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Connecticut College wins Senator Paul Simon Award for Campus Internationalization

Connecticut College has received the 2009 Senator Paul Simon Award for Campus Internationalization from NAFSA: Association of International Educators, the world´s largest professional international education association. The annual award recognizes outstanding and innovative efforts in campus internationalization.

Connecticut College is one of five institutions this year to be selected to receive the award, named for the late Senator Paul Simon (D-Ill.), a strong supporter of international education and advocate for international exchange.

"Connecticut College provides extraordinary opportunities for international study and research, and prepares our students for the unique challenges of a global society," Connecticut College President Leo I. Higdon Jr. said. "This award recognizes our strong international programs, our internationally diverse student body and faculty, the variety and depth of our language instruction and the contributions of faculty and students who study and conduct research abroad."

Connecticut College has offered successful international opportunities for nearly 70 years. More than half of all students study abroad and the college has established long-term relationships and affiliations with institutions that offer students a variety of academic programs in more than 50 countries.

In addition, Connecticut College offers its own Study Away/ Teach Away (SATA) program, in which a small group of students and one or two faculty members spend a semester together at a host institution in a different country. The program was created in 1999 to provide opportunities for students and faculty to study together in developing countries, including Vietnam, India and South Africa, which continue to be some of the most popular SATA destinations. The program has since been expanded to include some European locations where faculty members have significant research interests.

On campus, international faculty and students infuse a cross-cultural perspective into the curriculum, programs and campus culture. In the college´s Knowlton Language House residential hall and dining facility, students gather to practice one of the many languages studied on campus, including French, German, Italian, Japanese, Mandarin Chinese, Russian, Spanish and, most recently, Arabic. The college´s well-known Toor Cummings Center for International Studies and the Liberal Arts, which was established in 1989 to help meet the challenge of an increasingly global society, offers the college´s most comprehensive international program by promoting global thinking across academic disciplines and encouraging students to become politically concerned, social engaged and culturally sensitive. The program allows accepted students to internationalize any major with a combination of special coursework, an overseas internship, language study and a senior project.

As a 2009 Senator Paul Simon Award recipient, Connecticut College will be profiled in-depth in NAFSA´s annual report, "Internationalizing the Campus 2009: Profiles of Success at Colleges and Universities," which will be published in the fall of 2009. The college will also be recognized, along with fellow recipients Boston University, Pacific Lutheran University, Portland State University and University of Minnesota - Twin Cities, at the NAFSA annual conference in Los Angeles in May. NAFSA announced the award winners today in a news release.

March 10, 2009