International Studies & Programs


Funding for innovative education abroad programs

Up to $5,000 available for unique new programs directed by MSU faculty or the reinvention of existing faculty-directed programs

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Published: Wednesday, 12 Feb 2020 Author: Cheryl Ann Benner

Michigan State University has a long history of successful faculty-directed education abroad programming dating back to the 1950s. In an era of Flat Rate Tuition implementation and increased pressure for students to complete their degree in four years, an opportunity exists for MSU to re-envision faculty-directed programming abroad.

Through the new Faculty-Directed Education Abroad Program Innovation Fund, the Office for Education Abroad will provide up to $5,000 for faculty-directed programming that delivers high-quality experiences at affordable costs while facilitating students’ academic degree completion. 

The funds will support the development of unique, new faculty-directed education abroad programs or the significant revision/redevelopment of existing faculty-directed programs. Travel to examine a site’s suitability for an innovative program, attendance at a relevant conference to explore creative ideas, and implementation of new technologies are examples of the appropriate uses of these funds.

According to Opal Leeman Bartzis, executive director of the Office for Education Abroad, faculty-directed programming is one of the main reasons the university has an almost unparalleled reputation for high-quality international education. She hopes this innovation fund will remove financial barriers that may prevent faculty from actively exploring their new program ideas.

"Given its broad scope for use, this innovation fund may prompt examination of new instructional techniques, transdisciplinary curriculum design and unexpected cross-campus collaborations," says Bartzis. "It may also encourage the participation of diverse student populations through re-imagined content and recruitment."

Bartzis further said that the anticipation of new, revamped and reinvigorated programs that will result from the combination of this financial support and faculty creativity will strengthen education abroad as a student success strategy.

For more details about eligibility, how to submit a proposal, and how the review process will work, see the Faculty-Directed Education Abroad Program Innovation Fund webpage.

Proposals will be accepted until August 1, 2020.