GW plans to earmark funds for the development of new study abroad programs for underrepresented majors, an idea stemming from the Innovation Task Force.
The amount GW will spend has not yet been determined, Robert Hallworth, director of GW’s Office for Study Abroad, said, but the money will be used to create at least three new programs.
Additional funding will also allow for more scholarships and increased partnerships with external exchange programs.
By expanding its network of affiliated programs, the University hopes to allow more students in traditionally underrepresented majors – such as science, mathematics, and engineering-related fields – greater opportunities for studying abroad, Hallworth said.
The idea to expand study abroad programs came from the Innovation Task Force, a group focused on opportunities for funding academic programs over the next five years.
D.C. government caps the number of students able to study and live on both the Foggy Bottom and Mount Vernon campuses at one time. By offering incentives for students to study abroad, the University can admit additional students who offer tuition revenue.
“The ITF Committee expressed their enthusiasm for the innovative capacity of study abroad programs as part of a degree,” Hallworth said. “The resulting initiatives incorporate a number of projects that seek to increase participation in study abroad.”
New programs will include study in Africa, international business in Argentina, and an Israeli cultural studies program hosted at Tel Aviv University.
Scholarships for students opting to study abroad will also increase, with qualified recipients slated to receive $3,000 in aid.
Students will still be able to apply for existing scholarships as well as use their financial aid awards for their tuition abroad.
“The new program offerings were designed, in part, to expand opportunities for students in underrepresented fields,” Hallworth said. “Currently, nearly half of GW undergraduates study abroad at some point and we hope these initiatives will make that percentage even higher.”
All new programs will be phased into the study abroad options over the next two years, Hallworth said.