KSU’s study abroad program, “Around the World in 80 Days,” received a national award late last month for its innovations in globalization.
The Association of International Education Administrators recognized the unique program with its 2017 Innovation Award in Internationalization. The program, launched in in fall 2016, allowed 11 students to visit four countries — each on a different continent — within the span of 87 days. Students visited Italy, Morocco, Australia and Cuba, each for about 20 days.
“We are grateful that this unique program has caught the attention of national organizations like AIEA and we will continue to develop new, innovative approaches to international education,” said Dr. Lance Askildson, vice provost for Global Affairs and chief international officer.
The AIEA, based at Duke University, highlights leaders in international higher education from more than 450 colleges.
“AIEA recognizes KSU for this project especially because of its effectiveness and for the connections it establishes among the administrative and academic silos,” the association said in a press release.
The program was inspired by a different two-week education abroad program Askildson led through France, Monaco and Switzerland in spring 2015. It is one of a few similar programs offered throughout the nation and focuses on exposing students to multiple countries through a singular experience.
“It took months of logistical planning to make it all come together, but I think the results speak for themselves,” Askildson said.
He said students gained an understanding of very diverse cultures, as well as a better understanding of themselves.
“Studying abroad is one of the most rewarding things you can do as a college student,” Askildson said. “This is the best time in your life to explore the world and broaden your horizons.”
The cost per student was an estimated $11,000. Students could apply for financial aid and receive scholarships, such as the Global Learning Scholarship, accessible to students in good academic standing.
“International experiences like the ‘Around the World in 80 Days’ program are more accessible than you may believe,” Askildson said.
Currently, revisions are being made to the program, and Askildson hopes it can be offered again during the 2017-2018 academic year. For more information on other education abroad programs offered at KSU, students can go to http://dga.kennesaw.edu/educationabroad/.