The Q & A With Campus Partners series is designed to connect faculty with personnel and offices on campus in order to better serve Belmont’s students. This installment features Thandi Dinani from the Office of Study Abroad.
What is your title and how long have you been at Belmont?
I am the Director of Study Abroad, and I’ve been here 14 months.
What brought you to Belmont?
After completing my doctoral program focused on international engagement and working in university contexts that send significant numbers of students abroad, my passion for international engagement continued to grow. I enjoy creating opportunities for faculty and students to engage with international counterparts. As Belmont’s study abroad participation increased, I was intrigued by what was occurring at Belmont in such a short amount of time. After coming to campus and learning about Belmont’s creative faculty and interdisciplinary approach to study abroad, it became apparent that my passion and energy matched Belmont’s environment, so the decision to come to Belmont was pretty easy!
What do you do in your role as Director of the Office of Study Abroad?
Is there a word limit to this question?! I provide administrative and visionary support to the study abroad office – ensuring consistent academically rigorous study abroad programs for students. My days may consist of working with faculty to explore new programming or troubleshoot issues that arise with their programs. Or it may entail working with administration and campus partners to identify opportunities for future partnerships with institutions and affiliate programs. Ultimately, my role is to identify study abroad opportunities that best align with the academic goals of Belmont majors, then support faculty and students in utilizing these opportunities to enhance their departments.
How does your office serve Belmont’s students?
Our office serves students by advising students on unique opportunities for them to study abroad to complete courses and/or internships that fulfill major, minor, or general education requirements. Once accepted on a program, our office works with students to complete all necessary paperwork to travel and study abroad successfully.
In what ways do (or can) faculty partner with your office?
Faculty can partner with our office through designing a faculty led program. They can also partner with us to identify strong programs and ideal terms for their students to study abroad. Lastly, they can partner with us to promote identified programs to students.
What would you like faculty to know about the Office of Study Abroad?
The Office of Study Abroad has opened the next call for Proposals for 2019 study abroad programs. Faculty who are interested in designing a faculty-led program for students for Spring Break, Maymester, or Summer 2019 are encouraged to connect with colleagues to design programs and submit proposals at: https://form.jotform.com/80553995558170.
Proposals are due by May 15. If faculty need assistance in building a program, they can contact our office.