Study abroad in the U.S?

Imagine having the chance to study abroad without paying more than what tuition costs at Northern Kentucky University. Administrators are trying to make that a reality.

SGA recently sent out a survey to students about the possibility of adding one dollar to each student’s tuition to set aside additional money for the study abroad program. The money would help make studying abroad be more available to students by creating scholarships and financial aid.

According to Gail Wells, vice president of Academic Affairs and provost, only about 200 students have studied abroad in the past school year.

The subject of studying abroad was just one of the topics discussed during the Visions Values Voices (VVV3) meeting held Nov. 16.

According to NKU’s Web site, VVV3 started in 1997 and was meant to shape the NKU strategic agenda based on the mission and values of the university community. VVV3 is made up of a panel of students, faculty, staff, alumni and administrators. President James Votruba led the discussion in the meeting.

Administrators brought up suggestions during the VVV3 meeting focusing on exposing students to different cultures without a heavy lump sum of money attached to it.

“Not all students will be able to afford to study abroad,” Votruba said. “However there’s opportunity for programs that expose students to very different cultural settings right here in the U.S.”

The idea was to create programs for students to ‘travel abroad’ in the United States, so it can lower the cost and students will still be open to other cultures. Some suggested places were New York, California and Florida. However, Votruba said the university will explore that issue and more need-based financial aid will be set aside for it.

Votruba is trying to create more of a global perspective by recruiting international students, creating more partnerships with international universities and analyzing how global perspectives can be part of the university’s curriculum, particularly in general education.

“Internationalizing our campus is a high priority for both myself and the board of regents,” Votruba said. “We need to ensure we’re producing students with global perspectives.”