Study Abroad moving

Study Abroad moving

Beginning in July, Study Abroad programs at Northeastern will be directed by the Office of the Provost, opening up an opportunity that has traditionally been limited to students in the College of Arts and Sciences (CAS).

The Study Abroad program has moved beyond its place in the CAS, organizers say, and the time is ripe to expand its offerings and devote more resources to possibilities abroad.

“Study Abroad has really outgrown Arts and Sciences,” said Denis Sullivan, director of the International Affairs Program. “By housing it in the provost’s office, all the students can better coordinate.”

Sullivan has been a major force behind the Dialogue of Civilizations program, which gives students the opportunity to take shorter, faculty-led trips to foreign countries. He will head an advisory board of faculty who teach courses abroad to assist in the transition. With the move to the provost’s office, Sullivan said faculty from every school will have the opportunity to lead international trips.

“Next year, if we open this up to faculty in all the other schools, the university could have double or more the number of programs,” Sullivan said. “We haven’t even tapped our faculty in all our other schools.”

Sullivan emphasized that because Provost Ahmed Abdelal is a strong supporter of globalizing education, the change will give the school a chance to examine its curriculum and make it appealing to students in an increasingly international age.

“Frankly, the provost is probably the No. 1 champion of globalization [at Northeastern],” Sullivan said.

Patrick Plunkett, executive director of international initiatives in the Office of the Provost, will be heading the expanded program come July. Plunkett emphasized that the new program will be a “university-wide initiative,” and that input from students and faculty will be important factors in shaping it. He said the Student Government Association (SGA) is being consulted about the impact on students.

MJ Paradiso, SGA vice president-elect for academic affairs, headed up meetings throughout the past semester. He said he sees the move as a positive development for students.

“This is a really good thing for the university as we look to centralize our programs so students in all six colleges can take advantage,” Paradiso said. “Under the old system, a lot of the programs were restricted to Arts and Sciences, but this will allow the integration of all colleges.”

For junior marketing major Mike Reynolds, the change will come too late to benefit him, but he sees it as a plus for future students. Reynolds is a student in the College of Business Administration, which has excluded him from most opportunities abroad during his time at Northeastern.

If the opportunity had been available to him, Reynolds said he probably would have studied abroad.

“It’s too late for me, but I’m sure other people will take advantage,” he said.

James Stellar, dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, likened the move to when the Honors Program, originally housed in the CAS, outgrew its place there in 1987 and was opened to students from every college. Stellar also said there will be more resources available for the program when it is in the provost’s office.

“It is my hope that in its new central home with some additional resources, this program will grow even faster than it did in the CAS,” Stellar said.

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