Students in the global and international studies major are required to study abroad, including international students.
GIS is a secondary major, meaning students must have an additional major. The goal of the major is to get students “thinking more globally about the major [they are] in,” said Jack Harris, director of the Center for Cross-Cultural Engagement,
The major is designed to give students experience overseas and the opportunity to learn another language.
“The fact is that [international] students who are studying here are already studying abroad,” said Scott Waalkes, professor of international politics and director of the GIS major.
In order for international students to study abroad in the U.S. they must acquire a visa. To study abroad outside of the U.S. they must get an additional visa.
According to Harris, visas are an out-of-pocket expense.
The time it takes to get a visa varies depending on location.
“It can be anywhere from on arrival in that country they will process the visa, stamp your passport, to where you have to plan months in advance and send an application and paperwork to an embassy in the US and wait for them to process it and get it back to you,” said Ryan Donald, associate director for the Center for Cross-Cultural Engagement.
Tuition is another study abroad expense; however, up to 50 percent of Malone scholarships could apply.
“To ask them to go make an additional trip abroad for a semester might actually make it difficult for them to complete the major, so we’re talking about the possibility of having those students meet the study abroad requirement by virtue of being here,” Waalkes said.
There is no policy in place yet to excuse international students from this requirement, but Waalkes is considering a case-by-case basis.
“If a student came from Canada, we might say that’s not enough of an international experience,” Waalkes said.