Providing housing for US students aboard.

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Providing housing for US students aboard.


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Old 21st January 2008, 06:13 PM
 
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Default Providing housing for US students aboard.

Hi,
My wife studied in Italy before we were married. I sold everything I had and went over, too. It was truly a great experience. That was in the earlier '70's and I am retired now. I am thinking about the following and would like some feedback.
I am thinking about setting up a program where US students live aboard while taking courses from their home college online.
The first year I would rent a house Europe (perhaps Italy, Spain, or England.) We would invite from 4 to 8 students to move to Europe and study (college) for one school year. We would be guidance facilitators.
Perhaps, I would like to team up with another retired couple or single retired person. All expenses for the house would be split between all involved, but it should bring the cost way down. The students would be from one college in the states and all courses they take would be on-line. One college I communicated with is Gwinnett Technical College in Georgia. They have an online business degree at an amazingly low tuition. (Example: 12+ credit hours: in state - $ 535 total; out of state - $967.)
This way a lower income student could study in Europe for a very low cost which should be able to be paid with grants (which the school said they could get even if taking the courses aboard) and summer jobs. The students would pay lodging and food, of course, and all other expenses, but should be able to do so at a very reasonable cost compared to domestic courses.
If the program is successful after the first year I would do 3 houses. One in England, Spain, Italy and/or Greece. The students would switch houses 3 times during the year to visit and study in all countries.
I want to maintain the highest moral standard for all involved and would interview, do security checks, and select based on moral values.
This might be set up where the facilitators stay at one location or travel with the students, if more than one location is established. Or this might be tried for only one year.
Since the first location is not yet determined I will post this in other country chats for comment.
Any suggestions?
Thanks,
Bob

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Old 21st January 2008, 09:03 PM
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I'm not quite sure what you're proposing here. It sounds like you're saying that the students would live in Europe, but be taking online courses through their colleges back in the US.

Wouldn't it be better to have the students studying at a university in the country where they are staying? (It would certainly make the idea of getting them visas a whole lot easier.)

To be honest, European universities are very interested in attracting foreign students, in large part because they pay tuition fees (unlike the local students).

The idea of setting up affordable housing is a good idea - as many European universities don't have such things as dorms and student housing can be pretty groady. (At least here in France, most university students live at home so "student housing" consists of dirt cheap apartments for those who live too far out in the sticks to commute.)

In any event, it's an interesting idea.
Cheers,
Bev

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Old 22nd January 2008, 02:31 PM
 
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Default Thanks Bev

Bev,
Thanks very much for your reply.
There are several reasons why I am purposing the students take online courses from a college in the US. If they go home they can continue the program without interruption.
The loans and free government grants are available to US students for online courses just as they are for full residence students. It doesn’t make any difference where they study.
Plus I would like to open the eyes to students and parents that they can get a good accredited college education for cheap, and experience Europe.
I would very much like all students residing in one residence to take the exact same courses online to establish a common group effort.
Your input about the visa is an important factor that I will check.
Incidentally one event that made me consider online courses as the key element of this program is that I met with an official of Florida State in my job before I retired who told me that 50% of the courses at the school are now taken online which saved them huge infrastructure costs. I assume he knew what he was talking about. That made me rethink online education.
Thanks again,
Bob

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Old 17th March 2008, 05:16 AM
 
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Default Great Idea Bob!

Bob:

I really like your idea, what a unique concept. I do have some concerns I would like to address here. First, without the "study house" being an official government school or an accredited college or Institute of some kind, there is no way for us to issue proper University/Institute paperwork that the Italian Consulates here in the U.S. would accept to issue student visas.
I have done a tremendous amount of research on how I could get to Italy myself to finish writing my book and be there legally. A student Visa is one way for me to get there, but there is a significant amount of paperwork that is generated by the school that is sent to the potential student who then is required to take it to the Consulate under juristiction of their home state where then a student visa is issued. The Italians are a wonderful people, but Italy is known to have the most bogged down beurocratic system in the world, hands down over the United States. Paperwork gets lost in their government only to never be found at times! I'm being a little sarcastic, but not entirely out of line.
On another topic, can I ask why I need to be retired to possibly get involved with your proposal? I am a professional educator myself, by no means a young lad, but not quite retired...lol. I really like your idea, but some much need research will need to be accomplished in order to understand the full scope of the project. Do you have some capital to invest in? If so, would you consider purchasing an existing TEFL school in Eastern Italy in the Marche region? There is actual housing property on premise which may or may not be suitable for student housing, allowing the "online" atmosphere to happen while being in an immersion program! This may then satisfy the Visa requirements as the institute is already in existence and has had proven success in obtaining student visas from foreign countries. I don't pretend to know all the details, but I thought I would throw that idea out there.
If you would like to personally contact me with further details and to discuss this in a more confidential setting, you may send me a private message and I'll be happy to provide you with my email address.

Kind Regards,

David
"TravelingHillbilly

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