Vanderbilt Initiative for Scholarship and Global Engagement
2009 Heiskell Award Honorable Mention: Study Abroad
Nomination submitted by: Joel Harrington, Assistant Provost for International Affairs
The Vanderbilt Initiative for Scholarship and Global Engagement (VISAGE) is a three-module experiential learning program that combines international study and civic engagement with scholarship and service opportunities abroad. The year-long learning sequence begins in January with a core course at Vanderbilt, followed by summer service or a field-based project abroad, and a research-intensive seminar in the fall semester back at Vanderbilt.
With its launch preceded by two years of extensive planning, VISAGE exemplifies an institutional commitment to study abroad. It proves the viability of establishing a curricula-based study abroad infrastructure that can be applied to all academic disciplines, especially those that are typically less-represented in study abroad. One of the program sites, Sustainable Water Resource Development in Australia, was specifically designed to provide direct credit for the Engineering curricula. The flexible structure of VISAGE enables students that have traditionally been limited in their study abroad options due to academic credit constraints to have a comprehensive international experience.