The University of Findlay has kept its promise. It was summer 2014, when the University pledged to join the Institute of International Education’s Generation Study Abroad Initiative. The focus of the initiative is to double the number of American students who study abroad by the end of the decade. According to Chris Sippel, a trip to Europe taken this fall promises to add some appealing opportunities to the many travel options that already exist for UF students.
Sippel, UF’s assistant dean for international, intercultural and service engagement, along with Dr. Katherine Fell, UF president; Dr. Marcia Latta, vice president for university advancement; and Dr. Darin Fields, vice president for academic affairs, visited higher education facilities in Austria and Sweden from September 26 through October 3.
“Sometimes relocating to a new country and a new culture can be intimidating for college students,” said Sippel. “During this fall trip, we selected universities that are in communities similar to Findlay as well as those that teach classes in English. The schools we visited are a good fit for UF students.”
The group’s first stop was University West in Sweden. They established a direct exchange program with an appeal mainly to business majors, although University West also has a College of Education and fine arts and communication programs. (The University of Findlay welcomed its first Swedish “exchange student” Lisa Wadstedt, for the fall 2015 semester.)
“I describe the trip as ‘planes, trains and automobiles,’” laughed Sippel. “We crisscrossed Europe trying to be as productive as possible.”
Leaving Sweden, the UF contingent visited the University of Applied Sciences in Linz, Austria. There they signed a memorandum of understanding for several exchange opportunities. Sippel added that the Austrian university also hosts an international conference in May that could pose a travel opportunity for both UF students and faculty.
The brochure for Salzburg College describes its student experience as “charming, delightful and unforgettable.” Located in the KunstQuartier (ArtQuarter) in the heart of Salzburg’s old town, Salzburg College offers classes in European studies, art, music, communication and marketing. Classes are taught in English and the surrounding city is considered by many to be one of the most beautiful and safest cities in Europe.
“We have an ‘outbound’ agreement with Salzburg College,” Sippel stated. “This means that our students will travel there, but Salzburg students will not come here at the present time.” Sippel added that the school is noted for providing individual attention to its international students.
According to Sippel, exchange relationships among universities work best and he cited the successful UF/Japan program through the Kake Educational Institution as one example. This way, students can truly share each other’s countries and cultures.
For more information on The University of Findlay’s study abroad opportunities, contact Sippel at firstname.lastname@example.org