Francis Marion University’s International Studies Program will see a number of changes this semester, including adding a new university in Europe and a new co-coordinator.
Dr. Jon Tuttle, Professor of English and Co-Coordinator of International Studies, assumed the job of Coordinator a year ago when the former Coordinator, Jeannette Myers, became the Assistant Provost. Tuttle went to President Fred Carter and asked that his job be split in two: one Coordinator for incoming students and one Coordinator for outgoing students.
Dr. Mark Blackwell, Professor of Philosophy and Religious Studies, agreed to be the Co-Coordinator for outgoing students.
Tuttle visited the Universität of Koblenz-Landau, the newest of FMU’s eight International Studies partners, in July. The university is a two-towned campus; FMU students will exchange with the Landau campus.
Dr. Charles Jeffcoat, Professor of Visual Communication, will be the liaison between FMU and Universität of Koblenz-Landau.
Tuttle explains, unlike the Universität Trier and Facchochschule Schmalkalden, the other German universities FMU exchanges students with, studying German is not a requirement for studying abroad at the Universität of Koblenz-Landau.
“This gives (FMU students) another exchange opportunity in Germany without taking Germany language classes,” Tuttle said. “They’re courting English speaking students to take courses there. They’re very keen on that sort of thing…. Landau offers a lot of courses in English, not in every discipline, but in psychology, political science, and English literature.”
The campus in Landau is home to an interesting building, Tuttle noted. Political science is housed in an old building that once belonged to the grandfather of Anne Frank.
Starting next spring, FMU will begin sending students to the Universität of Koblenz-Landau. Students interested in studying at the university can start applying in September; the deadline for applications is October 1.
According to Tuttle, exchange universities are chosen carefully based on many factors.
“A number of factors go into it: the first of which is financial compatibility; we can’t send our students to areas where the cost of living is through the roof,” Tuttle said. We need to account for language of instruction being primarily English.”
Other factors taken into account by the International Studies Program are: the state of the facilities, relevant coursework and a functional administration.
The International Studies Program tries to keep the number of outgoing students close to the number of incoming students; however, this year, the ratio is 10-6.
On September 6 from 9 a.m.-12 p.m., the International Studies Program will hold “Exchange Exchange” in a tent outside of Founders Hall. There will be handouts and flyers featuring information on all of the campuses available for exchange. “Exchange Exchange” will give FMU students considering studying abroad the opportunity to meet exchange students from France and Germany.
In order to make foreign students’ time at FMU more enjoyable, Tuttle is interested in partnering exchange students with smart and responsible FMU students; he calls these students “point persons.”
Tuttle praised Carter’s vision for the study abroad program at FMU.
“President Carter is committed to helping our students broaden their horizons, and this program is very much a product of his creation,” Tuttle said.
Along with an application, an essay explaining why the student would like to study abroad is required. The application and essay are reviewed by the International Studies Committee; students accepted by the committee meet with the university’s liaison and begin preparing for a semester abroad.
Students interested in studying abroad are encouraged to visit the “Exchange Exchange” tent. Students are also welcome to stop by Tuttle’s office (FH 146) or Blackwell’s office (FH 154) for more information.