University Park, Pa. -- A new federal grant received by Penn State's Department of Comparative Literature, in the School of Languages and Literatures, will provide scholarship support for summer Arabic coursework for high school students who live near University Park, and for college students at Pennsylvania colleges and Penn State campuses other than University Park. Students can earn four Penn State credits through a special four-week intensive Arabic course, called the STARTALK Arabic Academy, that will be offered from June 13 to July 8 on the University Park campus.

In addition, scholarships from other sources also are available for high school students who wish to study Turkish, Chinese, or Russian through this summer's Language Institute. These scholarships cover up to 90 percent of in-state tuition. Further information can be found at http://www.outreach.psu.edu/programs/language-institute/high-school.html.

As Department Head Caroline D. Eckhardt explained, the grant, called STARTALK ("Start Talking"),  comes from federal funds that are administered by the National Foreign Language Center at the University of Maryland. STARTALK's mission includes expanding access to critical foreign languages by offering students creative and engaging summer experiences.  For 2011, STARTALK has funded 108 summer programs nationwide.

For the full story, visit Penn State Live.

Eleven students from Penn State campuses, including seven students from Penn State Greater Allegheny, will leave for a monthlong trip to China on May 8, 2011. Students, along with five chaperons, will travel to the Guangdong Province and then on to Beijing and Shanghai. They will return to Guangdong before departing for home.

The journey will emphasize the development of student leadership, career prospects and an understanding of educational models in China. Students will accomplish this exploration through a series of class discussions and assignments, a tour of several cultural sites, educational institutions and businesses throughout China. Students have been attending weekly meetings since early December to discuss events for the trip, learn Mandarin, and better prepare for this extraordinary experience.

The trip is being coordinated by Penn State's Educational Opportunity Centers (EOC) Program in partnership with Experilearn Inc. "We chose China as a destination because it is the most populous country in the world and because it is a center of commerce," said Tahirah Duncan, director of EOC for southwestern Pennsylvania.

Arrangements for donations for trip expenses can be made by contacting Tahirah Duncan at 412-675-9077 or tda3@psu.edu.

This announcement originally appeared on Penn State Live.

University Park, Pa. -- Penn State will further expand its Global Engagement Network with the University of Freiburg, Germany, on May 6, 2011, at a signing ceremony on Penn State's University Park campus. The official agreement between Penn State and Freiburg formalizes the relationship between the two universities as mutual strategic partners in research, teaching and student education.

"Today, more than ever before, it is clear that education and research need to be done in the global context. We need to prepare our students for this new reality and our faculty need to have the opportunity to conduct their research in a global context," said Michael Adewumi, vice provost of Global Programs and leader of the Global Engagement Network (GEN) strategy. He concludes, "our strategic partnerships with University of Freiburg will further these objectives."

"Freiburg is a natural partner because there have already been a number of robust and successful partnerships between the two universities," said Dennis Schmidt, professor of philosophy and chair of the Freiburg GEN committee. "For instance, in the College of the Liberal Arts, the departments of philosophy, comparative literature, and German have had active exchanges of both faculty and students. Those initiatives have generated job prospects for graduate students, grant opportunities and research projects."

Other ongoing partnerships include Penn State's Institute for Energy and the Environment (PSIEE), the Center for Sustainability and the Rock Ethics Institute that are developing projects centered on sustainability and energy research. Forestry also has a long-standing relationship with Freiburg, which sits at the foot of the Black Forest. Other initiatives are taking form in the College of Engineering and in the Schreyer Honors College.

"In short, there are already significant developments that will form the first stage of what promises to be a long history of collaborative projects and exchanges between Penn State and the University of Freiburg," said Schmidt.

The University of Freiburg was founded in 1457 by the Hapsburg dynasty and is the fifth oldest university in Germany. A public university, it was designated a "University of Excellence" by the German government in 2007.

Freiburg is sending a delegation to Penn State which includes their rector, Hans-Jochen Schiewer; Hans Zappe, dean of the technical faculty; Wilfried Weber, faculty of biology; Dieter Bauhus, faculty of forest and environmental sciences; and Katherina Aly, director of the international office.

As a part of their curriculum, all graduate students from the Smeal College of Business are required to go abroad during spring break for an intensive international business experience.

Terrence Guay, clinical associate professor of international business, is one of four professors to lead the trip. This year, the MBA students had the choice of going to China, India, South Africa, or the Czech Republic. Guay led the group that traveled to Shanghai, China.

"It is a way to give MBA students a way to see and experience more than just U.S. businesses. I wish this could be a requirement for undergraduate business students as well," said Guay.

For the full story, visit Penn State Live.

University Park, Pa. -- Eight undergraduate students and three graduate students make up the first group of Penn State students embarking on an innovative research internship program in one of four countries this summer, under the auspices of The Center for Language Science, based in Penn State's College of the Liberal Arts and College of Health and Human Development.

Funding for the research internships comes from a $2.8 million National Science Foundation grant through its Partnership for International Research and Education (PIRE) program. Under this program, an international team of researchers at 10 participating universities including Penn State are working collaboratively to understand the nature of the bilingual mind and brain, and the processes of bilingual language development. The project offers unique research opportunities with different bilingual populations in the U.S. and abroad for not only the faculty researchers, but also for their undergraduate and graduate students, and postdoctoral fellows who aspire to be the next generation of language scientists.

The U.S. institutions in the PIRE partnership are the NSF-supported Science of Learning Center at Gallaudet University, the leading university for the deaf, and Haskins Laboratories, a premiere research institute for language, literacy, and neuroscience study, affiliated with Yale University. The international partners are University of Granada and University of Tarragona, both in Spain; University of Hong Kong and Beijing Normal University, both in China; the Max Planck Institute for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences, Germany; University of Bangor, Wales, United Kingdom; and Radboud University Nijmegen, the Netherlands.

For the full story, visit Penn State Live.

"Renaissance in the Islamic World," a panel discussion from 3:30 to 5 p.m. Wednesday, April 27, will look into the recent uprisings in the Muslim world -- the origins, motives and aspirations -- and explore what this Renaissance means for Muslims and how it may affect the rest of the world.

The presenters will include Zaid Balushi, president of the Muslim Students' Association; Shadi Ghrayeb, doctoral candidate in nuclear engineering and master's of science candidate in international affairs and Mohammed Atiyat, doctoral candidate in statistics.

The program is open to the public and will be in Foster Auditorium, 102 Paterno Library, Curtin Road, University Park.

For more information, contact Rachel Schneiderman at 814-863-1382 or rus21@psu.edu

Editor's note: During Spring Break, 16 Penn State students made their way to Cape Town, South Africa, as part of a weeklong journalism expedition led by Tony Barbieri, professor of writing and editing. The immersive project, part of Barbieri's spring 2011 journalism course on "International Reporting," provided an opportunity for students to experience duties similar to those of foreign correspondents working for media outlets. During the first part of the semester, the students researched South Africa and developed story ideas. In South Africa, they conducted interviews with subjects in and around Cape Town, and assembled a final portfolio of projects from each student that will be marketed to newspapers across North America. In addition to the students and Barbieri, two other professors attended, along with two documentary film students who are producing a documentary on the group's expedition, and their adviser, Barbara Bird.

In this final entry, Andy Colwell describes the experience of shark cage diving, an opportunity afforded to him, fellow student Lexi Belculfine and professor Thor Wasbotten as part of the students' investigative piece on the relationship between shark cage diving and shark attacks on surfers.

***

Shark-inhabited waters might not seem like the best choice for doing research on a journalism story in South Africa - unless, of course, those sharks are the reason for doing the story. It was for that reason professor Thor Wasbotten, student Lexi Belculfine and I submerged ourselves in the chilly Atlantic Ocean in a metal cage: to get a feel for South Africa's shark cage diving tourism industry.

To read the full entry, visit Penn State Live.

Editor's note: During Spring Break, 16 Penn State students made their way to Cape Town, South Africa, as part of a weeklong journalism expedition led by Tony Barbieri, professor of writing and editing. The immersive project, part of Barbieri's spring 2011 journalism course on "International Reporting," provided an opportunity for students to experience duties similar to those of foreign correspondents working for media outlets. During the first part of the semester, the students researched South Africa and developed story ideas. In South Africa, they conducted interviews with subjects in and around Cape Town, and assembled a final portfolio of projects from each student that will be marketed to newspapers across North America. In addition to the students and Barbieri, two other professors attended, along with two documentary film students who are producing a documentary on the group's expedition, and their adviser, Barbara Bird.

 
In this fourth entry, Caitlin Burnham writes about the group's participation in a traditional African meal, and Jennifer Connor describes the scene at a campus rugby match.
 
***
 

On Tuesday night, our international reporting class learned that a traditional African meal is made of more than just food. The evening consisted of traditional Xhosa face painting, food from all over the continent and traditional African music at Cape Town restaurant Africa Cafe.

The evening began with women coming around to decorate everyone's faces. Peach, red and white paint was used to create swirling, flowery decorative designs on the women's faces and geometric, lined war-paint designs on the men's faces.
 
Before the meal was served women came around to everyone and poured warm water with rose-scented oil over everyone's hands. Soon after, the waiters began to serve a few of the 15 dishes we would be served over the course of the two-and-a-half-hour long meal.

For the full entry, visit Penn State Live.

Thursday, April 21, 2011 -- 1:00 PM - 2:00 PM

424 Boucke Building

UOGP invites faculty members and administrators to a session on emergency preparedness in connection with short-term embedded programs abroad.  Topics include health insurance and health matters, advance planning and emergency response.  Participants from colleges and campuses are welcome to attend via telephone or video conference.  Please contact Jean Rodkey (Tel: 814 865 7681 or e-mail: jvr10@psu.edu) to register.

Editor's note: During Spring Break, 16 Penn State students made their way to Cape Town, South Africa, as part of a weeklong journalism expedition led by Tony Barbieri, professor of writing and editing. The immersive project, part of Barbieri's spring 2011 journalism course on "International Reporting," provided an opportunity for students to experience duties similar to those of foreign correspondents working for media outlets. During the first part of the semester, the students researched South Africa and developed story ideas. In South Africa, they conducted interviews with subjects in and around Cape Town, and assembled a final portfolio of projects from each student that will be marketed to newspapers across North America. In addition to the students and Barbieri, two other professors attended, along with two documentary film students who are producing a documentary on the group's expedition, and their adviser, Barbara Bird.

In this third entry, Audrey Snyder, one of the participants in the trip, writes about the importance of soccer in Cape Town and shares her experience at Green Point Stadium. The soccer stadium is one of the most eye-catching sights in Cape Town and with the World Cup less than a year away, she noted the lasting legacy the event has on the area.

***

There's no denying the importance soccer has here in Cape Town. From leftover World Cup posters and banners hanging in shop windows to the array of soccer jerseys seen on the street, it's obvious that soccer is much more than just a game here. In order to try and see for myself just how much of an impact the 2010 FIFA World Cup had on Cape Town, I headed out for a tour of Green Point Stadium.

When I was nearing the stadium, the big, white structure that resembles a bird's nest left me well aware that I was closing in on the new Green Point Stadium. I had been told by locals that a stadium tour was a must and if the inside looked half as good as the outside I was going to be thrilled.

For the full entry, visit Penn State Live.

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