The Office of Global Education Initiatives, which supervises the Study Abroad Program, is expanding to recruit more students and offer more countries to visit.
OGEI takes on the duties of making agreements and partnerships with international schools, selecting and exchanging faculty internationally and working to acquire grants and scholarships for students looking to travel abroad. The office looks to streamline the process of allowing students to study abroad as well as make available new opportunities for students and faculty in global education.
“I think it’s a very rich experience for them and every student I’ve ever known that went [abroad] the way they talk, it just really changes them,” said Vice President for Institutional Advancement Sue Henderson. “[We’re] trying to make our students more marketable.”
In 2006, the Study Abroad office opened with only 46 students traveling. That number steadily grew over the years, with now more than 400 students, according to the Acting Director of Education Abroad, Mohamed Tabrani. With the help of OGEI, that number is expected to skyrocket in the next three years due to their aggressive marketing campaigns and efforts to garner new scholarships.
Since it opened in November 2011, OGEI has made close ties to many of the departments in the Queens College community, including Study Abroad, English as a Second Language, Student Affairs and Foreign Languages. Using these relationships, OGEI will coordinate a variety of interdisciplinary events for students and faculty looking for global studies.
OGEI works to make sure QC is not one of many CUNY schools lacking in the department of international education.
“We’re working to be the trailblazer at CUNY for international education,” said Director of the OGEI department, Helen Gaudette.
This deficit is partially due to recent budget- related constraints on CUNY. The next three years come with the promise of no budget cuts and with that may come additional opportunities for global learning both at QC and throughout CUNY.
Last year OGEI helped QC get accepted into The International Academic Partnership Program for Brazil and this year Baruch College is following the lead of QC and applying as well. In the short time that OGEI has operated, they have instituted new scholarships including the Ben-Gurion University scholarship, which awards $7,500 to four students looking to study abroad in Israel.
Additionally, QC is the only CUNY school to apply for the department of state capacity building grant, which awards approximately $1.8 million toward the development of undergraduate study abroad programs.
OGEI continues to work to keep global educations programs well-funded for students and faculty.