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Chancellor Syverud, Provost Wheatly Call on Academic Leadership to Support Bold Growth in Study Abroad
Last week, Chancellor Kent Syverud and Provost Michele Wheatly welcomed Syracuse University’s eight international center directors to campus and outlined their vision for further internationalizing the Syracuse experience. The reception, attended by academic and administrative leadership, faculty, directors and students from across the University, focused on growing high-quality study abroad opportunities for Syracuse students.
Chancellor Syverud presented a challenge to the assembled group, calling for a significant increase in the percent of Syracuse undergraduates who study abroad.
“A full 90 percent of incoming first-year students indicate that they are interested in a study abroad experience, yet only 44 percent ultimately fulfill that wish,” Chancellor Syverud noted. “Study abroad participation by Syracuse students is much higher than the national average of 10 percent, but we clearly have work to do.”
Underscoring the Chancellor’s remarks, Provost Wheatly reflected on the goals set out in the Academic Strategic Plan, and reiterated in the $100 million Invest Syracuse initiative. In particular, she focused on the University’s ambitious but achievable goal that every Syracuse University student should have the opportunity for a global learning experience.
“We are leaders in the field of study abroad, and Syracuse Abroad’s operation is emblematic of the signature Syracuse experience—where we put individualized student development above all else,” said Wheatly. “Through these programs, the University delivers to students unparalleled and highly personalized services, and unique curricular, co-curricular, internship and critical intercultural opportunities unavailable on the home campus.”
The center directors—representing Syracuse University campuses in Beijing, Florence, Hong Kong, London, Madrid, Santiago (Chile), Strasbourg (France) and the Central Europe program (based in Poland)—were energized by the Chancellor’s shared charge.
“Our centers are not merely outposts; we are prominent representatives of Syracuse University’s global footprint,” said Hana Cervinkova, director of the Exploring Central Europe program. “Through this shared goal to increase participation, we and our main campus counterparts can deliver a truly distinctive Syracuse education.”
“Syracuse is one of those rare institutions that not only promotes study abroad, but is actively engaged in designing and implementing innovative programs around the world,” said Raymond Bach, Syracuse Strasbourg director. “We are very encouraged to see that the University’s commitment to these programs is stronger than ever, and that the Chancellor and Provost are determined to give more and more students the possibility of expanding their horizons through an international experience.”