DePaul University Newsline > Sections > Campus and Community > Channeling Vincentian values through international experience

Channeling Vincentian values through international experience

School of Hospitality Leadership students
School of Hospitality Leadership students in Florence, Italy. (Image courtesy of Global Engagement)
​With about 90 different programs offered annually, located in over 40 different countries, DePaul’s study abroad office wants every student to find a program fit for them. To reach this goal, members in the office channel Vincentian values in their everyday work. 

Study abroad staff strive to make programs available to as many students as possible, especially those with increased financial need. In addition to on-campus financial aid, more than 250 students receive scholarships specifically for studying abroad. 

“The work we do is so intimately intertwined with DePaul's mission,” says Martha McGivern, director of DePaul Study Abroad. McGivern and her team help send about 1,100 students abroad each year. 

The constant question the study abroad office asks is "'What must be done' to make travel possible for the greatest number of students?" The team believes by enabling students to travel, they contribute to DePaul’s mission. They help expose students to opportunities in which they can experience different cultures, learn to promote peace and dignity, discover a zeal for justice, and learn their place in the world next to everyone they meet. 

To most, travel is expensive, but McGivern believes in the importance of international experiences. 

“Each of those students learned something about the world,” McGivern says. “They learned something about themselves in relation to the world.” 

Through a number of initiatives, the office is trying to broaden this accessibility. 

One recently enacted program is the passport caravan. On Oct. 25, the office gave away 104 free passports for eligible students demonstrating financial need. The office received a special grant for this initiative, but the team is working toward finding a more permanent funding source in order to continue the program. The passport caravan is an extension of the office’s quest to incorporate the Vincentian mission into their everyday work. 

"Not only do students gain from their experiences abroad, they also bring these experiences back to campus and share them with their peers and the DePaul community," McGivern says. "They're putting knowledge into practice and growing from these experiences long after they've returned home."
The deadline to apply for summer 2020, fall 2020 and academic year 2020-21 programs is Thursday, Feb. 13. To learn about these programs and more, visit the Study Abroad website.​