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Dickinson Introduces New Study-Abroad Initiatives

Global map, brazil and new zealand, dickinson magazine

by Nicole Beidleman ’20

Dickinson has been consistently recognized for its international approach to education, and one of the things that makes it distinctive is the Dickinson-run study-abroad programs. The “Dickinson in” model works to build long-term, sustainable, reciprocal relationships and create meaningful exchanges and interactions with sites around the world. Dickinson builds partnerships with universities in the host cities, engages in community projects, hires local staff and faculty and hosts exchange students. And recently Dickinson announced its newest program in Brazil and the relocation of its Australia program to New Zealand. 

In the past, Dickinson sent students to São Paulo, Brazil, through CIEE, a study-abroad provider. In 2017 CIEE moved its São Paulo program to Rio De Janeiro. Carolina Castellanos, associate professor of Spanish & Portuguese, and Samantha Brandauer ’95, executive director of the Center for Global Study & Engagement (CGSE), traveled to Brazil to explore alternative programs.

“We came back from that trip two years ago knowing that what we want doesn’t exist,” explains Brandauer. “We have the capacity and know-how to build our own program, and we’re actually offering something that other schools will be interested in because we can be the first at the University of São Paulo because we can do our model, which is to support direct enrollment and dual-language immersion.”

In fall 2020, the first group of Dickinsonians will enroll in the Dickinson in São Paulo program. Castellanos is especially excited, noting that it has been her “dream since joining Dickinson in 2010 to have a strong presence in Latin America.”

Estaiada bridge sao paulo brazil latin america 153457886

Dickinson had run a program with the University of Queensland in Australia since 1999. In 2018, the CGSE staff began looking for alternatives because true “Dickinson in” components, including faculty mobility, community engagement and joint projects, had started to diminish in Australia.  

Members of the CGSE team visited the University of Otago in Dunedin, New Zealand, and found that the values at the core of a Dickinson education—community, collaboration and sustainability—are deeply a part of the New Zealand culture. The University of Otago is interested in learning more about our liberal-arts model and collaborating beyond one-way student mobility. Several Dickinson faculty members have already collaborated with faculty at the university and have hosted visiting scholars in Carlisle. Students will begin participating in the program in fall 2021. 

“My time in New Zealand has been one of the biggest highlights of my Dickinson career, and I’m excited to see the program expand,” says Kirsten Brodeen ’20, who spent the 2018-19 academic year studying business at the University of Otago. “Studying in Dunedin allowed me to experience a larger school while providing me the opportunity to explore the raw beauty of New Zealand. I’m looking forward to more Dickinsonians sharing in this incredible opportunity!”  

Harman nz 2 1, new zealand

Photo by Jamey Harman '18,

Read more from the winter 2020 issue of Dickinson Magazine.


Published February 20, 2020