Funding approved for 10 international study trips

Phaze Roeder, Staff Writer

The Institute of International Studies at Missouri Southern has announced a list of 10 study abroad trips that will receive department funding in 2016.

The study abroad trips that were approved are as follows: Community Health in the British Virgin Islands, Law and Order: United Kingdom Edition, Summer Study Abroad to Spain, Literary Paris, The Lasting Geographical Influence of Enlightenment Age London, Contemporary Art & Design of the United Kingdom, Psychological Behavior and Culture in Belize, General Biology and Hiking in Costa Rica, Ghana: Africa’s Emerging Economy, and Art Department Summer in Sweden.

A total of 14 trips were proposed. Trip leaders made question and answer presentations to a selection committee on Oct. 21. The Q&A gave the committee members a chance to ask for more details on grant proposals that had been submitted earlier in the month. This year is the first time the committee has held the Q&A meeting.

“This year is the first year we did the interviews. In prior years we based our decision solely on applications,” said Dr. Chad Stebbins, director of the Institute of International Studies.

“Dr. [Paula] Carson [vice president for academic affairs and provost] recommended the Q&A so in case we, as the International Grants Committee, had any questions for faculty, we could bring them in and ask them directly,” Stebbins added.

The budget available for study abroad trips was approximately $145,000, a consistent number for the past five years, but with such high demand for funds this year, cuts had to be made. Of the 10 trips that were approved, half have not been offered before.

“The committee had a hard decision and decided not to fund the ones that went several years in a row. Additionally, all five of the individual students who applied for study abroad grants were approved and got $1,250 a piece, so that comes out of that $145,000 pool as well, and we set money aside for students who may apply during round two in January,” Stebbins said.

Carson announced her approval of the committee’s recommendation on Oct. 30.

Dustin Faulstick, assistant professor of English and faculty leader for the Literary Paris trip, is thrilled to be able to offer this opportunity to his students in the spring.

“I first visited Paris as a college student, and I was struck most by the differences between US and French concepts of time,” said Faulstick. “They take time to enjoy what they’re doing, and they’re rewarded with an identity that isn’t defined by being busy or by what they do to make money … I hope that the students find their own reasons to fall in love with Paris, France.”

Faulstick added that as of Nov. 11, nine students have enrolled in the English course for the spring, with eight of those students showing interest in the excursion to Paris.

The International Grants Committee included Stebbins, Carson, and a faculty representative and the dean of each of the four schools of Arts and Sciences, Business, Education and Health Science.