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Undergraduate Learning Abroad office launched

The office will be the first stop for undergraduates seeking a global learning experience

From the left, Cassie Helfer, Ross Kaufhold and Abhinav Talwar visit the Forbidden City as part of the 2017 Public Health in China program.
From the left, Cassie Helfer, Ross Kaufhold and Abhinav Talwar visit the Forbidden City as part of the 2017 Public Health in China program. (Photo by Elise Wu)

EVANSTON - Undergraduate students looking for a global learning opportunity now have a one-stop office for information. The newly formed Office of Undergraduate Learning Abroad (ULA) combines the two units previously known as Study Abroad and International Program Development (IPD).

The integration follows recommendations from the University’s 2016 Global Task Force Report.

Dévora Grynspan, current vice president for international relations and former IPD director at Northwestern, developed an increasing number of study abroad programs, and the need for coordination and long-term planning became clear.

“Bringing together undergraduate offerings provides increasing coherence to our portfolio in a way that serves the University’s global mission and strategy,” Grynspan said.

Sara Tully leads the newly integrated office. “Our goal is to ensure affordable, degree-relevant learning abroad is readily available to all interested Northwestern undergraduates,” said Tully, who started her new position in August.

The emphasis of the new office will be on key functional areas including: Analysis to support decision-making regarding program development, identifying and reducing barriers to studying abroad and engaging with faculty to develop overseas learning opportunities.

“Studying abroad is an extension of Northwestern’s undergraduate curriculum,” Tully said. “We’re here to support faculty members’ efforts to ensure that the students have study abroad options that are aligned with the University’s high academic standards.”

“The formation of the Undergraduate Learning Abroad office will make it easier to enhance and coordinate the curricular options available to students wishing to study abroad for credit,” said Ronald Braeutigam, associate provost for undergraduate education at Northwestern. “It will also lead to a stronger partnership with the faculty on the University Study Abroad Committee.”

ULA works in close partnership with the Global Engagement Studies Institute (GESI) and the Office of Undergraduate Financial Aid to ensure student awareness of, and access to, study abroad programming. 

For more information, visit the new ULA website.

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