Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Duke University - Abroad View Foundation Sponsor

Why Duke University Supports The Abroad View Foundation

  • Duke is pleased to be one of the founding Sponsors of the Abroad View Foundation and considers Study Abroad to be a major part of its campus internationalization.

Duke University

The Duke Philosophy of Internationalization:

In 2004 Duke University was selected as one of the first five recipients of the Senator Paul Simon Award for Campus Internationalization by NAFSA: Association of International Educators. The Duke philosophy of internationalization is that every aspect of Duke should be international in concept and character.

Internationalization is not seen as a specific or discrete set of activities or units, but as an integral part of Duke's effort to become a world-class institution in all its endeavors, and thereby to better serve the world of which it is a part. A section of the 2007 Duke strategic plan, Making a Difference notes that: "the internationalization of the region (the Raleigh/Durham/Chapel Hill area) echoes ever increasing globalization in many other areas, and global challenges now have consequences for our daily lives in ways we never before imagined. Engagement in these local and global communities provides exceptional opportunities for teaching and learning and for connecting knowledge to real world problems. Duke, therefore, gives high priority to reaching beyond its campus and to strengthening local, regional, and international partnerships."

In many respects Duke already represents a model of the internationalized research university. Almost fifty percent of Duke undergraduates study abroad. Foreign language and international courses are a requirement of Duke's core curriculum and 18 languages are taught on campus including Persian, Turkish and Arabic. One third of Duke's graduate and professional students are international. Duke has six federally-funded Title VI international centers and foreign area studies centers, at the top of the rankings for private research universities. More than 400 international post-doctoral fellows carry out research at Duke every year. All of Duke's professional schools are also engaged in international activities. Duke faculty and graduate students work in partnership with over 300 institutions worldwide. Duke has international alumni clubs in 41 countries throughout the world.

Enhancing the Study Abroad Experience and Curriculum Integration Effort:

While facilitating quality study abroad experiences remains the chief mission of the Office of Study Abroad (OSA) (, OSA, together with the Vice Provost of Undergraduate Education and Dean of Trinity College, initiated a Curriculum Integration effort in 2004 that continues as an on-going effort to enhance the undergraduate study abroad experience. By establishing departmental liaisons between the OSA and academic departments on campus we are working to link study abroad more closely to the Duke curriculum so that students view their study abroad experience as an integral component of their four year academic plan at Duke rather than something unrelated to this plan.

The OSA has established $25,000 in funding for summer research fellowships to plan and conduct summer projects inspired by and based on academic study abroad experiences. Priority is given to students whose projects will serve as a foundation for a senior distinction project in their majors. More information about this effort may be found at:

DukeEngage and Duke Global Health Institute:

Two major new initiatives at Duke highlight the innovative and interdisciplinary approach to internationalization at Duke.

Firstly, DukeEngage: In one of the most ambitious efforts of its kind in U.S. higher education, Duke University announced in February 2007 that it had committed an initial amount of $30 million to provide funding and faculty support to all undergraduates who want to apply their classroom learning to addressing societal issues at home and abroad for a summer or a semester. In addition to tackling real-world problems, the students will develop the valuable skills and self-knowledge that result from an immersive service experience. During the summer of 2007 DukeEngage launched seven pilot programs with over 80 Duke students participating. Of the seven programs, five were international; in Yemen, the Ukraine, Kenya (2) and India.

The second example is the new Duke Global Health Institute (DGHI), launched in 2007. The Duke Global Health Institute works to reduce health disparities both in the local Durham community and worldwide. Recognizing that many global health problems stem from economic, social, environmental, political and health care inequalities, the Duke Global Health Institute brings together interdisciplinary teams from schools and departments throughout the University to work with partners to solve highly complex health problems and to train the next generation of global health scholars.

DGHI will develop an undergraduate major in global health, work with the Duke Career Center to offer undergraduate global health career counseling, establish masters and doctoral programs in global health, add a third-year global health track for medical students and promote campus activism, advocacy and service. In research, DGHI will assist current Duke projects in global health and develop a focused portfolio of new research initiatives on priority topics such as HIV/AIDS and other emerging infections, obesity, environmental health and the interrelationship of gender health and poverty.

DGHI's goal is to make Duke "the" destination for scholars and practitioners in global health, as well as the producer of the next generation of global health experts and leaders. DGHI’s service efforts will show Duke's commitment to providing practical and sustainable solutions to global health problems. DGHI’s website can be found at

The richness of the all international aspects of Duke University can be found at Duke’s Global Gateway website:

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Panajachel, Lake Atitlan, Guatemala

Panajachel, Lake Atitlan, Guatemala
View of Lake Atitlan and volcano from my apartment balcony in Panajachel. Taken by Catherine Todd June 2008.