Four Corners

Longwood students have ample opportunity to study abroad

Archaeologist Aristotelis Koskinas lectures Longwood students in Dr. Steven Isaac’s Military History of Greece course in the 4th-century B.C. Theater of Epidauros, not far from modern Greece’s first capital, Nauplion.

Whether it’s Croatia, Greece, Thailand or Costa Rica, Longwood students have ample opportunity to study around the globe.

The Office of International Affairs plans on boosting those efforts even further.

“A dream is to integrate international students on campus so they are part of the Longwood experience,” said Petra Visscher, the new executive director for international affairs. “Along with that, we’d like to continue to increase the number of students on study abroad experiences. Longwood benefits when these efforts are strong. When Longwood students are immersed in other cultures, they bring those experiences back to campus with them, and it makes us better.”

As recruitment efforts continue in emerging markets like South Korea, Argentina and Turkey, established exchange programs with European and Asian universities regularly contribute to the cultural network that is valuable to students looking to succeed in the 21st century.

Longwood’s international reach doesn’t just extend to students, however. In the summer of 2014, the university’s first faculty international program will send several professors to Ecuador to work and conduct research.

Study Abroad

Longwood students can broaden their horizons by participating in either short- or long-term study abroad experiences.

Most students opt for short-term experiences, which put students all over the globe in intensive two- to four-week programs. Educational experiences range from studying Spanish history and speaking the language in Valencia, Spain, to conducting medical clinics in the Amazon jungle.

Long-term programs—which last at least a semester—are either part of an exchange program or through a third-party program. “There are a lot of misconceptions about long-term study abroad programs—that it’s financially out of reach for a lot of students or only for the privileged few,” said Visscher. “That’s just not true: There are plenty of opportunities to study in another country that are equal or comparable to Longwood tuition.”

In fact, the number of Longwood students taking advantage of the opportunities abroad has swelled recently—and will continue on an upward trend—due to increased marketing efforts and the growth and expansion of the Cormier Honors College, which requires students to study abroad in order to graduate, said Dr. Melanie Marks, professor of economics and coordinator for study abroad.

English as a Second Language

Under the direction of interim director Richard Paul Phillips, the ESL program prepares international students to move into academic programs at the university level. Students regularly spend several semesters at Longwood immersing themselves in American culture and developing the language skills necessary to succeed.

International Recruitment

Star athletes often are one of the most visible signs of international recruitment on university campuses. At Longwood, the athletics department works with Director of International Admissions Patti Trent, who also is exploring countries where the university can gain traction, focusing on the Middle East and South America.

Faculty-led Study Abroad Experiences in 2014

Winter Intercession

Economic Development, Sustainability and Ecotourism in Costa Rica—Dr. Melanie Marks
Military History in Greece—Dr. Steven Isaac
Sociology of Sport in England—Dr. Jake Milne
Event Planning in Italy—Wilma King
Archaeology in England—Dr. Brian Bates, Dr. Jim Jordan
Photography in India—Michael Mergen


Economic Development in Thailand—Dr. Melanie Marks
Children’s Literature in Croatia—Dr. Jen Miskec,
Dr. David Hardin
Nursing in Ecuador—April Shular, Julie Ross
General Education in Spain—Dr. Lily Goetz,
Dr. Will Holliday
Education Practicum in Spain—Dr. Lily Goetz
Education Practicum in Costa Rica—Dr. Chris Jones
Interdisciplinary Education in Nepal—Dr. Rena Koesler,
Dr. Naomi Johnson-Tsigaridas