff for International and Off-Campus Study. The College supports funding that allows classes to travel to places like South Africa, Cuba, Denmark, England, China and India, where students study law, culture, psychology, human rights and other topics.

For independent, personalized studies abroad, the Office of International Programs offers a selection of summer travel awards to support individual, off-campus projects. Last fall, a record number of students applied for the grants – among those selected are a classics major who will travel to the United Kingdom to study archaeology and a public health major planning to study undocumented immigrants in Dublin.

The latest additions to the summer portfolio open new opportunities to STEM majors, who study abroad in lower numbers than other students on campus. These programs include IFSA-Butler’s "Revolutions in Biomedicine" at Imperial College London, and Arcadia University’s STEM Summer Research Programs for sciences, from biomedical to environmental, in Australia, New Zealand, England, Scotland, Ireland and Spain.

Students who return from abroad are not left out either. In February, the Office of International Programs sponsored F&M’s first Digital Storytelling Workshop, designed to help returners use storytelling to process their experiences abroad and communicate them to family, friends and potential employers.

Sue Mennicke, associate dean for International Programs, said study abroad is important to the liberal arts experience. “Whether improving language skills, delving into new approaches to the major, or learning to make informed choices in an unfamiliar environment, off-campus study offers much to the truly engaged student,” she said. 

Story 2/15/2018

Mad Englishmen, the Sociologist and a 'Scholarly Triumph'

For more than 34 years, Franklin & Marshall College’s Joel Eigen regularly traveled to London’s...

Read More
Story 2/15/2018

Math Shows Origami's Great Purpose in the Modern Age,...

Co-author of two books on the art of folding paper, Thomas Hull sprang to the stage in Franklin &...

Read More
Story 2/8/2018

Speaker: Leaders, Not 'Good' Men, Needed to Stop Violence...

“I don’t accept the premise that these are women’s issues that good men help out with. These are...

Read More