Education Abroad offers new programs, destinations for 2008

Ben blogs from SMU-in-BeijingSMU’s Office of Education Abroad is expanding its offerings this year with new summer programs in Australia and Asia, India and South Africa; an internship program in London; and a new semester program in Cairo. The Office also will add a winter interterm program in the Western African nation of Mali and launched its new interterm program in Oaxaca, Mexico, in December.

“In today’s global society, SMU is committed to providing educational experiences that allow students to acquire knowledge and understanding of diverse cultures,” says Michael Clarke, executive director of the International Center, which oversees education abroad and supports international students and scholars at SMU, among other services. “Students, parents, business leaders and government officials increasingly recognize the value of developing international perspectives and skills.” (Right, SMU Student Adventurer Ben is blogging from China during his Spring 2008 semester with SMU-in-Beijing.) Read more.

The seven new programs were reviewed and approved by SMU’s Education Abroad Council for academic content and suitability, and follow the recommendations of SMU’s International Education Task Force, which met last year to develop a comprehensive plan for advancing the globalization of the University.

International Education Task Force Chair John Mears says the new programs reflect SMU’s goals not only to increase opportunities abroad and the number of students who participate, but also to diversify the experience.

“Education abroad isn’t just about Western Europe anymore,” says Mears, associate professor of history. “Every region in our interconnected and interdependent world is significant, as is every field of study, from engineering and science to business and the arts.”

Here’s a look at the new programs in brief. Learn more at the Office of Education Abroad’s website, and stay tuned for upcoming information on SMU-in-Mali.

SMU-in-Australia and Asia: The six-week summer term program, open to junior and senior business students, focuses on the economic and political changes occurring in Asia, particularly China’s growing appetite for consumer goods. Participants tour diverse areas of China for the first three weeks and then move to Curtin University of Technology in Perth, Australia, where they work with Australian and Chinese students in developing presentations for industry and university experts.

SMU-in-India: SMU’s Temerlin Advertising Institute partnered with the Mudra Institute for Communications in Ahmedabad, India, to create this summer program, which is open to both advertising and non-advertising majors. Students spend three weeks on the Mudra Institute campus and two weeks taking cultural and industry field trips. Kartik Pashupati, assistant professor of advertising, serves as SMU professor-in-residence in Ahmedabad, and Patricia Alvey, distinguished chair and director of the Temerlin Advertising Institute, participates in the second portion of the program.

London Internships: In this 8 1/2-week summer program, students enroll in six credit hours and are placed in professional internships by Boston-based EUSA, while living in student residences in London. EUSA partners students with well-known companies in many industry sectors, as well as with smaller companies, according to students’ skills, course of study and professional goals.

SMU-in-South Africa: This summer program at the University of KwaZulu-Natal in Durban focuses on South African history and musical theater, with courses taught by SMU’s Dennis Cordell, professor of history and associate dean for general education, and Barbara Hill Moore, professor of voice and program director. Students will prepare and perform highlights of Leonard Bernstein’s West Side Story, working with South African students and artists, in addition to participating in cultural field trips.

SMU-in-Cairo: The full semester program in the capital of Egypt and largest city in Africa is offered through the American University in Cairo, a private university whose three schools offer a broad range of degree-granting programs, with courses taught in English. Students will live and attend classes at the university’s New Campus in New Cairo, which is scheduled to open in summer 2008. Karl Kilinski II, University Distinguished Teaching Professor of Art History, serves as program director.

SMU-in-Oaxaca: The winter interterm program in the southern Mexican colonial city exposes students to the art, history and religion of the region through classes, readings and numerous field trips. Kathy Windrow, adjunct professor in theatre design, teaches the Cultural Formations course and serves as program director.