USF World News

Grant Offers Semester Abroad Opportunities for USF Students & Faculty
June 21, 2011

USF, together with seven other universities from Canada and Mexico, has been awarded the North American Mobility Program (NAMP) grant. With the aim to increase cooperation in higher education, research and training among the U.S., Canada and Mexico, the grant invites two or more universities from each country to partner in an effort to promote faculty and student exchange. Focusing on student mobility by recognizing academic credits from partner universities, the program enables students to pay tuition to their home institution and then spend one semester abroad.

Dr. Bill Rowe of the USF School of Social Work is preparing to receive and send students to Canada and Mexico.   Dr. Rowe hopes not only to welcome students from international partner institutions, but to send at least 12 USF students abroad over the next three years. This fall, USF will welcome two students from Victoria and three from Ottawa. Spanning a period of three years between 2011 and 2014, the grant requires that a total of 58 students between the eight universities participate in the program.

To further enable international academic exchange, the grant provides a $5,000 scholarship per student to help defer the costs of spending a semester abroad. In addition, students will have  the opportunity to participate in an unpaid internship in a Civil Society Organization; an experience that will give them a hands-on, real world experience to complement their study of sustainable community development.

Apart from student aid, the grant also provides an opportunity for faculty to travel abroad and teach for a semester. The grant aims to have at least 6 faculty (3 Canadian faculty /3 American faculty) teach abroad for one semester.

Titled The Role of Civil Society Organizations in Sustainable Community Development,  the grant focuses on a broad subject area that appeals to multiple majors including public administration, engineering and business. “The idea,” said Dr. Bill Rowe “is that if you get a degree in engineering or business, it should be equivalent in all three countries. This grant is helping to break country barriers and make sure that job skills are relevant throughout North America.” USF and its partners have also developed a course on sustainable community development that will be offered in all three countries for exchange and non-exchange students to take.

The institutions working with USF provide a wide array of experiences; the University of Victoria, Canada is the second oldest public research university in British Columbia while Benemérita Universidad Autónoma de Puebla, Mexico is the oldest and largest university in Puebla, Mexico dating back to 1587. All the universities involved have a strong focus on research and offer a range of courses for almost any major. In order to spend a semester in Mexico however, students at USF will be required to speak Spanish.

In addition, several conferences have been planned with a focus on sustainable communities.  The first is the Sustainable Community Business conference which will take place at Cape Breton University, Canada in July.

The following are the universities partnering with USF in this grant:

Carleton University (Ottawa, Ontario, Canada); the University of Victoria (Victoria, British Columbia, Canada); Cape Breton University (Sydney, Nova Scotia, Canada); Benemérita Universidad Autónoma de Puebla (Puebla, Mexico); Instituto Tecnológ ico  y de Estudios Superiores de Monterrey (Mexico City, Mexico); Universidad Autónoma de Tamaulipas (Tampico, Tamaulipas, Mexico); and Baruch College, City University of New York (New York, NY State, USA).