The primary mission of the Office for Study Away and International Education
is to enhance the vitality and academic quality of Furman's faculty-led travel study, affiliate and exchange programs, and to enroll academically well qualified and intellectually engaged students from different parts of the world.
The university emphasizes a participatory approach to education with opportunities for engaged learning outside the classroom. Consistent with this mission the Office for Study Away and International Education will facilitate opportunities for travel study that will allow our students to grow, mature and compete in a complex, rapidly changing and globally interdependent world. Study Away programs need to go beyond the surface of differences in culture to providing an environment of mutual respect and tolerance of other societies. Hence the mission of Furman’s study away programs is consistent with the mission of a liberal arts education: the development of a person intellectually, socially, emotionally and spiritually, while offering educational opportunities that cultivate critical thinking and interdisciplinary skills.
How can international education facilitate the process by which students become more aware of their place in the world? The Office for Study Away and International Education is part of the response to this question. If liberal arts colleges aspire to be diverse places of learning then the commensurate import for a period of study of men and women from different cultural traditions and socioeconomic backgrounds must go hand in hand with study away exchanges. International students are thus an important element of the university’s aspiration to be a campus that truly embodies global awareness and diversity. The Office for Study Away and International Education will serve figuratively and literally as a place that promotes international development. It has an obligation and duty to welcome, host and cultivate students, faculty and scholars from abroad. This will ensure and buttress Furman’s engaged approach to learning and build a community and environment of international harmony and educated global citizens.