December Update

A Letter from Lorna Stern Laniak

Dear Colleagues:

Greetings from Arcadia University. On behalf of all of us here in Glenside and around the world, may we wish you a very happy holiday.

This year has brought many opportunities and challenges and we look back with amazement at all that has been accomplished. 2008 marked our 60th anniversary, an occasion we have been celebrating since January. In June, we said goodbye to David Larsen and hello to Nikki Christensen as Vice-President and Executive Director of the Center for Education Abroad.

The transition has been smooth as Nikki has begun to move us all along at a smart pace into new projects and opportunities.  Among these many projects was the launch of several new programs:  Arcadia in Paris, the Arcadia Center for East African Studies in Arusha, Tanzania, the London Now program, the Mediterranean Center for the Arts and Sciences and the three cities (Athens, Rome, and Syracuse) summer program Mediterranean Myths and Monuments: The Classical World Today.

In addition, a Mediterranean Studies Certificate Program has been approved by the Arcadia University faculty inaugurating a new academic program that allows students to take advantage of our multiple sites in Spain, Greece and Italy while exploring the Mediterranean region from an interdisciplinary perspective.

Accompanying these new academic program directions has been an emphasis on looking at our co-curricular learning opportunities around the world and the subsequent development of a Co-Curricular Learning Certificate. A pioneering project, the Co-Curricular Learning Certificate is being unveiled in multiple destinations with the collaborative work of Dennis Dutschke, Dean of Studies, the Resident Directors and our Director of Research and Assessment, David Rudd. As the months move forward, we will be reporting back to you about our progress with this new initiative.

In Barcelona, we are poised to hire a new Resident Director who will continue the directions established by the recent acquisition of the Barcelona Center in September. The Arcadia in Barcelona Center will participate in the Mediterranean Studies Certificate Program as well as provide a new focus on this unique region of Spain through both Spanish and Catalán studies.

The Life of the Mind Series, which was inaugurated this year, will kick off the year of Global Leadership with our first Leadership Symposium in Italy as an example of just one activity around the world. Further information on this exciting opportunity is coming soon to our website.

To support these new program models and initiatives, Arcadia has hired new staff to expand our offices. Among them are our new Academic Director in London, Dr. Chiara Briganti, new staff members in Australia and New Zealand, the creation of the position of Director of Research and Assessment, the building out of our Finance Office as well as the addition of several technical support positions. We have also expanded the field staff and grown from 7 to 9 assistant directors based regionally around the country.

Through all of these exciting new initiatives, our commitment to providing high quality academic programs to our students around the world remains as strong as ever. We thank you all for your work with us through this year as we labor together to ensure that our students develop a mind that attempts to understand and engage with global issues, the diversity of peoples and the kaleidoscope of cultures that makes up our world.

Blessings and peace in the New Year,

Lorna Stern Laniak
Director of Institutional Relations

Arcadia University Ranked #1 in Nation
in Open Doors Study Abroad Rate

Arcadia University ranks #1 in the nation for the percentage of undergraduate students studying abroad in the 2008 Open Doors report, the authoritative annual census conducted by the Institute of International Education ( Arcadia had the highest percentage of undergraduate study abroad participation among all U.S. colleges and universities for the academic year 2006-07.

“Today's students are tomorrow’s leaders,” says Arcadia University President Jerry Greiner. “And tomorrow, every leader will need a global perspective. Study abroad is no longer perceived as just for the privileged. It's part of a complete education that includes multicultural interaction."

Christensen Appointed to United Nations Commission on Disarmament Education, Conflict Resolution, and Peace

Dr. Nicolette DeVille Christensen, Vice President of Arcadia University and Executive Director of the Arcadia University Center for Education Abroad, was recently appointed to the United Nations Commission on Disarmament Education, Conflict Resolution, and Peace. The Commission was founded in 1990 by the International Association of University Presidents (IAUP) in conjunction with the United Nations Department of Disarmament Affairs. 

The IAUP/UN Commission’s overall mission is to promote peace and disarmament in society through education.  To this end, the Commission encourages, assists, and participates in the coordination and development of educational programs in disarmament education, conflict resolution, and peace.  Members come from around the globe, primarily from institutions of higher education. 

Dr. Christensen delivered a keynote speech at the Commission's bi-annual meeting at the United Nations on Wednesday, December 3rd.  For more information about the work of the United Nations Commission on Disarmament Education, please visit

Certificate of Mediterranean Studies

The Arcadia University Mediterranean Studies Program is designed for students who wish to focus part of their undergraduate experience on Mediterranean studies by participating in two contiguous Arcadia programs in that region (spring semester and summer program, summer and fall, or fall and spring).The Spring 2009 launch of this exciting new program coincides with the news that Barcelona has been chosen as the headquarters of the Mediterranean Union.

Students in the Mediterranean Studies Program will have the opportunity to engage in a wide range of learning experiences from courses to research, to co- and extra-curricular activities. This interdisciplinary, global program is centered on studies in the humanities, social sciences and sciences and culminates in a capstone project supervised by an on-site faculty member in conjunction with the Dean of Studies.

Students may participate in any two of the following Arcadia centers in the fall, spring or summer terms. Students typically choose two different centers in order to complete the Mediterranean Studies certificate, but they may complete the program at the same center:

The Arcadia Center for Hellenic, Balkan and Mediterranean Studies and Research, Athens

Centro Linguistico dell’Ateneo and Universitŕ del Salento, Lecce, Italy and Mediterranean Center for Arts and Sciences, Siracusa (Sicily), Italy

The Arcadia Barcelona Center, Barcelona, Spain or Centro de Lenguas Modernas and the University of Granada, Granada, Spain

Holiday Hours

We have created a page with information about our Holiday Schedule so that you can plan to be in touch with us, if necessary, when we are open during the coming weeks. Our office schedule for the next several weeks can be found here.

Arcadian Presence at NAFSA Conferences

Arcadia was represented at all of the NAFSA regional conferences held this fall with several staff members either presenting or chairing sessions. Among the topics covered by Arcadia staff are those listed below.

"Directors Discourse," a comment on key issues of particular challenge to study abroad directors.
Lorna Stern, Region VIII,
Pittsburgh, PA

"Study Abroad 201 Workshop."
Dru Simmons, Region V; Lincolnshire, IL.

"Taking the reins on your professional site visit: How to successfully see the world when you're not a student or a tourist."
Dru Simmons, Region V; Lincolnshire, IL.

"Using Film Clips for Intercultural Training."
Amy Greeley
, NAFSA Region IV Conference in Fargo, ND

"Affiliated Lists: Why & How."

Amy Greeley, NAFSA Region IV Conference in Fargo, ND

U.K. Book Club and Library Lounge

Spring 2009 marks the inaugural semester for the Arcadia Study Abroad Book Club, an opportunity for students to understand their host country in a whole new way!

This semester Arcadia is highlighting two novels from the United Kingdom to be read and discussed both online and in person with fellow students and Arcadia staff over the course of the semester. Program managers, Traci Chupik and Katharine Reinhart, will moderate the discussion group and provide ideas, suggestions, and discussion questions aimed to help participants understand each work in its historical and cultural context.

So far 63 students have registered for the book club, which begins during the pre-departure phase and culminates in an overnight excursion to sites relevant to the chosen books. The group will be reading The Testament of Gideon Mack, by James Robertson and Northanger Abbey, by Jane Austen. This semester, students will also have the distinct privilege of traveling with Scottish author James Robertson to specific sites mentioned in his novel, providing ample opportunity for students to discuss ideas with the author himself!

Accepted students on all Arcadia programs are encouraged to check out our Library Lounge, where they can get suggestions on books and films that will help them prepare for their time abroad and begin to delve into the literature and media of the culture in which they will be studying.

Aussies Visit Glenside Elementary School

Second graders at Glenside elementary got a taste of life "Down Under" when special guests, Cameron Southey and Lyndon Iles (from our Arcadia offices in Sydney and Melbourne, respectively) visited their classroom recently. 

Apart from learning a bit about the culture and geography of Australia and its amazing variety of flora and fauna, the students had the chance to participate in a fun Australian song and to check out Australian money.  To add a little drama to the event, it turned out that some students found it difficult to part with the coins and bills that were passed around. By the end of the visit, Cam and Lyndon were short about AU $70. The teachers were on the case, though, and the missing cash was soon recovered!

New Student Support Staff in New Zealand

New Zealand Resident Director, Jane Gunn-Lewis and Assistant Director, Kate Casey are pleased to welcome two new staff members starting in January 2009. 

Aislinn Ryan has joined the Arcadia New Zealand team in the role of Student Support Coordinator for our Victoria University at Wellington students.  Aislinn is a Wellington native who brings to the table great energy and ideas for activities and volunteer opportunities for our students.  Aislinn knows the U.S. well because she toured for three years with the Riverdance Company, probably the only New Zealander ever to do so! 
Shane Stevic will be the Student Support Coordinator for our Otago students in 2009. Shane has a business degree from Otago and also studied for one year at Hong Kong University. Shane has years of experience teaching and running his own English school in Japan but his real passion is kite boarding.


Arcadia Updates is a monthly e-newsletter published by the Arcadia University Center for Education Abroad.

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