MVC program lacks applicants

A lack of interest in the new GW World Community study abroad program, which requires students to live at the Mount Vernon Campus, has forced the University to extend the application deadline a month past the original Feb. 12 date, MVC Executive Dean Grae Baxter said.

GW officials created the program last month after they realized construction delays would make it impossible to house students at Mount Vernon in a 100-room Somers Hall expansion in August. Students who join the program will enter the expansion next spring.

The program’s organizers said luring students to Mount Vernon is the biggest obstacle to filling the program’s 100 spaces.

“Mount Vernon is our biggest hurdle,” said Donna Scarboro, director of summer, special and international programs.

Scarboro said 60 students, mostly from Mount Vernon, applied by the deadline.

Other students said they lost interest in the program when they found out the residence stipulation.

“When I saw the flier and it said I would have to live at Mount Vernon, I threw it away,” sophomore Kyaeira Mistretta said. “It’s basically an inconvenience thing that made me disinterested.”

“When my friends on the Foggy Bottom Campus saw that they had to live at Mount Vernon, they were completely turned off,” said freshman Kelly Keehan, a Mount Vernon resident who applied for the program.

Baxter said she does not understand how students “would not want to take advantage of this fabulous experience.”

The program is open to rising sophomores, juniors and seniors. Participants will receive a stipend and priority registration.

Freshman Gemma Torcivia, a Mount Vernon resident, said the program was not publicized enough.

“The project seemed really last minute and there wasn’t very good advertising for it – even on the Mount Vernon campus,” Torcivia said.

Keehan said she is eager to join the GW World Community and glad GW included rising sophomores in the program.

“It’s a great opportunity to go abroad and learn new languages,” Keehan said. “First-semester sophomores don’t usually get the chance to go abroad and this program gives us that opportunity.”

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