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Feb. 11, 2010

MSU partners with Regent’s College in London for study abroad programs

EAST LANSING, Mich. -- Michigan State University will centralize its London-based study abroad programs to Regent's College, a private college located in the heart of London, to improve quality,  enhance the student experience and control costs beginning summer semester 2010.

The change will allow MSU programs to integrate into one academic community, said Brett Berquist, director of MSU's Office of Study Abroad. Previously, since there was no affiliated campus, students participating in London summer study abroad programs weren't necessarily staying on campus and didn't have guaranteed access to college amenities.

"Bringing the various components of our programming support into an institutional relationship, on one campus, will improve quality of service to faculty and students," Berquist said.

He explained that Regent's offers better housing accommodations, modern classroom facilities and access to student services, all of which can enhance the student experience.

In addition, as MSU's academic partner, Regent's will offer students full access to libraries, computer labs and student life services such as cafés, restaurants, sporting facilities and a health clinic.  And MSU faculty will have the support of Regent's Internet technology services as well as opportunities to develop collaborations with Regent's faculty.    

"Regent's College is a luxury facility in an idyllic setting," said Bradley Greenberg, professor emeritus, College of Communications Arts and Sciences. "It is a five-minute walk from Baker Street into Regents Park and sits across from the entrance to the Queen's flower garden, which is adjacent to an outdoor theatre in that park. It is a comprehensive collegiate environment in the middle of London."

MSU's catalog of summer study abroad programs in London is among the largest of any United States university.  London programs range from courses in English literature to forensic anthropology.

Establishing Regent's College as MSU's institutional partner in London addresses several strategic goals for the Office of Study Abroad, Berquist said. The partnership will ensure programming and housing for students during the summer 2012 Olympic Games in London and will help OSA services respond to increasing immigration restrictions that may impact students. Additionally, the partnership will help control costs through efficiencies that will result from working with one partner.

Berquist said it is estimated the partnership with Regent's College could help reduce 2010 study abroad participation costs by up to $400 per student, compared to projected 2010 costs without this change. Students will see savings through a reduction in housing fees, food services and better coordination of programming.

MSU's Office of Study Abroad provides more than $400,000 per year in scholarships for MSU students studying abroad on all seven continents, in addition to financial aid from the university and departmental awards.