Drake University is launching its own study abroad experience with a semester-long program in Alicante, Spain in January 2020. The new format, which allows students to travel in a cohort with a Drake professor and take advantage of the diverse academic offerings of an on-site partner and international university, launches a new era of study abroad for Drake. Students have until Oct. 1 to sign up.
Annique Kiel, executive director of global engagement and international programs, says the program in Spain is responsive to student feedback regarding education abroad models and that more Drake sponsored programs are in the works.
“This program is the first of what we hope will be several of our own semester programs, so it’s a part of a longer-term strategy. The idea is that we will have multiple locations around the world that have different opportunities for a variety of majors,” said Kiel.
The Spain program is open to all majors and designed to meet the needs of students across the University. It also includes a two-week intensive Spanish language January Term course. The launch of these programs is in line with the University’s mission, which aims to create responsible global citizens.
“Drake is putting an emphasis on designing global learning experiences focused on intercultural development. This program will allow students to learn among their Drake peers and alongside students in Spain, including an opportunity to live with a local family. Drake is ready for this type of model,” said Kiel.
Drake is offering a special experience through a hybrid study abroad model; students get to enroll in courses through an on-site partner and a local university, giving them an immersive experience. Students also have the opportunity to take a Drake professor taught class that is designed specifically for the location, and will include local cultural excursions relevant to the course.
“This is also a way for us to internationalize our faculty. It’s a rotating position, so every spring a different Drake professor will have the opportunity to lead the program. Research shows the most effective way to internationalize a campus is through your faculty,” said Kiel. The launch of this program is expanding Drake’s global footprint to have more of a hands-on role in the international experiences of its students. This is a unique opportunity for students to take advantage of and have the experience of a lifetime.