Exchange Exchange

Exchange+Exchange

Photo by: Hannah Lyles

Tuttle discusses the International Studies Program with students.

Justin McGee, Senior Copy Editor

Students who attended FMU’s first Exchange-Exchange event this past Thursday were exposed to information about all of FMU’s International Studies partner institutions. The event also served as social hub between domestic and European students studying at FMU.

From 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. on Thursday, Sept. 6, 2012, under a blue tent on the Founders Hall lawn, Co-coordinators of the International Studies Program Drs. Jon Tuttle and Mark Blackwell, Professor of English and Professor of Philosophy and Religious Studies respectively, handed out flyers, booklets and applications and spoke individually to students about studying abroad. Additionally, European exchange students were at the tent to discuss their home universities and countries with FMU students.

Tuttle explained that the Exchange Exchange event is not just about putting students on a plane next semester, but it is also important for stimulating interest for future travelers.

“The point of the Exchange Exchange is to start creating waves of interest and awareness and let people know it’s there so that, even if they can’t study abroad next semester, maybe they can next year, or the year after that,” Tuttle said.

Although freshmen are not eligible to study abroad, Tuttle used the Exchange Exchange event to meet and speak to individual freshmen that could potentially be FMU pilgrims in the next few years.

Tuttle and Blackwell spoke to interested students of different ages, majors and classifications about participating in the International Studies Program, but Tuttle says that as long as there are a few students that follow through with this interest, the event will have been a success.

“If we get maybe four or five or six more people going abroad each semester, not hundreds, not dozens, just five or six good students, then it’s worth it,” Tuttle said. “And as the years go by the traffic will increase and maybe we’ll be talking dozens. That’s the point.”

The flyers listed FMU’s partnerships in five countries: Canada, England, France, Germany and Ireland. The university has multiple partnerships in France (Université de Caen Basse-Normandie in Caen and ESCEM School of Business and Management in Poitiers) and Germany (Universität Trier in the Rhineland-Palatinate and Facchochschule Schmalkalden in Thuringia).

In addition FMU’s partner universities, FMU also has a special arrangement with Coastal Carolina University that gives FMU students the opportunity to study at universities in Australia, Ecuador, England, France, Germany and Japan. Also, Coastal Carolina University’s exchange partnerships in England, France and Germany are at different universities than FMU’s partnerships in those countries, which offers students a considerably bigger selection of foreign universities.

According to Tuttle and Blackwell, taking advantage of FMU’s International Exchange Program is a direct way to expand a student’s intellectual horizons.

Tuttle emphasized the fact that spending a semester studying at one of FMU’s partner institutions is no more costly than normal tuition and housing at FMU for a semester.

“… We want to make sure [students] know that studying in England or France or Germany isn’t necessarily any more expensive than staying at FMU,” Tuttle said.

Those with questions about studying abroad and those interested in participating in the International Studies Program can stop by Tuttle’s office (FH 146) or Blackwell’s office (FH 154). Further information for students and faculty can be found on the International Studies Program’s webpage: http://www.fmarion.edu/academics/exchange_programs.