CWRU Joins National Pledge to Double Number of Students Who Study Abroad
Case Western Reserve University is pleased to join the Institute for International Education’s (IIE) Generation Study Abroad Commitment initiative by pledging to more than double the number of CWRU undergraduate students who participate in study abroad experiences by 2019.
Currently, only about 10% of undergraduate students in the U.S. study abroad. Realizing this national commitment would result in over 600,000 American university students studying abroad by the end of the decade. IIE is looking for at least 500 American universities to join the initiative with CWRU and has presently secured more than 150 university participants -- eight in Ohio.
In the 2011/2012 academic year, 24% of CWRU’s undergraduate student population participated in a study abroad program. This is well above the national average; nonetheless, CWRU has pledged to increase this number to 50% and has outlined strategic efforts to reach this goal, including creating an endowment with a specific objective of awarding $100,000 in study abroad scholarships each year. In addition, the university is also reaching out more to individual departments, meeting with them to map out course plans that can show students how they can study abroad and still fulfill their major. Marketing efforts and collaboration with student groups have also been amplified. Molly Watkins, Executive Director for International Affairs, was interviewed by InsideHigherEducation and talks to the goals in more detail.
This commitment to more deeply incorporate study abroad into the culture of CWRU affects all levels of the university, from central administration to academic departments to individual students and alumni. Continuing to develop a culture of global citizenship is a priority for CWRU and departments and faculty members interested in developing this further are encouraged to contact Molly Watkins at the Center for International Affairs.
Faculty Seed Grant Highlight: Enhancing Quality of Life as People Age
The Center for International Affairs has provided over $60,000 to fund 12 different projects over the last two years and is proud to highlight faculty seed grant awardees and the work they are doing to develop and progress sustainable initiatives to enhance internationalization at CWRU. The following is just one example:
Jessica Kelley-Moore, Professor, Department of Sociology
In her words:
Population Aging and Urbanization
The World Health Organization (WHO) model of “age-friendly cities” emphasizes the theme of supportive urban environments for older citizens. These are defined as encouraging “active aging” by “optimizing opportunities for health, participation and security in order to enhance quality of life as people age.” In a global context where we observe the co-occurring processes of increasing urbanization and population aging, it is imperative that we identify the implications for the well-being of older adults living in these changing contexts.
I work with a network of international scholars, representing nine countries on four continents, to identify sub-groups of older adults who may be particularly vulnerable in urban areas; types of changes in geographic contexts that may serve to exclude or integrate older adults; and potential points of intervention for increasing social participation and making urban areas more ‘age friendly.’
We are presently funded by the Economic and Social Research Institute [England] to develop a research agenda in this area. To date, the Network has presented symposia at the meetings of the British Gerontological Society; International Society of Gerontology and Geriatrics; and Gerontological Society of America and is developing a research and training proposal for the Horizon 2020 agenda funded by the European Union. Case Western Reserve University, the only U.S. participant in this international network, would benefit because the grants will provide opportunities to train students, host visits from international scholars, and participate in cross-national research.
The Faculty Seed Grant from the Center for International Affairs at Case Western Reserve University funded travel to these network meetings in multiple countries, as well as helped sponsor a symposium. Graduate students have had opportunities to work on the U.S. portion of the research on aging and urbanization, attend the international Network meetings, and participate in the organized symposia. Further, the Network is planning a training workshop on aging and urbanization for via video conferencing.
The Center for International Affairs will make announcements for Faculty Seed Grants in early fall 2014.