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New International Agreements Expand Opportunities for Drake Students

September 7, 2006
CONTACT: Gretchen Olson, 515-271-2084, gretchen.olson@drake.edu;

Lisa Lacher, 515-271-3119, lisa.lacher@drake.edu


Drake University has signed new exchange agreements with three universities abroad, creating new options for students.


The new exchange agreements are with Fachhochschule Weiner Neustad in Weiner Neustad, Austria; University of Verona in Verona, Italy; and Kwansei Gakuin University in Nishinomiya, Japan. "I think our students will be just as excited about these new relationships as we are," said Gretchen Olson, Drake director of the Center for International Programs and Services.


Currently, Drake has exchanges with universities in Tubingen, Germany; Nantes, France; Clermont-Ferrand, France; and Madrid, Spain. These exchange agreements allow students to take full advantage of their Drake scholarships while enrolled at partner universities. On other study abroad programs, which are not exchanges, roughly half of students' scholarships may be used to cover program costs.


In addition to semester-long opportunities, Drake faculty will offer short-term study seminars in a variety of countries. David Courard-Hauri, assistant professor of environmental science and policy, will lead a seminar in Nicaragua. Judy Allen, associate professor of psychology, is developing a program with a partner university in China. Craig Owens, assistant professor of English, will lead a group of students studying Shakespeare in Canada.


"Students have raved about previous study seminars in these countries so I'm sure these courses will be well-received," Olson said.


A new summer program in Africa has been added to the lineup as well. Drake faculty, in partnership with colleagues at Makerere University in Kampala, Uganda, will help students explore a wide variety of subjects related to sustainable development. These include the legacy of colonialism, HIV/AIDS in Africa, availability and constraints of micro-finance, tourism as a sustainable industry and tribalism and democratization.


"We think it is a very unique and exciting opportunity for students. It undoubtedly will be an invaluable eye-opener for anyone with limited working knowledge of Sub-Saharan Africa," said Jimmy Senteza, Drake associate professor of finance.


According to Olson, studying abroad is becoming more common among college students today. "Last year 189 Drake students studied abroad and our new exchange programs and study seminars make the possibilities even better for students who really want to immerse themselves in the experience," she added. "Students who study abroad can look at everything…their lives, country, academic subjects, politics and career choices…from a new perspective. And that is something they never forget."