JANUARY 16, 2008

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Two state universities create study abroad programs

Two of Oklahoma’s regional universities have created new programs that will help their students and faculty study abroad.

East Central University in Ada has established a study abroad program and exchange program with two sister universities in Ukraine and Russia. Northeastern State University in Tahlequah will host a study abroad program in China.

Photo of ECU President Rafes at a table with president of a college in Ukraine.
Signing an agreement establishing an exchange program for their students and faculty are East Central University President Richard Rafes (left) and Galik Artemchuk, the rector, or president, of Kiev National University of Linguistics in Kiev, Ukraine. Rafes signed a similar agreement with the State University of Management in Moscow, Russia. The Frederick Remington sculpture was a gift from the ECU president.

For ECU, its international educational exchange program was established through agreements with Kiev National University of Linguistics in Kiev, Ukraine, and State University of Management in Moscow, Russia.

ECU entered into a bi-lateral agreement that allows ECU students to pay ECU’s tuition, fees and housing costs while studying at either university, said Dr. Scott Barton, dean of ECU’s College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences.

Students from all majors can apply for the exchange program. Courses in Russia will be taught in English.

“The goal is to have a one-to-one exchange, but that will be over a three-year period,” said Scott Barton, dean of ECU’s College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences. “During the first three years I would like ECU to send five to 10 students to Russia and Ukraine for semester-long exchanges.”

The agreement also allows ECU faculty to teach in Ukraine or Russia, and professors from those universities to teach at ECU. The agreements call for the universities to exchange educational materials and publications from their libraries, provide housing for exchange students, and housing and office space for faculty members.

ECU students who enroll at the State University of Management in Moscow are required to have an intermediate knowledge level of the Russian language. They may enroll in up to four courses at SUM, provided all necessary prerequisites have been met.

For NSU, its College of Business & Technology will host a study abroad program in China this summer.

This program is a blend of volunteer work for the U.S. Olympic Committee at the Beijing Games and the opportunity to learn about China, its culture, economy and business practices. Limited spots are available for the two sessions scheduled July 20 through Aug. 9, or Aug. 4 through 24.

“This is a once-in-lifetime opportunity for students and faculty to visit China during the 2008 Olympics,” said Dr. David Pan, associate professor of marketing and trip sponsor. “Students have the opportunity to earn university credit while exploring the culture of China and experiencing first-hand the operational efforts of the Beijing Olympic Games.”

Student participants will help U.S. athletes compete by serving as volunteers at the U.S. Olympic Committee’s training center in Beijing for two weeks, then travel to U.S. and Chinese businesses, universities and cultural centers.

University faculty may also participate in the program, which includes the Olympic experience, study tour and an opportunity to present at a Beijing Scholar Forum. Educators also have the opportunity to meet faculty from some of China’s great universities, such as Shanghai Jiaotong University and Oceanic University of China in Qingdao.

Contacts: Amy Ford, ECU, (580) 559-5725; Sean Michael Kennedy, NSU, (918) 444-2897