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UTD Creates Office of International
Sarah Spreda, Former Advising Head, Named Director of New Unit
RICHARDSON, Texas (Oct. 7, 2003) — In order to provide services to the growing number of its students who spend part of their college careers studying in other countries, The University of Texas at Dallas (UTD) has established an Office of International Education (OIE).
Dr. Sarah Spreda, formerly director of undergraduate student advising at UTD, was named director of the new office, reporting to Executive Vice Provost Dr. Larry Terry. She will be joined by two other current university employees — Mary Fan Kain, who will serve as advisor/counselor of international education, and Sonja Miley, who will provide administrative support.
"The establishment of this new office demonstrates the university's commitment both to assist our students who are now or will soon be studying overseas and to promote the growth of the study-abroad and international educational experiences at UTD," said Spreda.
Among the new office's responsibilities will be the coordination of study-abroad offerings to UTD students; management of various issues facing exchange students, including course registrations, payments of scholarships and stipends, credit and credit transfers and housing and apartment leases; and advising for students heading to and returning from overseas. In addition, OIE will bring international educational opportunities - such as speakers from other countries and other programs - to UTD and the broader Metroplex community.
OIE will complement an existing office at UTD, International Student Services headed by Cristen Casey, which coordinates programs for foreign students studying at the university.
While the number of UTD students studying abroad is relatively small — 79 in the spring semester of 2003 — it has grown significantly in recent years — 46 percent in the past year and 65 percent from two years ago. The largest number of those students (35) studied in Italy, while sizeable contingents visited Mexico (20) and France and England (10). The remainder enrolled in classes in other countries in Europe, the Caribbean, Africa and Central America, as well as Russia and Canada.
According to Spreda, UTD will offer three kinds of study-abroad programs, some of which already exist at the university, others of which will be expanded or added:
Spreda said that despite the perception among many that the price tag of studying abroad is prohibitive, that is not necessarily the case. Financial resources are available to help defray the costs, she said, including an International Education Fund Scholarship from UTD which is funded by a one-dollar-per-person fee levied on students. That scholarship will be awarded by Spreda's office.
"Study abroad is a wonderful experience that broadens students' horizons and enhances their learning experience," said Spreda. "It provides the added benefit of allowing people from different cultures to get to know each other, which promotes understanding and helps lay the groundwork for peace."
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This page last updated August 03, 2013