$100,000 over 20 months. Mount Holyoke College will develop a working group of faculty, students, staff, and alumnae to investigate strategies for making it possible for their students to have a meaningful learning experience abroad. Whether through study abroad, international internships or research experiences, the college wants all students to have the opportunity to live and learn abroad for some period during their undergraduate years. The college wants, moreover, to connect those experiences abroad more intentionally to its overarching educational goal of preparing students for global citizenship. Its purpose is to develop in all of its students, whatever their major areas of study, a more active engagement with cultures and perspectives outside the United States, an understanding of the impact of globalization on human well-being, and a deeper appreciation for the complexity inherent in addressing the critical problems of our world. Mount Holyoke believes that liberal arts colleges have a duty to encourage their students to feel a sense of responsibility for the common good, grounded in respect and concern for others, while providing them with the skills they will need for a successful and responsible life in today’s rapidly changing global environment. To accomplish this end, there is not substitute for the experience of living abroad.
A working group of faculty, students, administrators and alumnae will systematically examine the constituent elements of achieving this goal. They will survey students to identify and address perceived obstacles to going abroad, and compile comparative information from peer colleges that already send a majority of their students abroad. The group will enlist faculty across the disciplines to help identify appropriate programs or research sites abroad for those students who may be reluctant to go abroad because of concerns about curricular or research continuity. The group will involve alumnae to help further develop a model network for creating international internship opportunities around the world. Administrative staff members of the working group will help develop feasible plans for financing learning abroad experiences for an increasing number of domestic students. The results will be compiled into a strategic plan for expanding the global education of all Mount Holyoke students and shared in the White Paper that the group will submit to the Teagle Foundation.