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University of Cincinnati Students
Prepare to Lead a Changing World

Date: Oct. 16, 2002
Story by: Mary Bridget Reilly
Phone: (513) 556-1824
Archive: General News
Photo by: Dottie Stover

Cincinnati - Planner Johanna Looye wants to see her students take risks in order to learn, both in the University of Cincinnati classroom and beyond.

Johanna Looye

And she's making that possible thanks to a new program she's developed that will allow six UC graduate students in planning (18 American planning students all told) to study and work abroad during the next two academic years.

The rewards for students in working, studying and living abroad are well worth the challenges, according to Looye, associate professor of planning in UC's College of Design, Architecture, Art, and Planning (DAAP). "The first time abroad is the most difficult, but it's great preparation for life. That's because the second time you're thrown into a new place - whether that new place is a new neighborhood or a new job or once again in a new country - you know to expect a different place with different rules. You have experience in getting the job done in a different environment, a different configuration of life and of human groupings," she said.

As designed by Looye, the new transatlantic study program will include advanced students from UC, North Carolina State University and the University of Michigan. Each year starting in the 2003-2004 school year, three planning students from each school will travel to Europe to study and work on research projects for one academic quarter. One student from each U.S. school will attend Technische Universiteit Eindhoven in the Netherlands, Hogeschool St. Lucas in Belgium, and the University of Strathclyde in Scotland. In exchange, three students from each of the European schools will come to the U.S., and one student from each of these schools will specifically study and work at UC.

The exchanges will begin in August 2003 and continue for at least two years thanks to more than $200,000 from the U.S. Department of Education's Fund for the Improvement of Postsecondary Education (FIPSE). The European partners are funded by the Directorate General for Education and Culture of the European Commission.

Beyond the student exchanges, Web-based meetings and classroom interactions will also be created between the European and American schools. In addition, Looye hopes the program will eventually grow to include faculty exchanges between UC and at least one of the European partners. "We are creating a whole new set of colleagues for our students and for ourselves. We're preparing them and ourselves for a world that is ever smaller, always changing," she said.

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