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Kent State Starts Exchange Program with Wurzburg University

Posted May. 20, 2010

Kent State University has developed a new international exchange program with Germany’s University of Wurzburg. The new partnership will allow undergraduate Kent State students to study abroad at the German university, located in a picturesque region of northern Bavaria.

"Dr.The agreement between the two institutions grew out of a personal relationship between Dr. Isolde Thyret, associate professor of history at Kent State, and Dr. Helmut Flachenecker, dean of studies at the University of Wurzburg, both of whom are experts in medieval religious history.

Thyret, a native of Germany and a former student at the University of Wurzburg, first met Flachenecker during his visit to Kent in fall of 2008. It soon became apparent that a formal connection between the two institutions would be beneficial to both universities. In late 2009, Flachenecker and Thyret began developing a memorandum of understanding that defined the basic principles of a proposed exchange program. The agreement was ratified at a recent signing ceremony by Dr. Robert G. Frank, Kent State’s provost and senior vice president for academic affairs.

“This agreement affords the Kent State community another opportunity to meet President Lefton's goal of internationalization,” said Mary Ann Haley, assistant dean for curriculum at Kent State’s College of Arts and Sciences. “Kent State students currently can participate in international exchanges in a number of countries around the world, including France, the United Kingdom, Russia and Japan.  Now, students interested in the humanities and German language, culture and literature will have the opportunity to study abroad at a well-respected university in the heart of Europe.”

Kent State students also will have the opportunity to take social sciences courses such as offerings covering European macropolitics and the German constitution.  Business classes may be added in the future if demand warrants, according to Thyret.

The new exchange partnership allows students to pay tuition to their home institutions while taking classes for credit at the host university. To accommodate American students, officials at the University of Wurzburg offered to arrange for a series of courses to be taught in English and to hire an instructor to develop new courses of this type. They also have promised to do everything possible to make Kent State students’ stay at their institution pleasant and rewarding.

The city of Wurzburg boasts a rich history and unique cultural traditions and monuments. Located in the heart of Germany, Wurzburg is famous for its Franconian wine and cuisine. During their stay in Wurzburg, Kent State exchange students will be able to visit medieval and Baroque castles and churches in addition to touring world-class museums.

“Although this new program also includes the possibility of faculty exchanges between both institutions, its primary purpose is to entice students to engage in a study-abroad experience during their undergraduate years,” Thyret said. “In today’s global world, such an experience is both culturally rewarding and professionally advantageous.”

For more information, contact Thyret at ithyret@kent.edu or 330-672-8912 or Kent State’s Office of International Affairs at 330-672-7980.

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Photo Caption:
Dr. Robert G. Frank (left), Kent State’s provost and senior vice president for academic affairs, signs the exchange agreement with the University of Wurzburg with Dr. Helmut Flachenecker (right), dean of studies at the German university.


Media Contacts:
Isolde Thyret, ithyret@kent.edu, 330-672-8912
Bob Burford, rburford@kent.edu, 330-672-8516