New study abroad program designed for staff, faculty

Diversity grants fund travel to China, France

As part of an effort to encourage a fuller appreciation of diversity on campus, Washington University in St. Louis faculty and staff members are encouraged to apply for a weeklong study abroad experience in one of two Overseas Programs locations: Shanghai, China, or Paris, France.

This is the first time this grant program is being offered.

The Global Diversity Overseas Seminars Program, funded by the Provost’s Advisory Committee for Diversity and Inclusion, seeks to introduce faculty and staff members to dramatically different cultural contexts.

The program is open to all employees, including those whose responsibilities do not generally include overseas travel. Faculty members interested in developing a diversity curriculum specifically supported by one of these seminars also should apply. A total of six grants will be awarded — three per location.

“By connecting WUSTL staff with the Overseas Programs in Shanghai and Paris, our goal is to contribute to the broader conversation on campus and abroad about multiculturalism and inclusion, as well as nurture a globally competent staff and faculty who will share new knowledge and attitudes about difference and diversity with their colleagues, students and communities,” says Priscilla Stone, PhD, assistant provost for international education and director of overseas programs in Arts & Sciences.

Applicants must submit a 250- to 500-word essay explaining why they would like to participate in the program by the Dec. 1 deadline. The application requires supervisor approval.

The actual travel will take place in early June 2012. Participants will travel to the WUSTL Shanghai Center (in affiliation with Fudan University) or Paris, France (location of the Pluralism, Politics and Religion summer program) to explore issues related to diversity in these locations.

In Shanghai, participants will consider issues related to ethnic minorities and urban change; in Paris, the group will explore issues of religious and ethnic pluralism in France. In each location, participants will engage with ongoing WUSTL Overseas Programs faculty and students, attend lectures, guided tours and other activities related to the seminar theme.

To prepare for the experience, participants will attend a series of meetings in the spring semester to discuss the logistics of international travel, as well as issues of cross-cultural learning, diversity and study abroad.

Selected participants are responsible for obtaining an official passport that is valid through the end of 2012. U.S. citizens should visit the State Department website ( for more details on how to apply for a U.S. passport. WU Overseas Programs will assist with visa applications where necessary.

Application materials should be sent by Dec. 1 to Overseas Programs, Campus Box 1088. Proposals will be reviewed and groups will be selected by early January.

For more information and a link to the application, go to