News 2011: UMass Dartmouth creates pioneering Portuguese Studies Program in Lisbon, the "European City of Year"

News 2011: UMass Dartmouth creates pioneering Portuguese Studies Program in Lisbon, the "European City of Year"
UMass Dartmouth creates pioneering Portuguese Studies Program in Lisbon, the "European City of Year"

UMass in Lisbon will be only U.S. program of its kind in Portugal, place UMass faculty oversees and offer program at no additional cost

The University of Massachusetts Dartmouth announced today the creation of the only residential study-abroad program by a U.S. university in Portugal with home-campus faculty teaching home-campus courses.

"UMass in Lisbon" is led by University of Massachusetts Dartmouth Associate Professor and Chair of Political Science Michael Baum with the goal to give students from the five-campus University of Massachusetts system and others the chance to live, study and learn in one of the world's most dynamic cities.

Unlike most study abroad programs, UMass in Lisbon will feature both UMass and Portuguese faculty teaching UMass social sciences and humanities courses at no extra cost to students.

At the same time, partnerships with local universities such as Lisbon University Institute, Lisbon University Faculty of Letters and Lisbon Technical University give students a chance to take English-language and Portuguese-language courses at some of Europe's finest schools of higher learning.

"We're excited about UMass in Lisbon because by charging the same price as it costs to study at UMass Dartmouth, we are making it clear that studying abroad is for anyone with the grades and desire to do it," said Professor Baum.

For the same cost of a UMass education at home, UMass in Lisbon students will have access to the same world class education, along with housing in a renovated 17th-century monastery dorm, reduced-price meal plan, transport in Lisbon, field trips, and a Portuguese cell phone.

Along with Portuguese-language classes for every level of learner, UMass in Lisbon will eventually expand to include internships, home stays and service-learning opportunities.

Professor Baum added, "It makes perfect sense for UMass Dartmouth to be the gateway linking our regional community to the larger Lusophone world, and there is no more pleasant and exciting place to do this than in Lisbon."

Lisbon, the capital of Portugal, is renowned for its cosmopolitan character and high quality of life and was named last month as European City of the Year by the Academy of Urbanism in London, England. With a population of nearly 2 million, Lisbon is a gateway both to the world's largest economy in the European Union and to the world's 200 million Portuguese speakers -- a community with deep ties to southeastern Massachusetts.

UMass Dartmouth also has a long record of outreach to the Lusophone world through its Center for Portuguese Studies and Culture and the Ferreira Mendes Portuguese-American Archives.

The university recently created a dual PhD program between the School of Marine Science and Technology and the University of São Paulo Institute of Oceanography in Brazil, and was one of just 18 U.S. universities to qualify for the prestigious IAPP training program led by the Institute for International Education to build long-term educational partnerships with universities in Brazil.

UMass in Lisbon benefits from a $75,000 grant from the Luso-American Foundation, an organization chartered by the Portuguese government to support innovative projects that foster cooperation between the American and Portuguese peoples. The program is also actively soliciting donations for student scholarships to make the program even more affordable for qualified participants.