Successful First Year for
Abroad at AU Program
EFFORTS TO INTERNATIONALIZE further AU's campus received
a big boost in August 2005 when the university welcomed its first
class of Abroad at AU students. Representing 18 universities in
12 countries, the 20 Abroad at AU participants made a quick
impression last fall, getting involved with activities as diverse as
interning for members of Congress to volunteering for an international
classroom project with Washington, D.C. public schools.
True to the objective of the new program, they fully integrated
into campus life.
Nine of the 20 students are spending the full academic
year at AU and 20 new Abroad at AU students have joined
them for the spring 2006 semester. Last fall, the group's core
course was "What is America?" taught by Professor Allan
Lichtman. "The course included a mix of students from other
nations and from the United States," Dr. Lichtman said. "I was
extremely impressed with the foreign students, who showed an
extraordinary ability to grasp several centuries of American history
along with critical aspects of contemporary life in this country.
Although the entire class performed extremely well, the students
from overseas outperformed the students from the United States."
The group's core course this spring is "How Washington Works"
taught by Professor Kimberly Cowell-Meyers.
Beyond these two classes, Abroad at AU students select
courses from AU's undergraduate curriculum. While enrolled in
the core courses together and engaging in some activities - such as meeting former President Jimmy Carter and exploring
the U.S. Capitol and Mount Vernon -- as a group, the students
live with AU students in different dorms and each has a distinct
course load. Three Abroad at AU students have on-line blogs
to document their U.S. experiences. Romain Brunet's blog is
hosted by the well-known French newspaper, LeMonde.
To date, AU has concluded agreements with nearly 50
overseas universities -- including most recently with Nanjing
University in China and the University of Toronto in Canada.
Outreach and recruitment for the 2006-07 program have been
extensive. Since September, Abroad at AU staff have visited
universities throughout Asia, Europe, and the Middle East to
meet with administrators and hold information sessions for
students. The application deadline for Abroad at AU's
2006-07 program is March 15, 2006; materials can be
found at Abroad at AU's website.