Faculty Study Abroad Ambassadors

The Role of the Faculty Study Abroad Ambassador

The Faculty Study Abroad Ambassador (FSAA) is a point of contact for both faculty and students within each academic department. The FSAA knows what the resources are for study abroad, where they are, and how to find and utilize them. The FSAA also serves as a conduit between the Education Abroad Office and the academic department in dissemination of study abroad information such as informing the department of the faculty within the department who are teaching abroad, and serving as the point person for curriculum integration. The university has set a goal of an increase of participation in study abroad by 25% as part of the strategic plan. The EAO will be working with FSAAs and the administration to make this happen through curriculum integration of study programs, but also research and internship opportunity development.

Study Abroad Curriculum Integration

Study Abroad Curriculum Integration at MSU is built on a foundation of collaboration between the Institute for International Studies, the International Studies Advisory Committee (ISAC), made up of faculty and professional staff across the campus and curriculum, and the academic units. The SACI project was endorsed by the university administration as a piece of the 2008 5/5/50 Initiative, which had as one of its objectives to reach 5% of the total MSU student body to participate in study abroad. To reach this goal, and others indicated below, ISAC focused on the following guiding principles:
  • Partnership with academic departments and faculty
  • Academically driven study abroad programs
  • Study Abroad Ambassadors coupled with existing IIS office support for study abroad
  • Long-term campus impact
The goal of the SACI project is much broader than study abroad participation increase, however. We have aimed also for quality programs, faculty interest and support, and faculty participation. The goals of SACI can be identified as:
  • Increase of study abroad participation through integration of study abroad programs into the existing curricula at MSU in each undergraduate major field of study
  • Increased faculty awareness of the importance of study abroad and its contribution toward creating global citizens and educated students
  • Increased faculty international activities through study abroad, international professional development programs, teaching, and research on international topics
  • Increased faculty promotion and support of student study abroad
  • Development of new, quality, curriculum-based experiences abroad where needed
  • Cultivation of institutional-based long-term international experiences for undergraduate students
  • Development of staff, partnerships, practices, and materials
  • Attained goal of 5% of the MSU student body annually who have studied abroad

Where Are We Now?

The FSAA program was launched in spring 2008. With continued expansion of the Education Abroad Office to include additional staff and resources, we have been able to achieve much with the support and leadership of the faculty across campus, including (we're constantly updating MSU's Education Abroad archive of achievements here, so bear with us):

2010-11:

  • MSU launches Abroad 101, a short-term experience abroad for incoming freshmen and transfer students, with the leadership of the Office of Recruitment. 30 students participate in the first Abroad 101
  • Donor awards for student study abroad scholarships reach an all-time high, topping out at 6 awards of more than $200,000 to be awarded over the coming years.

2012-13:

  • The number of faculty & staff leading programs abroad exceeds 50 for the first time
  • The Study Abroad Office changes its name to Education Abroad Office to meet field goals of education through multiple avenues: Service, internship, and study experiences
  • The Education Abroad Offices expands to add an Education Abroad Advisor, bringing the advising team to two

2013-14:

  • The percentage of MSU graduates having studied abroad at the time of graduation tops 14%, which is 6% above the national average
  • First programs abroad in Social Work, Occupational Safety and Health
  • First thematic program across multiple fields of study: Human Rights in Paris-London with History, English, Social Work, and Occupational Safety & Health
  • Joint program with WKCTC in Telecommunications Systems Management through MSU's first Service Learning opportunity abroad, in Belize
  • MSU's 5th program abroad designed specifically for students with disabilities
  • A new partnership through the University of Wisconsin at River Falls enables faculty to teach abroad and students to study for summers and semester at Dalkeith Palace, Scotland
  • $222,000 is awarded in study abroad scholarships
  • The Asia Initiative, spearheaded by the Office of the Provost, results in a renewed and expanded agreement with Qingdao Agricultural University, providing faculty opportunities to teach abroad in Agriculture and multiple other areas
2014-15:
  • First programs abroad in Communication Disorders, Gender & Diversity Studies, Interior Design
  • Education abroad policies are included in the MSU Academic Bulletin for the first time
  • The Education Abroad Office adds an Education Abroad Advisor, expanding to three total advisors
  • MSU's first internship program abroad is offered in China as a 5-week summer program for TESOL students
  • Study abroad participation reaches an all-time high at 17.6% of the undergraduate graduating class, 3% above the national average

2015-16

  • Discover Scotland, a program development experience for faculty, is offered for the first time in summer 2016
  • First semester offerings abroad in Nursing

To find out how your department can get involved, contact the Director of Education Abroad.

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