Rice to provide new study-abroad opportunity in Australia

Rice University President David Leebron signed an agreement with the University of Sydney Aug. 25 that will provide Rice students the option to study abroad in Australia during the academic year or the summer.

David Leebron signs MOU“Studying abroad enriches a student’s learning and college experience, but our students sometimes find it challenging to be away from campus during the fall or spring semester,” Leebron said. “This opportunity to study at the University of Sydney also gives credit for summer studies and encourages students to explore and discover the countries and cultures they are learning about. Living in a foreign country provides invaluable educational and life experiences.”

Rice will soon set up a process for students to apply to the program, which will begin in 2018.

The agreement will also allow University of Sydney students to travel, study and live on campus at Rice, where they can interact with Rice students, faculty and administrators. The agreement between the schools is for a minimum of five years and can be renewed for future years.

The agreement will encourage Rice’s student-athletes to participate in overseas learning experiences.

“Due to the demand of a student-athlete’s time for training, practice, competition and schoolwork, it is difficult for them to participate in a traditional study-abroad program during the academic year,” said Joe Karlgaard, director of Rice Athletics. “I’m grateful our student-athletes can now apply for the chance to study abroad.”

“In this interconnected world, the jobs of the future will require students to have international experience — that is why we are more than doubling the number of students who have overseas experience as part of their degree. The University of Sydney will have the largest student-mobility program of any university in Australia,” said Tyrone Carlin, deputy vice chancellor (registrar) and professor of financial reporting and regulation.

“International experience nurtures curiosity, challenges beliefs and builds relationships, and through the knowledge they exchange, these students will have the global perspective necessary to solve the challenges facing our world today.”

Founded in 1850, the University of Sydney is Australia’s oldest university and is regarded as one of the world’s leading universities. It was recently ranked as the world’s 26th-most-reputable university.

Leebron is visiting Australia at the invitation of the Australian government. Prior to signing the agreement, Leebron met with the Australian deputy secretary for higher education, research and international collaboration; the CEO of Austrade; the general manager for the Department of Industry, Innovation and Science; representatives from the Australian Research Council; representatives from the Group of 8, the leading research universities in Australia; and the CEO of the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation, Australia’s foremost federal government agency for scientific research.

About David Ruth

David Ruth is director of national media relations in Rice University's Office of Public Affairs.