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[Soph] Soph@News: Study Abroad and Intergroup Relations

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Villanova Named 2010 “University of the Year” by National Hispanic Institute (NHI) – Villanova University has been recognized by the National Hispanic Institute (NHI) as the organization’s 2010 “University of the Year.” The University was honored for its “unparalleled commitment to developing driven, community-conscious leaders” at NHI’s annual awards dinner, Celebracion on November 20 in San Antonio, Texas.  Stephen R. Merritt, Dean of Enrollment Management, accepted the award on behalf of the University.


One Book Villanova: Author Visit - Craig Mullaney is the author of this year’s One Book VillanovaThe Unforgiving Minute: A Soldier's Education. Mullaney will visit campus on Monday, January 31, 2011 for various events including book signings, a community dinner, and a keynote address where he will speak about his book and the stories behind it. The Unforgiving Minute is the extraordinary story of one soldier’s singular education. From a hilarious plebe’s-eye view of the West Point experience to the demanding leadership crucible of Ranger School’s swamps and mountains, to a two-year academic whirlwind at Oxford, Mullaney’s winding path to the battlegrounds of Afghanistan was unique and remarkable.


Winter Break – The fall semester is over and winter break has arrived! Classes resume on January 10, 2011. Have a happy and healthy holiday and a wonderful New Year!


FEATURED: Villanova Study Abroad…

One out of every three students in 2009's graduating class had studied abroad as part of their Villanova University education.


Villanova’s Office of International Studies provides students with the opportunity to experience the world beyond the borders of our campus and country. Their focus is on student learning, and their goal is to provide programming that will allow students to become immersed in their host culture.


Villanova’s study abroad program is nationally recognized for having one of the highest percentage rates for total students who studied abroad. The dozens of different programs and fantastic support from the Office of International Studies is what makes this possible. A popular time for students to study abroad is during their Junior year, and current sophomores who are interested, should start thinking about this once-in-a-lifetime experience!


In 2009-2010, Villanova students were in 31 different nations on 25 different programs.


The all-important first step for students is to sign up for an appointment at the Office of International Studies (OIS). At these sessions, students will learn from a member of the OIS staff everything they need to know about studying overseas: costs, credit transfer, safety issues, types of programs, etc. At this meeting, students are also given an application checklist which outlines the steps they need to take to be able to study abroad.


At the initial information session, the most important requirement OIS imparts on students is the need to articulate a skill that they want to develop while studying overseas. This skill can be academic (directed studies in a major, minor, language acquisition); professional (internships, service learning); or even personal (artistic talent, or 'something I just can't study at 'Nova'). This skill becomes the lodestone as the OIS staff work with students to identify a program that best meets their needs.

In this regard, as a parent you can be most helpful. Encourage your student to think of overseas study not as a vacation but as another aspect of their education. The Office's unofficial motto is 'We are not a travel agency,' and this is particularly true as the students are going through the process of selecting a program. Students that center their program wishes around geography--choosing destinations by country and not by program strengths--are selling themselves short and missing an opportunity to develop holistically, both personally and academically. By helping your student frame this opportunity in terms of the 'skill question,' you ensure that the experience is (as mentioned earlier) an extension of, not a break from, a Villanova University education.

The OIS works with programs that are located in virtually every country in the world. This means that students literally can go anywhere. Again, because of this flexibility, it is especially important that students not think of study abroad in terms of geography.

The only exception to the 'geography question' occurs when the State Department suggests otherwise. Villanova University students cannot study in countries receiving a 'State Department Travel Warning' label. 


Students from 37 different majors across all four colleges studied abroad in 2009-2010.


All students regardless of major can study overseas. In addition, because financial aid transfers with the student, all students regardless of financial need can study overseas.

Like its peer institutions, Villanova University maintains a 'home tuition policy,' meaning that students that study overseas during the semester and/or year are charged Villanova University tuition.


Villanova University manages 18 international summer programs in 12 countries.


Does your sophomore not want to miss out on a whole year or semester at Villanova? The University also sponsors International Summer Programs in Europe, Asia, Africa, and Latin America. These summer programs are fantastic opportunities to get the study abroad experience, while not missing out on any time at Villanova!

These summer programs are intensive language, literature and civilization programs, Villanova School of Business programs, or area studies programs. VU summer programs are directed by Villanova University Faculty Program Coordinators (FPC) from all academic disciplines and departments, who can provide your student with more information on each particular program!


Deadlines and more information!

The deadline for study abroad in the fall semester & for the summer programs is Friday, February 25th 2011. All fall & summer paperwork must be submitted to the OIS by this deadline to be considered eligible for fall & summer 2011 study abroad.

OIS will host a VU Summer Programs study abroad fair on Wednesday, January 19th, from 10am-2pm in Bartley Atrium! Encourage your sophomore to attend if he/she might be interested in any Summer programs!

For all additional International Studies information, programs, forms, frequently asked questions, and contact information please visit http://www.villanova.edu/vpaa/intlstudies/


Looking Ahead…

Diversity Dialogue Program At Villanova - At Villanova we talk a lot about the idea of community.  Intergroup Relations (IGR@VU) is a process designed to help us all deepen our commitment to an authentic community experience for everyone on campus. IGR takes place at colleges and universities across the country and encourages students to sit together and explore their differences, their commonalties, and their unique perspectives on the world. 


At Villanova, Intergroup Relations is designed through a social justice education course in which students come to understand their role and obligation to live purposefully as global citizens within a diverse world.   IGR@VU is developed on the foundational belief that it is only through a process of sustained and meaningful dialogue that people will understand and work through cultural misunderstandings, personal differences, and obdurate conflicts.  Through self-reflection, identity exploration, and other experiential educational tools, students learn how symbolically constructed social categories play a key role in stereotyping, cross-cultural mistrust and misunderstanding.   They will also learn how social structures such as schools, neighborhoods, and health care institutions play a role in allocating privilege and sustaining societal inequities.


Next semester, Villanova is offering a special learning experience that would greatly benefit our sophomores, designed to create small conversation groups that will engage in substantial sustained dialogue among diverse groups of students.  Students involved will have the opportunity to learn cutting edge material from dynamic professors, to participate in diverse conversation groups, and to go on a special weekend retreat experience.  The class is designed to prepare students to create dialogues in situations where understanding and listening are needed. There will be a focus on creating understanding relationships among students from different social, economic, racial and ethnic groups. We believe that the skills learned in the course will enable students to create dialogues about a variety of issues, with their families, their friends, in the classroom or residence hall room, or with a group project.  We will pilot the program in the Spring with the goal of rolling out a full program in the near future.




From all of us in Student Life at Villanova, HAPPY HOLIDAYS!

Thanks for being a part of the inaugural semester of Soph@News! We’ll see you in 2011 when we will continue to bring you news, features, and opportunities for the parents of the Class of 2013! Happy Holidays and Happy New Year!


This posting is part of an e-mail news service for parents and friends of Villanova's class of 2013.  To subscribe to this service, send an e-mail to majordomo@news.villanova.edu.  The text of your message should include two words: “subscribe soph”.  To stop receiving messages, send an e-mail to the same address with the words: “unsubscribe soph”. 

No official news or policy statements are included in this service.  The postings provide supplemental background information for parents and friends of the class.  While the information is as accurate as possible, all information is subject to change without notice.  Please do not reply to these postings.   If you have specific questions, contact the appropriate office at Villanova University or email the Parents' Website at parents@villanova.edu.  See www.parents.villanova.edu  for phone numbers and further information about Villanova.