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Spring 2000

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New office supports study

Leonardo da Hulst
OIP Director Kara Sheldon

     S kidmore has opened a new Office of International Programs, under the auspices of the dean of studies. With some 200 Skidmore students studying abroad each year, and with so many programs available, the OIP, under Director Kara Sheldon, provides comprehensive support to students abroad. According to Dean of Studies Jon Ramsey, the office also works “to identify new possibilities for faculty teaching and research overseas.”

     The OIP has a library of program information and advises students about study-abroad options, many of them available through other colleges and universities. The OIP can help students assess non-Skidmore programs, both to ensure that their overseas work will count toward their Skidmore degree and to familiarize them with different teaching methods used in other countries’ colleges. Sheldon explains, “We want to help students gain the most from this experience—academically, culturally, and socially.” The OIP coordinates Skidmore’s own programs in Paris and Madrid and works with Ramsey’s office to oversee Skidmore’s London program. In addition, Sheldon and the OIP’s program coordinator, Anissa Callowhill, offer predeparture orientation, communications while students are abroad, and workshops to help them reintegrate academically and personally once they return to campus.

     Ramsey says the OIP will also work on the integration of international perspectives throughout the curriculum. To that end, Sheldon has been meeting with faculty to learn more about the role study-abroad programs play in Skidmore’s on-campus curriculum. “We want students to think critically about their experiences and to make greater use of their time abroad in the classroom,” she says.

     Sheldon came to Skidmore from Colorado College, where she was director of international programs for five years. A French major at the University of Massachusetts, she holds an M.A. in intercultural relations from Lesley College. She has led cultural orientation workshops and served on study-abroad advisory boards. —AW, SR


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