The University today will unveil a program that officials said would fund Yale-approved summer study and internships abroad for undergraduate financial aid recipients, the first program of its kind at a top American university.

The International Summer Award Program, a pilot plan to begin this summer, will award grants to students for summer options overseas which will be proportional to the level of term-time financial aid they currently receive. Participating financial aid students will receive a grant of $2,250 to fully cover their expected summer earnings contribution, which will be awarded in addition to a personalized grant to pay for their expenditures abroad as determined by students’ individual financial need.

Administrators first announced details of the new plan at a meeting with the News on Monday evening. About 125 students — nearly half of the approximately 300 students who officials estimate will study abroad this summer through Yale-sponsored programs — are expected to participate in the ISA program this summer. All of the overseas Bulldogs internship programs, summer language study programs and the Seapine Summer Fellowships fall under the new initiative.

Today’s announcement promises to bring Yale closer to fulfilling its stated goal of removing all financial barriers for students who wish to pursue international opportunities during the summer.

“Study abroad and first-hand exposure to foreign cultures are crucial training for those who will live and work in an increasingly global society,” Yale President Richard Levin said in a statement released to the News on Monday. “Providing significant grants for students with financial need will make it possible for them to have an invaluable international experience that is an integral part of their education.”

Until now, Yale has not offered any institutional financial aid for these programs outside of competitive, merit-based fellowships.

Yale College Dean Peter Salovey said he hopes that by 2006 the number of students participating in the ISA program will approach 300, as the University bolsters its summer study abroad offerings.

“The bottom-line goal here is to make an overseas experience an expectation and a part of every Yale College student’s undergraduate experience,” Salovey said.

The University hopes to expand the foreign “Bulldogs” internship programs, which are now operating in London and Beijing, to include offerings in Japan, Italy, France and Ghana, Undergraduate Career Services Director Philip Jones said. The Yale Summer Session program, which now offers 16 language courses in eight countries, will offer more than 20 courses in 2006, including non-language courses in Asia, Africa and Europe, Summer Programs Director William Whobrey said.

Funding for freshmen, sophomores and juniors will be determined by the level of their Yale-calculated financial need for the 2005 spring semester; graduating seniors are not eligible for aid from the ISA program. Once accepted into a summer program, financial aid students will receive a grant to cover their costs that is proportional to the percentage of their academic year expenses covered by term-time financial aid in addition to the $2,250 grant.

All Yale-sponsored study and internship programs overseas will remain open to all students, including those who are not eligible to receive funding through the ISA program.

Salovey said he expects the program’s costs to exceed $1 million by next year but does not yet know how much the program will cost in its inaugural summer. Officials have already launched a capital campaign to raise funds for the ISA program, which he said has generated a positive response.

“Clearly this is a target for fundraising,” Salovey said. “When we discuss this program with potential donors who have international interests, [their interests] resonate with the goals of this program.”

International Education and Fellowships Programs Director Barbara Rowe said students eligible for aid through the ISA program will still be able to apply for outside sources of funding, but their combined aid cannot exceed the costs of their expenditures abroad. Students will likely be eligible to receive funding through ISA only once in their undergraduate careers, although exceptions may be made for some, Rowe said.

There is no deadline for students to apply for aid through the ISA program. Undergraduate financial aid recipients who are accepted into a summer program and apply for aid will receive notification of their grant award by the end of the spring semester.

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