UT renews exchange program with English university | UToledo News

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UT renews exchange program with English university

Dr. Brian Ashburner and Dr. Patricia Komuniecki, second and third from left, posed for a photo with University of Salford colleagues, from left, Darren Brooks, Martin Hall, Judith Smith and David Storey.

Dr. Brian Ashburner and Dr. Patricia Komuniecki, second and third from left, posed for a photo with University of Salford colleagues, from left, Darren Brooks, Martin Hall, Judith Smith and David Storey.

The University of Toledo has renewed its commitment to an international exchange program that immerses students in a year of advanced science education in England.

UT administrators traveled to the University of Salford, located in northwest England outside Manchester, last month to renew a memorandum of understanding with the school for another five years to continue the exchange program that began in 1984.

“I’m delighted this important exchange program has enjoyed such a rich history and that both institutions are committed to see it continue,” said Dr. Patricia Komuniecki, UT vice provost for graduate affairs and dean of the College of Graduate Studies, who directed the program for 20 years. “The opportunity to live in another country that is quite diverse is an exposure in global citizenship that you just can’t match.”

Since the UT-Salford Exchange Program began 27 years ago, more than 200 students from each institution have participated.

Each year an average of eight to 10 UT science majors, primarily biology/pre-med students, spend their junior year at Salford taking upper division lecture and lab “modules.” UT students study with peers from all over the globe during their exchange year in England. Salford students also come to UT during their second year to experience science education in the United States.

“The program really provides a unique experience to be immersed in another culture for a full year,” said Dr. Brian Ashburner, UT associate dean of the College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics and current director of the program. “The students get a chance to explore another culture while spending the year focused on the advanced science curriculum that prepares them well to continue their studies in graduate or professional school.”

Nearly all alumni of the program pursue and succeed in graduate and professional programs at prestigious institutions. About 10 percent of the Salford exchange students return to UT to pursue their advanced degrees.

Students need to have at least a 3.2 GPA their freshman year at UT to qualify for the exchange program and begin the application process, which includes an essay and letters of recommendation, their sophomore year.

The program is structured in a way that students register through UT for their courses abroad, which allows them to keep their financial aid and does not impact their time to degree. UT students also have the opportunity for travel throughout the United Kingdom and Europe as part of this well-established exchange with the University of Salford.

For more information, contact Ashburner at brian.ashburner@utoledo.edu.

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