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Global Faculty-Led Experiences (FLEX)

The Lewis Global Studies Center's FLEX programming initiative offers faculty opportunities to design and lead short-term global learning travel programs (1—3 weeks) to either enhance an existing course or as a newly credited course offered during winter, spring or summer breaks. This initiative replaces the former Global Engagement Seminars. The goal is to build a range of global experiential learning activities that can be readily adapted to departmental and faculty interests. Programs may be outside of the United States or have a global theme within the United States.

Current Offerings 2018–19

Interterm 2019

St. Petersburg, Russia with the Higher School of Economics
Application Deadline: October 1, 2018
Program Date: January 2019

Cost: $3,800

The Global FLEX St. Petersburg program will be offered by the Lewis Global Studies center and the Program in Russian, East European and Eurasian Studies (REEES) at Smith College, in cooperation with the National Research University – Higher School of Economics (HSE) in St. Petersburg in January Interterm, 2019. The program begins with a short visit to Moscow, before heading north to the beautiful city of St. Petersburg on the Baltic Sea. Students will live in a in St. Petersburg hostel while taking academic classes with at HSE. Excursions within the city allow students to explore the history and contemporary culture of Russia’s second capital. The program also includes social activities with local Russian students for language exchanges and introduction to cultural venues within St. Petersburg. The program is offered as a 2-credit course "Introduction to Russian, East European and Eurasian Studies". Students will be required to write reflection papers while in St. Petersburg and a longer paper based on assigned readings. Students should expect to attend classes, participate in discussions, and work on the final paper at the end of the classes. No prior study of Russian is required.

Summer 2019

Ireland: Overcoming Divided Histories
Application Deadline: February 11, 2019
Program Date: May 20–May 31, 2019

Cost: $3,500

This program is a collaborative project with the Jandon Center and the Lewis Global Studies Center. Professor Thurston and Denys Candy, Director of the Jandon Center, will be the faculty leaders for the trip, to be conducted in May of 2019. The travel program will visit Dublin and Belfast; making connections between the literary history of the region, especially Dublin, and the peacemaking initiatives of various groups active in long history of the “troubles”:  the Belfast Interface Project, the Northern Ireland Women’s Coalition, groups of former political prisoners, and community organizations active in overcoming sectarian divisions still visible in the urban fabric of the region. 

The literary component of the program is described by Professor Thurston below: 
“From the “Revival” epitomized by W.B. Yeats, Lady Augusta Gregory, John Millington Synge, and James Joyce to the recent past dominated by such writers as Edna O’Brien, Eavan Boland, Seamus Heaney, Brian Friel, and Ciaran Carson, writers from across the island (which is to say, from both the Republic – formerly the Free State – and Northern Ireland, from communities both Catholic and Protestant, both Irish and Anglo-Irish, both nationalist/republican and unionist) have used their work to confirm, challenge, and complicate identities formed around geography, religion, politics, and orientation toward one or another historical event. What role has literature played in the crystallization of antagonisms? What role might it play in imagining community bonds across borders, boundaries, and walls?”

Application Instructions for Students

To apply for a Global FLEX program, submit your application online in Smith International Travel Experiences System (SITES). Once in SITES, go to Search Programs and use the keyword ‘FLEX’ to locate the current programs. 

Instructions for Faculty

  1. An initial site visit to plan the program and select local program providers, usually the year prior to the planned program. Faculty may be asked to seek additional support from CFCD or departmental funds.
  2. A one-time program development stipend of $1,000 is available for new programs.
  3. A faculty stipend of $2,000/week, for a maximum program length of three weeks, for planning, designing, leading and reporting on the travel program.
  4. Flight, accommodations and meals for the traveling faculty member.
  5. Partial coverage of student expenses based on financial need status. Students will be expected to pay for some portion of their program fees, and any related visa, immunization or other travel expenses.
  1. Priority funding is for programs intended to be offered on at least two occasions, with calendar year timing dependent on the number of trips offered each year. Funding beyond two trips will need to be supported from other sources.
  2. Faculty are required to participate in a risk management workshop and training offered annually.  Additional pre-departure risk assessment meetings will also be required.
  3. In most cases, logistics will be supported by a local contractor or institution. A services contract and/or MOU will be prepared by the faculty member and local contractor in coordination with the Lewis Center.
  4. Programs are required to include professional student affairs support to assist with logistics and handle student health and safety issues during the program.
  5. Faculty will write a short report with documentation (such as photos and student assignments) for donor reports, to be submitted within 90 days of the end of the program.
  6. Students will complete evaluations and submit thank you letters to the donor(s) at the end of the program.

Course enhancement proposals will require Lewis Global Studies Center and Committee on Study Abroad (CSA) approval; proposals requesting a new course designation and credit will also need to be submitted to the Committee on Academic Priorities (CAP). This process can take 6—10 weeks depending on when the initial proposal is received.

  1. Proposal is initially submitted to the Lewis Center directors for review and determination of viability.
  2. Based on initial review and requests for additional information, proposals are subsequently forwarded to CSA for study abroad approval.
  3. Proposals that request a new credited course (typically 2 credits), and supported by the Lewis Center and CSA, are submitted to CAP for final consideration and course approval.

Please direct any questions about the Global FLEX program or the process to Laura Gomez.