KSU uses international partnerships to expand study abroad programs

Taylor Meade

Kent State continues to create more study abroad experiences by expanding their international partnerships for students.

Sarah Malcolm, director of International Partnerships, Marketing and Communications, said the university’s partners are extremely diverse.

“We have partnerships that range from two faculty members doing research together to an extensive partnership like we have with Webster University,” Malcolm said.

The most common partnerships is because of two faculty members, one from Kent State and one from another university working together to be able to apply for research grants, Malcolm said.

“Surprisingly a lot of those (partnerships) do come out of a faculty relationship and then turn into a student exchange program,” Malcolm said.

In order for the partnership to be formalized, an application needs to be completed depending on whether the partnership is internal, proposed by a Kent State faculty member or external, when another university reaches out Malcolm said. If the university believes the partnership will be viable, a memorandum of agreement will be drafted.

Kent State recently signed a partnership with Webster allowing its students to attend Kent State’s Florence campus.

Guillermo Rodriguez, director of International Projects and Study Abroad at Webster, said Italy is the second most popular destination for students who are going abroad.

“Webster’s goal is to provide students with opportunities all across the world,” Rodriguez said. “Having this association with Kent State will allow students who go on a short term basis to use the facilities of Kent State.”

Rodriguez said the university offers faculty-led programs to Florence, specifically in the art department, every two years.

Webster had interest in expanding its partnerships into Florence but never actively pursued it, Rodriguez said. After Kent State decided to partner with Webster’s Geneva campus a few years ago, Webster started to consider partnering with Kent State’s Florence campus.

Ediz Kaykayoglu, assistant director of Education Abroad, said faculty, location and quality of the project are important when choosing partnerships.

“We partner with other universities for the quality aspect of the services for our students or for the partners,” Kaykayoglu said.

Kent State students could spend a summer, semester or year at an international partners’ campuses regardless of their major or minor, Kaykayoglu said. With these international partners, students have the option to exchange places while paying Kent State tuition.

Kent State also has an exchange agreement with the International Student Exchange Partners (ISEP).

“For example, they (ISEP) are helping us with sending our students to South Korea for International Storytelling,” Kaykayoglu said.

To learn more about the different international partnerships available at Kent State, visit http://www.kent.edu/globaleducation/list-partners.

Contact Taylor Meade at [email protected].