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Salem State University receives federal education grant to fund students engaging in global virtual exchange and faculty-led study travel

More Salem State University students will be able to travel and engage virtually with international partners thanks to an $84,000 federal grant that boosts current initiatives driving this global experience.

The grant, from the U.S. Department of Education’s Undergraduate International Studies and Foreign Language Program (UISFLP), aligns with Salem State’s mission to prepare a diverse student body for a global society, according to Julie Whitlow, vice provost for faculty and global engagement.

“It is well documented that global experiences are high impact practices for our students. The Center for International Education seeks ways to increase opportunities for global engagement for our students who otherwise would not have the opportunity to travel or collaborate with peers in other countries,” Whitlow said. “This UISFL grant is helping us achieve these goals.”

Specifically, the grant supports students taking part in faculty-led travel courses, as well as those engaging with international peers virtually through the university’s Collaborative Online International Learning (COIL) program.

“COIL has become a very useful and exciting pedagogy that allows for cultural exchange, virtual collaboration between peers from around the world, and global engagement for faculty and students,” Whitlow added.  “COIL requires faculty and student interaction with peers abroad through a course component developed with a partner at an international university that emphasizes peer-to-peer student collaboration.”

In addition to online exchange opportunities, faculty have designed courses across disciplines that include travel components to Hong Kong, Latvia, Costa Rica, and Korea.

The grant also funds development of a Spanish for Educators course and short-term, co-curricular immersion courses in Chinese, Korean, and Spanish for those preparing to participate in faculty-led, study-travel courses to regions that speak these languages.  

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