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Office of International Studies in Education

Graduate Study Abroad



Fellowship to Enhance Global Understanding


In 2009, the College of Education created a Fellowship program to send a group of graduate students to China for three weeks of immersion in Chinese academic culture at the Southwest University, Beibei Chongqing. In 2011, the college formally expanded the Fellowship to Enhance Global Understanding (FEGU) program to include faculty-led programs to China, Botswana, and Vietnam. Since 2011 faculty have also led groups in FEGU study abroad programs in Cyprus, Indonesia, Mexico, Cuba, and the Netherlands. The college provides support for the Fellowship programs in order to further our mission of promoting global perspectives on educational cultures, policies and practices.


Please direct any questions to Dr. Julie Sinclair at or Christine Caster at


In 2017, there are three programs of study as part of the Fellowships to Enhance Global Understanding. Each has a specific focus and explores that focus in an international context. The structure and timing of each trip differs, but all include work in advance of the summer travel and extension of that learning upon return to MSU.

Click here to download the "Fellowship to Enhance Global Understanding Student Information Session" presentation, which was given on November 4 and November 7, 2016.


Application Process

The 2017 FEGU Student Application document contains instructions on how to apply, along with detailed Fellowship requirements.  Please follow the instructions carefully.  Applications that do not conform to the instructions will not be accepted.

For general questions please contact Dr. Julie Sinclair at or Christine Caster at For program specific questions, please contact the trip leader(s).

Deadline for application submission: Monday, November 21, 2016 by 9:00 a.m.


Click here to download the 2017 FEGU Student Application document


Below are overviews of the three programs.


Equity in Society and Education: Lessons from Socialist Cuba


This study program will explore issues of race, gender, sexuality, and ability-status in the context of a society that that is very different from the United States. Cuba, a socialist country once considered the most egalitarian country on earth, is the largest island country in the Caribbean. It has a deeply rich culture rooted in Afro-Caribbean traditions and an effective educational system that boasts a 99 percent literacy rate. Though Cuba sits only 90 miles from Florida, Cuba and the United States have a long and contentious history. For over five decades, the US government has imposed a trade embargo on Cuba which has severely limited opportunities for US citizens to travel to the island. This program provides an opportunity for educators and doctoral students to both witness ‘post-normalization’ Cuban life first hand and investigate approaches to equity in society and education in a context dramatically different than the US.

We will be based primarily in Havana, with an additional trip to Viñales known for its agricultural production and stunning landscapes. We have planned a multi-faceted experience that will allow participants speak with Cuban teachers, parents, students, non-governmental organization leaders, sociologists, journalists, and community leaders. With visits planned to The Literacy Museum and the Center for the Study of the Economy, we will learn about Cuba’s famous literacy campaign of the 1960’s and Cuba’s economy. Additional visits to a K-12 school, after school programs, programs for students with disabilities, and art schools on the island will ultimately challenge how participants view education, society, and social justice.


Participants should leave Cuba with more questions than answers—questions about their positionalities as educators and researchers and the meaning of difference and equity. Spanish language skills are not required to participate.


Tentative travel dates: May 15 - 25, 2017

Faculty program leaders: Dr. Donna Rich Kaplowitz, Residential College of the Arts and Humanities, and Dr. Terry Flennaugh, Teacher Education


Language, Religion, and Immigration: Multicultural Identity and Education in France


This program explores historic and contemporary multicultural struggles in France. For two weeks in Paris, participants will learn about the educational experiences of
youth from marginalized linguistic, religious, and cultural groups, and how these experiences are informed by broader sociocultural and political contexts. Sessions are conducted as walking tours, “lunch and learn” guest speaker sessions, visits to universities and cultural sites, and guest teaching at a secondary school. Participants who are interested in issues of justice and equity across the lifespan are encouraged to apply. This trip will offer a look at the “real” Paris beyond and behind the traditional tourist tropes.

Before the trip, pre-travel sessions will include: Community building, how to have critical conversations about race/religion/justice, history of French education, educational experiences for youth of color in France, history of colonization and decolonization, introduction to Islam and Muslim identity, and a “crash course” in the French language.


While abroad, sessions will focus on: the French education system (K-16), the Black history of Paris, immigration in Paris, the influence of Islam on French society and schooling, and race(ism) in France today. Guest speakers will include professors of education at the Sorbonne and teachers of immigrant/refugee youth. We will also spend five days at a French secondary school serving immigrant and refugee students of color, teaching/supporting lessons in English, working with faculty, etc. Day trips are planned to nearby Fontainebleau Chateau/Barbizon Forest and Giverny.


This program is conducted in collaboration with two other universities, whose students (undergraduate and graduate) will meet us in Paris and be with us for the duration of our stay, learning and teaching together. The universities are Georgia State University (led by Dr. Stephanie Behm Cross) and Clayton State University (led by Dr. Erica K. Dotson). French language skills are not required to participate.

Tentative travel dates: May 20 - June 3, 2017.
Faculty program leaders: Dr. Alyssa Hadley Dunn, Teacher Education, and Dr. Jennifer VanDerHeide, Teacher Education


Immigration and Education: Fellowship to the Netherlands


FEGU students will study the phenomenon of new immigrant students entering an education system and its complex effect on learning, teaching, administration, and policy within the country’s educational system. We will also study the role of the research university in addressing community issues represented by the immigration issue. We will concentrate on the immigration and education in the Netherlands, a
country in a part of the world currently experiencing a dramatic surge in immigrant students. FEGU students will work collaboratively with Dutch graduate students and school practitioners on a research project examining this phenomenon.


This program also has a strong research component focused on the effects of participating in global education curriculum development. FEGU students and faculty will work together to collect data throughout the process and all FEGU participants can expect to be submitting proposals for conference presentations as well as journal manuscripts by the Fall semester.


FEGU participation begins in the Spring semester with biweekly meetings, continues in the Summer with a three week trip to the Netherlands, and concludes in Fall semester. While in the Netherlands, students will live in historic and scenic Maastricht. The main activities include working collaboratively with graduate students from Maastricht University, visiting schools for immigrants, public Dutch schools, and Dutch teacher education programs. Cultural visits will be arranged for Amsterdam, Brussels, and Paris. Dutch language skills are not required to participate.


Tentative travel dates: June 10 - 30, 2017

Faculty program leaders: Dr. John Dirkx, Higher, Adult, and Lifelong Education, and Dr. David Wong, Counseling, Educational Psychology, and Special Education