Salve Regina seeks to bolster study abroad exchange programs
By Lily Jones ’17
Late last month, Salve Regina hosted representatives from several international universities in an effort to foster stronger partnerships for the University’s study abroad exchange programs.
“Many times we send students on direct enrollment or study abroad provider programs, which are wonderful and valuable in their own ways,” said Erin Fitzgerald, director of international programs. “However, they move students in only one direction and that direction is out, from Salve, on study abroad. Exchanges, in addition to helping us send students out, also bring international students on to our campus, which increases campus diversity and supports our internationalization efforts.”
Two of the visitors – Dr. Juan Llopis and Dr. Jose Belda – were officials from the University of Alicante in Spain. Llopis, who serves as Alicante’s vice president for international relations, called exchange programs a “win-win.” He agreed with Fitzgerald that the best kind of study abroad experience is one where both schools can benefit: one student leaves, and another comes to stay.
Taylor Enos ’16, a political science and Spanish major, studied at Alicante last fall. “It’s really one of the most intimate experiences you can get when studying abroad,” he said. “You want to go there so that you can perfect your Spanish. It’s a very authentic Spanish experience. It’s not watered down by the United States system like a lot of bigger universities would have in Madrid, Barcelona, etc.”
Salve Regina will send two students to Alicante in the coming academic year. Christopher Nova ’17, a health care administration and management and Spanish major, will leave this fall, while Rebecca Forsythe ’17, a global studies and sociology and anthropology major, will study there in spring 2016.
“When students return to campus and have a chance to reflect on their semester or year abroad, they truly recognize how this type of experience has been incredibly beneficial to them – academically, culturally and personally,” said Katie McCormack, assistant director of study abroad. “It has helped them grow in ways that they never could have imagined.”
In addition to the University of Alicante, Salve Regina has formed exchange partnerships with several other schools around the world, including University College in Cork, Ireland; Mary Immaculate College in Limerick, Ireland; Catholic University of Lyon, France; and the University of the Sunshine Coast in Australia.