Officials from Valencia Community College and Koning Willem I College in Hertogenbosch, the Netherlands, signed an agreement this week that establishes a comprehensive exchange program. The agreement outlines the exchange of degree-seeking and non-degree seeking students, academic publications, faculty and research scholars, and collaboration on joint research projects.
A 10-person delegation from the Netherlands made the trip to Orlando this week and toured Valencia, meeting with key administrators, in part to formalize the partnership.
“The goals of the partnership are to foster relationships and understanding and give participants tremendous options for study and work abroad,” said Joyce Romano, vice president for student affairs at Valencia.
Participants will be enrolled concurrently at both institutions and have access to opportunities to learn and work in a foreign country. To facilitate the program, Valencia has applied to the U.S. State Department to be authorized to issue J exchange visitor visas to foreign participants. Other similar agreements are being pursued with colleges in Great Britain and China.
The agreement was initiated by the two colleges’ presidents, Valencia’s Sanford “Sandy” Shugart and Coen Free of Koning Willem I. The two met through their involvement in the Chair Academy, an international leadership and training program for college and university leaders.
“This agreement is part of Valencia’s larger commitment to the globalization of our curriculum and broadening international experiences for faculty, staff and students,” explained Dr. Shugart.
The first exchange trips are expected to occur during the upcoming academic year.