Swansea University has been awarded €131,400 (£112,588) funding to support student mobility between Swansea and the University of Houston.
The European Union programme for education, Erasmus+, will provide the funding, which supports students who wish to spend time overseas.*
The University's partnerships with Texas allows it to offer students life-changing opportunities to spend time abroad for no additional tuition fee.
Its exchange programmes, with three top-ranked Texas universities state including the University of Houston, allow students to study abroad for a semester or a year.
Manager of the Texas partnership Caroline Coleman-Davies explains that students who have received Erasmus+ funds to participate in study abroad in Texas have benefited enormously. She said:
“Studying abroad has had a huge impact on participants. Recipients said that the experience made them more confident, better able to work with people from other backgrounds and cultures, and improved their job prospects.”
Dr Coleman-Davies commented that the study abroad increases students’ transferable skills and improves their cultural awareness, thereby enhancing their employability.
She added: “This mutually beneficial scheme will also support inbound students from the University of Houston, allowing them to benefit from Swansea University’s academic expertise and experience all that Swansea has to offer.”
Swansea University has committed to giving every student the opportunity to undertake a global experience during their degree, and these funds will be targeted at students from low-income backgrounds and from families where previous generations have not participated in Higher Education.
University of Houston student Erika Patino speaks highly of her time at Swansea:
“One of the greatest things about my experience abroad was meeting so many different people from all different countries, cultures and backgrounds. My exchange experience changed me as a person: I am a much more liberal, politically and environmentally aware.”
Swansea University student Scott Rosser also commented on his time abroad:
“I have always considered myself to be open-minded but I can honestly say that travel really does broaden the mind. It has affirmed my beliefs in inclusiveness and acceptance of others regardless of where you were born or your ethnicity. Their experience has enthused me to started learned new languages and I’m currently studying French and Spanish.
*Organisations participating in Erasmus+ projects must be established in a Programme Country. However, some of the funding initiatives in youth and higher education are also open to participating organisations from Partner Countries.