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International Perspectives on Higher Education Program

innovative-new-program-study-abroadUSC Faculty & Staff Study Abroad Program
Dublin, Galway, and Limerick, Ireland 2015

Reflections from the 2013 program in Spain & France:

“Study abroad is now, to me, a pre-requisite for life.”
- Kathy Smiling, assistant dean of student services in the College of Hospitality, Retail, and Sport Management

“After this experience I have an added dimension to what I offer to the university.  We cannot hope to internationalize our students (and our university) and somehow leave out half the faculty and most of the staff.  There is plenty of need and opportunity to open the airplane hatchet wide and reap the benefits of sharing the experience and the responsibility.”
– Beth Busby, administrative coordinator for the International Business Department, Moore School of Business

See more on the program's official blog from Spring 2015 -
See more on the program's official blog from Spring 2014 -
See more on the program's official blog from Spring 2013 -

Program Details

Program Leaders:
Rachel Hardison, Associate Director, Study Abroad Office
Dottie Weigel, Ph.D., Assistant Director of Student Engagement and Service Learning

Travel Dates: March 6-14, 2014
Anticipated Number of Participants: 12-16
Program cost: $1,975 - includes hotel accommodation (double occupancy), in-country transportation, group excursions, breakfast daily adn two additional meals, insurance and itinerary items. Airfare is not included in the cost.

iconIPHE Flyer 2015

Increasing the University of South Carolina’s global competitiveness is a high priority in the University’s strategic plan known as Focus Carolina. The plan calls for doubling the number of students who participate in education abroad programs by 2015. A student’s decision to study abroad is rarely made alone but rather is encouraged and supported by friends and family, along with USC faculty, staff, and academic advisors.

USC Connect, the University’s Quality Enhancement Plan, emphasizes global learning and the integration of beyond the classroom experiences, like study abroad, into students’ academic careers. Faculty, staff, and academic advisors are essential to helping students integrate their in-class and beyond the classroom experiences.

Yet, it is essential that USC faculty, staff and advisors have their own international experiences that they can draw from when helping students foster connections between their coursework, international experiences, and future careers.  

Program & Outcomes: The International Perspectives on Higher Education professional development program will provide participants with a study abroad experience of their own in order to develop in them a deeper understanding of the value of international experiences for the students they work with. The ripple effect of their experiences also has the potential to impact the Carolina culture via their follow-on projects.

The program will provide participants with: 1) the ability to observe four typical study abroad sites in Ireland, each with integrated intern, leadership development, and service learning opportunities; 2) the opportunity to live the student study abroad experience while participating in a faculty-led study abroad program, gaining exposure to Irish culture; 3) a theoretical understanding of the differences between the higher education systems of the United States and Europe via a comparative, reflective approach; and 4) insight into how a faculty-led program operates "on the ground."

Follow-on Project: Following completion of this program, faculty/staff participants would be responsible for two or more of the following:
  • Exploring the process for developing a study abroad course that compliments their specific discipline or area of expertise.
  • Developing a plan, specific to their departments/offices, to encourage students to participate in study abroad and/or other global learning experiences.
  • Conducting a presentation(s) on their experience abroad (and the outcomes of that experience) for colleagues on campus. Alternatives may include writing a newsletter article, producing a short video, etc.
  • Becoming advocates for USC Connect/Global Learning/Integrative Learning/Education Abroad at USC.
  • Reflecting on their experience abroad to connect their learning beyond the classroom with their work at the University of South Carolina.
  • Proposing a project that would connect their overseas experiences specifically to their departments/job functions.
Program Fee: TBD. Program fee includes: accommodation (double occupancy), breakfast daily, some additional meals, group transfers, group excursions, and insurance. Program fee does not include airfare, additional meals, local transportation, personal expenses, and tips/gratuities.

Participant Eligibility Requirements:
To be eligible to participate in the program, an applicant must:
  • Be a faculty member or staff member currently employed by USC.
  • Have received the support of their supervisor/dean/department chair, to be confirmed as part of the application
  • Submit completed application materials to the Study Abroad Office by the posted deadline
The following individuals are strongly encouraged to apply:
  • Staff and faculty who have never been outside of the U.S., or have very limited experience out of the country.
  • Faculty who may be interested in developing a Global Classroom program.
  • Staff from student affairs or academic units whose work directly supports Focus Carolina/USC Connect. 
  • Faculty from academic departments that are underrepresented in education abroad at USC (see current statistics report for information on departmental representation).
Should the number of applications exceed program capacity, selection of participants will be based on the applicant’s statement of interest. Masters students in the Higher Education and Student Affairs program will be considered on space available basis.

To Apply

A complete application will include:

1) Online application (with confirmation email submitted to the Study Abroad Office)

2) Statement of interest with confirmation of departmental support (e.g. signature of supervisor/dean/department chair)

3) $350 non-refundable deposit (check or money order only made payable to USC).  Or, if being funded by his/her department, an intrainstitutional transfer memo may be submitted.  Contact the Study Abroad Office for more details.

The statement of interest should clearly convey the applicant’s: 1) motivations for participating in the program; 2) their goals for the program; and 3) how participation in this program will enhance their work on campus.

Completed applications must be submitted to the Study Abroad Office no later than 5:00 pm on November 1.

To Access the Online Application:

  • Log on to and create an account.
  • Go to APPLY FOR PROGRAM and search for the program. 
    • Select “USC – University of South Carolina” as Provider and “Spring Break” for Term. Apply Search.
    • Choose “Rachel Hardison and Dottie Weigel – International Perspectives on Higher Education Program," then click on "Apply."
    • Please note that (given the nature of the on-line system) some fields will not be applicable to you as a staff or faculty member. Please leave blank or type in N/A.
    • Please note that on-line pre-departure is not required, though if you would like to see what the students do feel free to complete all or part of it.
  • Complete and submit the program application online. Print the submission confirmation email and submit it to the Study Abroad Office along with statement of interest and program deposit.  Your application will not be complete until all three components have been turned in.
Let us know if you have any problems by emailing or by calling 803.777.7557.

More reflections from past participants:

“Study abroad has become a necessity for our students, as we see the world shrink, opportunities and jobs expand globally and competition grows with fierce determinism. The visit served to reinforce my opinion that these programs are among the best that our students can choose to learn languages and cultures on their study abroad ventures. ”
– Loren Knapp, associate professor in the biological sciences department - IPHE 2013 to Spain and France

“This was such a great learning experience and it feels great to have learning and cultural enrichment be valued and necessary parts of my job. It just made me more enthusiastic than ever to encourage students to study abroad.”
– Jay Pou, undergraduate student services, department of psychology - IPHE 2013 to Spain and France