In addition to the programs and services through which we create a global campus culture and expand international opportunities, the International Office is working on a number of strategic initiatives that expand the University's international reach and increase our global impact.
Longer term immersion programs, such as semester exchanges, offer students richer educational experience. The International Office has collaborated with the top majors in Liberal Arts and Natural Sciences as well as Education, Social Work, and Communications, to develop four-year degree plans that incorporate a semester-long study abroad. Through the curriculum integration project, we are expanding our network of exchange partners in order to provide more study abroad opportunities to students.
A diversity of perspectives on campus is essential to internationalization. Through sponsored and customized programs, the International Office draws participants from parts of the world that would otherwise not be represented at UT. Equally important is ensuring all UT students have the opportunity to study abroad. Through our First Abroad Initiative and programs for students with lower GPAs, we reduce financial and academic barriers that disproportionately affect underrepresented groups, particularly first-generation college students.
We collaborate with departments across campus to pursue interdisciplinary grants and create innovative and impactful global programs that further campus internationalization. For example, we have developed the President's Award for Global Learning, the signature interdisciplinary program initiated by the International Board of Advisors. Previously, we implemented an undergraduate research exchange program with the Jackson School of Geosciences, coordinated an entrepreneurship institute with the McCombs School of Business, assisted the LBJ School to become one of three U.S. institutions selected to receive graduate students from Cuba in fall 2016, and tailored programming for DDCE and Athletics.