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ERIC Number: EJ842511
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2009-May-8
Pages: 1
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: N/A
ISSN: ISSN-0009-5982
East Carolina University Uses Simple Technology to Link Its Students with Peers Overseas
Fischer, Karin
Chronicle of Higher Education, v55 n35 pA23 May 2009
Just 1 percent of East Carolina University undergraduates study overseas. But thanks to a pair of enterprising faculty members, a growing number of students are having international experiences without ever leaving the Greenville, North Carolina campus. The university's Global Understanding program uses inexpensive and relatively unsophisticated technology--a low-bandwidth video link and e-mail chat--to connect East Carolina students with counterparts at 23 institutions in 17 countries and five continents. While other colleges have made use of computer hookups to bring a global perspective into the classroom, the East Carolina model is distinctive in that it links each participating class with partners at several foreign universities, exposing students to multiple points of view. Its low-cost, low-tech approach has allowed the university to build relationships with institutions in less-well-off countries like Namibia and Moldova and to sustain such partnerships even as budget constraints have forced many institutions to curtail their travel, both overseas and out of state. In just five years, the program has gone from a one-time pilot, hatched over a coffee break, to a mainstay of the university's general-education curriculum. Freshman-level Global Understanding course sections consistently fill up during the first hours of registration, says Rosina C. Chia, assistant vice chancellor for global academic efforts, and other faculty members are adapting the model for use in their own teaching.
Chronicle of Higher Education. 1255 23rd Street NW Suite 700, Washington, DC 20037. Tel: 800-728-2803; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Moldova; Namibia; North Carolina