Studying abroad not just for students
As part of Kent State University President Lester A. Leftonâ€™s visions for the university, Kent State established an international exchange program with the University of WÃ¼rzburg, Germany, to broaden studentsâ€™ educational experiences.
The program allows undergraduate students from Kent State and the University of WÃ¼rzburg to travel abroad and study at the respective universities.
But students are not the only ones involved in this program; professors are also joining in the exchange. Kent Stateâ€™s Associate Professor of History Isolde Thyret is in Germany for the fall semester teaching at the University of WÃ¼rzburg.
â€œWÃ¼rzburg University does not have a specialist in Russian history,â€ Thyret said. â€œI hope to give the students here an opportunity to study a region that has played an important role in German history, and therefore is very important to them.â€
In addition, University of WÃ¼rzburgâ€™s Helmut Flachenecker, Ph.D., is teaching two courses at the Kent Campus. For one of the classes, Flachenecker is co-collaborating with Kent State History Professor John Jameson.
â€œThe Middle Ages are one of my focuses,â€ Flachenecker said. â€œWÃ¼rzburg was established in the year 704. When the Middle Ages are brought up in American culture, the focus is on the Renaissance. In Germany [one can] walk through the streets and see cathedrals and castles from the 12th and 13th centuries. I also want them to know that Germany does not just exist from 1939 to 1945. There is more than just Nazi Germany.â€
Flachenecker hopes to learn more about American culture and observe the differences between the two cultures.
â€œThere is no public transportation here,â€ Flachenecker said. â€œI never travel to the university by car in Germany. I always try to take the train.â€
The German Exchange Program is just one of the many education-abroad programs that Kent State offers. This program is just a little different because the faculty members are teaching abroad, as well.
â€œKent State has been involved in exchanges for decades,â€ Jameson said. â€œThis is really nothing new. Weâ€™re just expanding on it.â€
Flachenecker is excited about the exchange and about the program in general.
â€œI hope that other staff members are able to come [to Kent State],â€ Flachenecker said. â€œWe also want to send more students here and encourage more students to study in WÃ¼rzburg,â€ Flachenecker said. â€œWe hope this exchange will go on.â€
In October, two students from Kent State went to Germany to study at the University of WÃ¼rzburg. Three students have come to Kent State from Germany to learn as well.
â€œGerman students coming here have mastered English very well,â€ Jameson said. â€œA big focus of the program in WÃ¼rzburg is that students can take classes in English.â€
Flachenecker sees the opportunity for the students as being â€œhighly valuable.â€
â€œIt is important for them to see another culture and other universities,â€ Flachenecker said. â€œThe syllabuses here are also much harder. In Germany, you have more freedom to decide what you want to read.â€
To find out more about education-abroad options and exchange programs at Kent State, visit www.kent.edu/studyabroad/exchange.
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In a faculty exchange program with Kent State University, University of WÃ¼rzburgâ€™s Helmut Flachenecker, Ph.D., is teaching two history courses at the Kent Campus this fall.
Emily Vincent, firstname.lastname@example.org, 330-672-8595