|April 14, 2005
Mike Stepanovich, 661/664-2456 or
Representatives from all 23 California State University campuses will converge on California State University, Bakersfield on Thursday and Friday, April 21-22, to discuss expanding the CSU’s study-abroad programs during the CSU Academic Council on International Programs annual meeting.
The CSU has exchange affiliations with more than 50 universities in 18 countries that allow students to study abroad for a year for CSU resident credit. The International Program provides international academic opportunities within the framework of a CSU degree program.
“One of the great benefits of this program is that students pay their regular CSU fees while attending one of the overseas universities the CSU has partnerships with,” said Mark Martinez, CSUB political science professor, the CSUB International Programs representative and statewide faculty chair for the CSU International Programs. “So they earn resident credit for all overseas work. Additionally, campus financial aid is applicable for program participants.
International Program staff assist students in arranging details of their year abroad, including academic planning, transportation, visas and housing, he said. Once overseas, students receive assistance from a CSU resident director or local staff.
Martinez said the meeting will address the temporary closure of two sites where CSU students have attended in the past – Israel and Zimbabwe. He said the sites were closed due to safety concerns in the Mideast in the case of Israel, and due to civil unrest in Zimbabwe. The CSU hopes to reopen the sites in the future.
Prospective sites the council may consider include in India and on the continent of Africa, in particular Ghana and South Africa, he said. Also on the agenda is a review of affiliations in Canada, Chile, China and Taiwan.
Martinez also said he hopes to address the low participation rate among CSUB students in the program. Typically, 80 to 100 students apply for the International Program at other campuses. For the coming year, only three have applied from CSUB.
“This is a wonderful program that enhances our students’ education in so many different ways – learning languages, interacting with other cultures, and gaining international experience that provides an edge when competing for a job,” he said.
For more information about the CSU’s International Programs, please call Martinez at (661) 664-2352.