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St. Norbert College students can choose from study-abroad programs in more than 50 countries.

Federal Grant Funds New Opportunities in Mexico for SNC Business Students

A grant from the United States Department of State will help give business students at St. Norbert the chance to take part in an international case competition in Mexico.

The Increase & Diversify Education Abroad for U.S. Students (IDEAS) Program is providing $33,292 to build the global-seminar pilot, launching in January 2024.

New partnership, new opportunities
Business professors Joy Pahl and Gerry Aase will lead the new Getting Down to Business seminar, developing the experience with a new Mexican partner for SNC, Universidad Panamericana (UP) in Aguascalienties. UP has an international reputation for the quality of its case competitions: contests in which students from around the world draw on their problem-solving abilities, business acumen, cultural insight, communication skills and teamwork to resolve real-life business cases.

The two-week immersive experience will center on economic development and business issues related to U.S.-Mexico relations and will include formal classes; instructional readings; briefings from local business organizations, senior leaders of companies and government officials; and site visits to business settings.

The capstone experience of the term will be the international business case competition, during which integrated teams of students from UP and partner institutions will develop solutions and give presentations related to their business case study.

Gail Cornelius (Study Abroad) says this new opportunity, aimed at an academic program that traditionally attracts many male students, will help SNC tempt more men to try out a study-abroad opportunity. The college is committed to diversifying participation in its international programs, where currently some 70 percent of applicants are women. “The program itself will be very affordable,” Cornelius says. “It will be targeted at business majors, it will fulfill their business capstone course.”

SNC does not currently have a formal institutional partnership in Mexico, so the IDEAS initiative will also allow for the development of a relationship to facilitate future student exchanges and faculty research collaborations.

Cornelius says: “The recognition that we receive for this grant is really important. It helps us to work with other organizations that are interested in expanding and diversifying their study-abroad programs. We get to tap into a new network of expertise.”

Sharing IDEAS
St. Norbert is one of 44 colleges and universities across the United States that will use the IDEAS grants to create, expand and/or diversify American student mobility overseas in support of U.S. foreign policy goals. This program is funded by the U.S. Department of State and supported in its implementation by World Learning.

“The U.S. Department of State is committed to supporting U.S. colleges and universities as they continue to rebuild study-abroad capacity impacted by the global pandemic,” says Heidi Manley, USA Study Abroad chief, Bureau of Educational & Cultural Affairs. “That is why ECA is proud to be awarding double the number of IDEAS grants this year so that we can support more institutions as they work to provide important international educational opportunities to their students.”

Since 2016, the IDEAS Program has awarded 145 grants to 139 institutions in 48 states and territories to create, expand and diversify their U.S. study abroad programs in 71 countries across all world regions. In addition to the IDEAS grant competition, the program also offers opportunities for faculty, staff and administrators at U.S. colleges and universities to participate in a series of free virtual and in-person study abroad capacity building activities.

Funded projects over the last seven years are supporting such activities as developing new international partnerships and programs, training faculty and staff, internationalizing curriculum, creating resources to engage diverse student groups in study abroad, and creating virtual and hybrid exchanges.

Aug. 10, 2022