FLORENCE - Officials from Roche Carolina, Inc. gave $10,000 to Francis Marion University recently to be used in the university's first student exchange program. The money is strictly for students.
The exchange agreement is with the University of Basel in Switzerland. Effective with the fall 1999 semester, the exchange program will permit students from FMU to study in Switzerland, while students from the University of Basel will come to FMU.
The agreement, supported by Roche Carolina Inc., whose corporate headquarters are in Basel, will permit up to three students from each institution to take full course loads at the other university for a two-semester period.
"Roche has supported us in so many ways, with faculty, infrastructure, and moral support. This goes directly to the students," FMU President-elect Luther F. "Fred" Carter said.
"We hear a lot about virtual reality," Eddy Harding, associate professor of German told the group gathered for the announcement. "But there is nothing to replace reality." Experiencing Switzerland up close and personal by taking advantage of the exchange program is much better than going there via computer.
"I can tell my students about international businesses, but it's amazing how international students enrich the class and add to discussions," Barry O'Brien, associate professor of economics, said.
"We can teach international politics, culture and language, but there is no substitute for a student actually living in that culture," Carter said.
The University of Basel is the oldest university in Switzerland, founded in 1456. A publicly-funded institution, it offers 55 areas of studies in six schools--theology, philosophy and history, natural sciences, law, medicine, and business and economics, and is located in Basel, in northern Switzerland near the borders of France and Germany. Basel, a city of approximately 170,000, is a river port and financial center, and the seat of the Swiss chemical and pharmaceutical industries.
Students will pay tuition and required fees at their home institution only. However, exchange students will be responsible for living expenses, travel and other expenses in the host country. Hospital and other medical expenses are the responsibility of each student who will be required to have medical insurance while in the host country.
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