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Brandeis University's Community Newspaper — Waltham, Mass.

Study abroad office promotes new Hague, Israel programs

Published: September 16, 2011
Section: News

The Office of Study Abroad promoted its programs during the annual study abroad fair in Levin Ballroom on Thursday. It’s main initiative was to promote the new spring semester Hague program and another new program in Israel run jointly with Middlebury College.

The study abroad fair was also the venue of the debut of Wander, a student magazine featuring essays, photography and art produced by Brandeis students who have recently studied abroad. The magazine was developed by Jake Laband ’12 and was supported by the Office of Global Affairs and the Office of Study Abroad.

The Hague program was previously restricted to a summer session but students will be able to partake in a more extensive 15-week program beginning this spring. The new spring semester program will allow students to enroll in four courses and a practicum.

The expansion of the program was prompted by numerous factors, including accessibility to students.

“Financial aid is portable in the spring semester program and it allows students to explore study abroad options regardless of their financial aid abilities,” Director of Study Abroad J. Scott van der Meid said. “It provides students with more flexibility and access to a wider breath of study abroad organizations,” he added.

“The practicum will consist of an internship or independent research project. In addition to the two Brandeis designed courses and the practicum, students will choose one course at the University of Leiden,” Alyssa Grinberg, program manager for the Justice Brandeis Semester (JBS) said.

The extended program will present more opportunities for students to learn in courses taught by Brandeis director of Legal Studies Richard Gaskins (AMST) and faculty from the University of Leiden.

Furthermore, “the semester program will integrate both academic and experiential learning that will relate strongly to the Brandeis curriculum,” Grinberg said, “enabling students to fully immerse themselves in the Dutch culture and the topics of the classes.”

The new study program in Israel and the extension of The Hague program is part of Brandeis’ long-term goal to “have study abroad programs in every region of the world,” said van der Meid. New programs, including options in the Film and Health: Science, Society and Policy program, are currently undergoing planning and “still need to go before the Undergraduate Curriculum Committee (UCC),” added van der Meid. “We anticipate having more announcements next month.”

“Previously there was no forum through which people could express their study abroad experience or to show their pictures and tell their stories creatively,” Ben Kalman ’12, deputy editor-in-chief of Wander, said.

In the future “we hope that Wander becomes a staple of the study abroad experience at Brandeis and for it to gain national recognition,” Kalman added. “We’re really hopeful for the future.”

The study abroad fair also introduced the idea to newcomers to the Brandeis community like Rachel Hughes ’15 and Jonathan Beaver ’15. “I thought it was eye-opening to see all that was out there because I had never considered studying abroad,” Hughes said.

“It gave me an opportunity to look at various programs which can help me apply my Russian studies overseas,” Beaver said.