The provost is working to raise money for scholarships that could allow more students to study abroad.Nowell Donovan, provost and vice chancellor for academic affairs, said he believes studying abroad is an important part of the college experience and would like to make it more affordable for students.
“TCU has a commitment to giving our students an international experience, even students who can’t afford an overseas trip,” Donovan said.
The scholarships would most likely come from donors and would consist of several thousand dollars each, Donovan said. He said he wants them to be available as soon as possible.
Raising scholarships is a large part of the $250 million Vision in Action campaign, Donovan said.
He said when faculty members were asked what they wanted most from the campaign, they said increased scholarships for students.
Tracy Rundstrom Williams, associate director for the Center for International Studies, said she has had several students who were not able to study abroad because costs were too high.
“We know finances are a concern, so we have to think creatively about how to reduce costs,” Williams said.
Williams said adding scholarships would increase the popularity of the study-abroad program. She said 450 undergraduate students study abroad every year through the program, and predicted that at least 100 more would be able to study abroad with financial aid.
A semester trip to Florence, Italy, for example, costs $17,000 plus airfare and additional spending money. There are currently no scholarships available for semester study abroad, Williams said.
Missy Goslee, a senior international communication major who studied in Seville, Spain, said most students spend more money in a semester abroad than they do in a semester at TCU.
“Students want to get the most they can out of Europe so they spend money traveling and doing things,” Goslee said.
American Airlines awards 20 vouchers a year for students with financial needs, Williams said, and is considering offering all TCU students a 5 percent discount. That discount would take affect this spring.
“We know the costs of studying abroad are high, but the opposite costs of not going are higher,” Williams said. “Studying abroad is not only a transformational learning experience, but it is an investment in the future because it develops skills that employers look for.