Colorado State University’s International Field Experience Program expanded to 50 groups and 265 total participants in 2009 – triple the number since 2006.
The program is part of International Education, which differs from CSU Study Abroad. International Education facilitates individual and group travel around the world to participate in a variety of research opportunities, conferences and internships. All participants in university-related programs are required to go through a review process and orientation to ensure safe travel and to assist the university in tracking their activities.
“Departments from across the entire university have designed or sponsored International Field Experiences – it is part of our goal to ensure that Colorado State students have opportunities for international experiences before they graduate, and not all of them will be directly related to for-credit courses,” said Martha Denney, director of International Education at Colorado State.
“Clearly, faculty members on campus are encouraging their students to look beyond their own backyards and work to make a difference in the world, and we believe it is possible to encourage safe and responsible programs even in the face of more uncertainty,” Denney said.
Student Learning Involvement and Student Engagement (SLiCE), Engineers without Borders and faculty from Horticulture, Foreign Languages and Literatures, Journalism, Environmental Health, among others, regularly take students on group service and learning programs abroad for periods of time from one to six weeks.
Through the Office of International Programs, more than $200,000 has been allocated to support international efforts at CSU. Funding opportunities for CSU staff, faculty and students include faculty research travel grants, international field experience grants, grants to host an international conference, study abroad scholarships, and grants to support relationship-building with key institutional partners identified by the international programs office.
In 2008, NAFSA: Association of International Educators recognized Colorado State University – one of eight U.S. colleges or universities – for its campus internationalization efforts. Colorado State was one of only two land-grant research universities profiled in a report titled "Internationalizing the Campus 2008: Profiles of Success at Colleges and Universities," published by NAFSA.
For more information on CSU’s International Education programs, go to http://wsprod.colostate.edu/cwis30/2007/international_ed/index.asp.