The groundwork is being laid for a partnership between SRU and various universities in Vietnam, with the hopes of establishing an international exchange program.
Slippery Rock University is one of five schools in partnership with the Institute of International Education (IIE) as part of the 2013-14 International Academic Partnership Program. The program is designed to set up a relationship between universities in the US and universities in Vietnam with the goal of exchanging students and educational opportunities.
Dr. Kurt Schimmel, the dean of SRU’s College of Business, Information and Social Sciences, is one of the members of the team in charge of creating the relationship. Schimmel said the objective of the partnership is setting up the optimal educational experience for students.
He and several other members of the university’s administration, including the president, will embark on a trip to Vietnam on October 22 to experience the educational environment of Vietnam and to meet with members of the Vietnamese government’s education branch to get an understanding of the educational services each party can provide one another. The trip will entail selecting which Vietnamese universities best suited to SRU’s interests, as well as explaining what SRU has to offer to Vietnamese students.
The trip will be prefaced with a stop in Nanjing, China where SRU has already created a relationship similar to the one they seek to create with Vietnam. SRU and Nanjing University have exchanged several educational experiences within the past two years, including exchange students, faculty, and a trip to China comprised of SRU environmental science students. These kind of exchanges represent the possibilities Schimmel and the others hope to establish with Vietnam as well.
“Having arrangements that allow students to experience the realities of other countries will ultimately make their experience richer,” Schimmel said. “As part of a well-rounded liberal studies education, these experiences make students better, worldly individuals.”
If the trip is a success, the university hopes to be able to both send and receive students within the next year, for semester-long studies, short, discipline-specific trips as well as offer inter-cultural curriculum opportunities to students. The trip is slated to conclude in early November.
Through this program, SRU hopes to add Vietnam as another country students can experience through studying abroad or participating in one of the many trips planned each semester. This relationship with Vietnam Universities could become the newest part of the international study opportunities SRU provides.
The other four schools selected for this program were Ball State University, Marquette University, Northern Arizona University and Stetson University.