University of New England officials say their new arrangement with University Pablo de Olavide in Seville, Spain, may very well be the first U.S. semester abroad program to transport English lab science courses to a non-English speaking country.
It’s the latest step in the global push by a Maine university on pace to open a campus in Morocco by the 2013-14 school year.
The deal with UPO seeks to provide UNE students in medical programs seeking to experience a foreign culture opportunities to take core lab courses in their field — like microbiology and physiology — without the threat of a potentially prohibitive language barrier in what are already complicated subjects in English.
The agreement with UPO ensures the curriculum and program costs at the Spanish university keeps the UNE students on track in their biology, undergraduate health professions and pre-health professions programs.
Here is a statement from Anouar Majid, UNE associate provost for global initiatives, released by the university:
Spain is a gateway to all of Europe because of the ease of travel and low-cost flights. … This is likely a first-of-its-kind program. We know of no U.S. university that offers English-language, lab-based courses in its study-away programs located in non-English speaking countries.UNE students will now be able to keep up with their science courses, learn Spanish in a native environment, and get cultural exposure to Europe and Morocco. They will live and eat with Spanish host families, and will participate in various cultural activities and field trips, including travel to Tangier, the site of UNE’s future campus. All of this is provided at no additional cost to the students.
And school President Danielle Ripich:
Our agreement with UPO is another step toward the globalization of UNE’s undergraduate education. Globalization is a major strategic goal of the university. It will give UNE students a competitive edge in the future. It has become virtually impossible in this day and age to be educated and not have a degree of global awareness.
UNE officials are also in talks with the University of Granada to foster research collaborations and overseas clinical rotations between the two schools’ pharmacy colleges.