MCLA Looks to Create Expanded Study Abroad Position

Lily Richard, Staff Writer

MCLA is currently looking to hire a new faculty member to oversee study abroad.

MCLA is looking forward to a new focus on studying abroad but its new leader has big shoes to fill.

“The role that we’re thinking about is a much bigger role than we’ve had in the past, which means it’s taking a little bit longer than any of us would like to put those pieces together,” said Vice President of Academic Affairs, Richard Glejzer.

The role of an abroad advisor was left somewhat vacant last winter. Since then, the school has acquired a budget to hire someone to fill the new and larger role of Coordinator of International Services. However, it is taking some time to find the right person.

“The idea is to have someone who can work with students on external programs but who can help us coordinate and develop internal ones with maybe a handful of institutions around the world that are looking for partners and looking for opportunities to bring students in. The other part of that is those opportunities work both ways, so not only would we have students that would go to an institution abroad, but we would have students come in,” explained Glejzer.

This person must be experienced in studying abroad, supporting students who have been abroad, and helping students who come in from other places acclimate and find their bearings when they arrive here, along with other skill sets.

Previously, the school has worked with third-party programs to send students abroad which can make things a little confusing and put a lot of the process on the student. Often the third-party programs don’t let your financial aid come with you, which can be an issue and deterrent for some students.

“It would be great if we could have opportunities that were in-house opportunities so that your financial aid would stay with you…to have opportunities where the cost of spending is about what you’re paying now…I am confident that if we find the right partners that make it easy for everybody, and I keep saying everybody because it’s really important that everybody has the opportunity regardless of their financial status. Right now, it’s hard for folks who can’t take their financial aid with them. So, to create opportunities where that’s possible is really what it’s about for me right now,” said Glejzer.

While the new role looks to have a better support system for students, it also looks to support faculty.

Not only would this new role be able to support faculty who decide to run a travel course, Glejzer explained, but “we have international faculty who come in and again having some support internally for folks who also have to navigate not just in their first year but over their time as they acclimate to being not just at MCLA but in the United States. We also want opportunities to bring in Fulbright fellows which would be folks that would come for a semester or for a year who are coming to teach and would spend time with us.”

MCLA hopes to have this position filled by the Fall of next year.