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Georgia Southern University earns $50,000 grant to expand international learning opportunities for freshmen

Georgia Southern University has been awarded a $50,000 grant from the University System of Georgia’s Board of Regents Office of International Education to develop the Global Citizens Initiative, a required seminar that is expected to increase freshman interest and participation in international programs. Georgia Southern University will pilot the new course in fall semester 2009, with full implementation of the course planned for spring semester 2010.

‘Georgia Southern University has always expressed a strong commitment to international education,” said Linda Bleicken, provost and vice president for academic affairs. ‘Once this new course is in place, we will have an academic structure to ensure that all students are exposed to the global experiences, such as study abroad and international internships, that can truly transform their entire undergraduate experience.”

‘The Global Citizens Initiative will inject global awareness and involvement in international initiatives for our first-year students,” said Chris Caplinger, director of First-Year Experience at Georgia Southern. ‘Following their first-semester seminar focused on first-year experiences, freshmen will enroll for a second-semester seminar focused on the relevance of a global perspective for living and working in the 21st century.”

One faculty member from each of Georgia Southern’s undergraduate colleges will serve on the team that will implement the Global Citizens Initiative at the institution. The task force, co-chaired by Nancy Shumaker, director of the Center for International Studies, and Caplinger, has already begun to develop objectives and desired learning outcomes for the course. Funding from the grant will support faculty training workshops, course development grants, and cross-cultural educational resources.

‘International learning opportunities are a major attraction for top students when considering where to go to college,” said Susan Davies, director of Admissions at Georgia Southern University.

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