A Message from Academic Affairs
Augustana College, rooted in the liberal arts and sciences and a Lutheran expression of the Christian faith, is committed to offering a challenging education that develops qualities of mind, spirit and body necessary for a rewarding life of leadership and service in a diverse and changing world.
The above, our mission statement, provides the rationale for everything this institution is capable of delivering, from football to physics; from Christmas carols to study carrels. Certainly it justifies the development of study abroad opportunities for Augustana students.
Study Abroad has evolved in higher education from the Grand Tour of Europe following graduation to a more focused and intentional enterprise. The National Association of Foreign Study Advisors (www.nafsa.org) founded in 1948, is an increasingly professionalized organization that focuses on strategies for curricular development, program assessment, student evaluation, risk management and the development of cultural competence. At its annual meeting in Minneapolis, over 7,000 practitioners attended from around the world. More are expected for its meeting in Washington, DC in May.
Another organization of schools involved in responsible study abroad practices is The Forum on Education Abroad, founded in 2001 (www.forumea.org). The Forum, as it is called, conducts research into study abroad practices, and seeks to engage members – colleges and universities – in dialogue on issues facing the field of education abroad. Its journal, Frontiers: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Study Abroad, is sponsored by 25 institutions, including Harvard and Yale, but also liberal arts colleges such as Beloit, Dickinson, Kalamazoo, Macalester and Middlebury.
Good liberal arts colleges like Augustana take study abroad seriously. They think carefully about format and curriculum, the teaching environment, residentiality and desired outcomes. They also seek to develop a business model that makes sense for the institution. They recognize the need for faculty to be deeply involved in the development of opportunities, even if the teaching is not to be done directly by the faculty of the home institution.
Augustana has a rich and proud tradition of programming for study abroad. As we seek to increase the number of Augustana students participating in study abroad to levels at par with peer and aspirant institutions, we need to be aware of and take advantage of resources available to us.
Director of Office of International Programs