Vive la France! The French government recently awarded nearly $22,000 in grants to UC Davis to promote opportunities in France and provide scholarships to students going there.
The secured a grant of $19,386 from the French Embassy in Washington, D.C., and the Study Abroad Club won a $2,000 grant from the French Mission for Culture and Higher Education, located in New York City.
• The Transatlantic Friendship and Mobility Initiative for Innovation and Collaboration on Study Abroad — The French Embassy has provided $19,386 for this proposal from the Office of Global Affairs under the leadership of Vice Provost and Associate Chancellor Joanna Regulska. UC Davis will match the grant, bringing the total budget to nearly $40,000.
The budget allocates $30,000 for scholarships for 20 students in 2017, each of whom must develop a project (for example, a blog, vlog or photo album) for promotional efforts. To continue UC Davis’ commitment to diversity and inclusion, half of the travel funds will be earmarked for students of color and from underserved communities.
For greater promotion, Study Abroad will hold an expanded Studying in France information session (with French food), and, when organizing the biannual Study Abroad Fair, will provide a dedicated table for educational opportunities in France. Study Abroad will invite French students and scholars, and faculty with French ties, to assist in promotional efforts.
“Building bridges and relationships between French students and scholars spending time at UC Davis and UC Davis students planning on spending time in France is a critical part of building intercultural bridges that last for a lifetime,” Fadi Fatallah, associate vice provost for Global Education and Services, wrote in the grant application.
The application outlines a number of new Global Affairs initiatives having to do with France, including the Performing Arts Live! Summer Abroad program launching in 2017 in collaboration with IAU College in Aix-en-Provence, and expanded collaboration between Summer Abroad’s art studio program and Paris-Sorbonne University. Global Affairs also is working on partnerships with other French institutions; and scholarship, internship and exchange opportunities for UC Davis students in fields such as the arts and viticulture and enology.
• France on Campus Award — The French Mission for Culture and Higher Education chose the Study Abroad Club of UC Davis as the first-place winner in this second annual competition.
With the $2,000 prize, the club plans a series of 360-degree videos of UC Davis students’ experiences in France, and a website for the videos, mobile apps (iPhone and Android) that are compatible with virtual reality devices, “in order to create an immersive and interactive experience of France and French culture for students while exploring the different study abroad options, and inspire them to study in France.”
The Sacramento region’s honorary French consul, Guy Michelier, said: “I could not be more happy and proud for UC Davis, my hometown university, winning first place” in this competition. Not only does he live in Davis, but his son completed his undergraduate studies here and went on to earn his medical degree from UC Davis in June 2016.
“I am also very pleased to know that the Study Abroad Club is very much interested in the culture of France and its citizens. I receive many calls and emails during the summer inquiring about traveling to France along with places to stay and eat.
“Myself, being from the Provence region, I have to admit that I am a little biased and often recommend that region. However, I must say that Davis will always be my home and France will always be my country where my roots are.”