The Division of Extended Learning & Outreach (DELO) formed the WKU Study Away program in 2010, offering off-campus programs that help students apply lessons from the classroom in a practical, hands-on setting. Since then, WKU Study Away has expanded to also administer Faculty-Led Study Abroad (FLSA) courses in collaboration with the Office of Study Abroad and Global Learning and their academic departments and American Traveler, a non-credit experiential learning program.
During Winter Term 2014, Study Away doubled the number of programs offered the previous winter, reporting an 86 percent increase in participation. WKU faculty led six programs with more than 65 participants, leading students to study in places like Hawaii, Utah, the American Southwest and New York City to study geography, physics, film, pop Culture and theater.
FLSA added 25 percent more programs and reported a 10 percent increase in participation. Students studied in Australia, Belize, Costa Rica, Cuba, Ecuador, France, Kenya and Peru. The addition of two new programs, Australia communications and Chinese language, enabled over 17 faculty to teach more than 139 students in economics, nursing, social work, public health, dental hygiene, biology, English, agriculture, Chinese, leadership and sustainability.
Dr. Jianjun He, academic director of the Chinese Flagship Program, said that winter term offers students the language and cultural environment that they would not have studying on campus.
“[Through the Chinese language course], students put their language knowledge into daily practice while studying and living in China. They also experienced different culture, interacted with the local people and learned to understand and respect different society and thoughts,” he added.
Dr. Donna Schiess, first-time faculty leader of the Australia Communications program, said WKU students in Australia were immersed in activities connecting them to people and places in both city and rural contexts.
“Students experienced the culture and lifestyle of an Australian summer and participated in a range of community activities targeted to gain insight into both indigenous culture and art,” Schiess said.
According to Jerry Barnaby, director of the WKU Study Away, the goal is to provide students the opportunity to enhance their academic achievement by providing unique experiences that complements their achievement.
More than 31 Faculty-led Study Abroad and 10 Study Away students are slated for spring courses. Twenty-six study abroad and 14 study away programs are scheduled for summer 2014, and applications are being accepted.
For information, visit www.wku.edu/studyaway or the Office of Study Away at 270-745-2231.
Contact: Jerry Barnaby, director WKU Study Away, 270-745-2231 or email@example.com