CAFNR Communications recently chatted with Matt Pourney, director of the study abroad program for the College. He is interested in helping faculty members find an existing study abroad program that will benefit students, or create a new program for international student opportunities in the College.
What are the benefits of studying abroad?
Academically, study abroad offers courses not available on campus. The destination is an extension of the classroom. Study abroad allows you to contextualize course content. Personally, study abroad teaches independence, maturity and fosters new interests. Participants gain international contacts, resume building and can strengthen second language proficiency.
Where can I travel?
There are 16 programs to choose from. Some established programs need faculty leaders every year. If none sound interesting to you, you can establish your own!
What are the deadlines to apply to participate in each program?
There is no specific deadline, but, to have plenty of time to develop and market a new program, interested faculty members should begin the proposal process around 12 months in advance of the target program dates.
How can I start my own study abroad program?
The Office of Academic Programs has created guidelines for establishment of a CAFNR Study Abroad Program:
- A faculty member wanting to establish a new study abroad program have, at a minimum, a 0.75 FTE (benefit eligible) status.
- Program academic content should have a clear and direct tie to a CAFNR discipline.
- The proposed program should have approval and support of the faculty member’s Division Director.
- Potential interest of CAFNR students should be assessed. In order to ensure the success, a minimum of 10 students should be expected to participate. Regardless of the number of participants, at least 70-75 percent of students should be CAFNR students.
- Location, academic subject, term and potential student market should be assessed in respect to the existing portfolio of CAFNR programs to help ensure a good academic and geographical match.
- Ideally, two or more CAFNR faculty members should assume “ownership” of the program to increase the likelihood that the program will remain viable should one faculty member depart the university.
- Likelihood of program sustainability should be high. This could be influenced by a number of factors, including faculty member status, number of faculty participants, size of target market, program costs and plans for future iterations of the program.
Do I have to be a faculty member, or can staff members participate too?
In almost all cases, programs are are limited to faculty members.
What geographical areas and academic fields are underrepresented in the CAFNR study abroad programs?
The Office of Academic Programs is currently working toward developing a list of areas (both academic and geographic) for strategic growth. Although this list isn’t completed yet, a quick review of our existing programs would provide a good idea of locations and/or academic fields that are not well represented in our current programs.
For more information, please visit http://cafnr.missouri.edu/study-abroad/.