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“Willkommen in Deutschland” or “Welcome to Germany” can potentially be heard by East Central University students, who now have the opportunity to study abroad in Germany, thanks to an agreement reached between ECU and the University of Applied Sciences Biberach in Biberach, Germany.

University of Applied Sciences Biberach is a small institution of 2,500 students, situated in the southwest part of Germany, fairly close to the French and Swiss borders and less than two hours from the famed Black Forest.

The university specializes in business, architecture and engineering. The agreement was formulated in the spring. According to the agreement, ECU students now can achieve up to 15-18 credit hours by spending a semester in Biberach.

This is the first time that ECU has entered an agreement with a German university, according to Dr. Mara Sukholutskaya, director of ECU’s Global Education Office. This is the ninth university abroad that ECU has a partnership with and the seventh sister-institution.

“This expands our list of countries for study abroad opportunities,” said Sukholutskaya. “Germany has a reputation of being a friendly country. Hopefully, this will produce a lot of interest in our students going over there to study.”

One student from the University of Applied Sciences will study here at ECU, beginning in August. No ECU students are headed there this fall, but Sukholutskaya is anticipating the possibility of students going there for the spring of 2015 or in the fall of 2015.

Studying abroad is a great resume builder, according to Sukholutskaya.

“Having this (study abroad) opportunity is good for any transcript. Something like that can make you stand out as a graduate. Sometimes, having a high GPA is just not enough,” Sukholutskaya said.

However, the importance of study abroad goes deeper than the transcript.

"This is an opportunity for students to expand their horizons and develop critical thinking,” said Sukholutskaya. “There are no drawbacks to studying abroad, it always benefits you. It gives you a better understanding of the world we live in. It also opens up new cultures and new opinions.”

Through this agreement, Sukholutskaya is hoping that scholarship opportunities can be produced.

“ECU is fortunate to have the support of the Ada community. Gary and Linda Ainsworth have helped with scholarships for students to study in Russia and we’ve had scholarships for those who want to study in France,” Sukholutskaya said. “A small scholarship could help students fulfill their big dreams. I really hope in 2014-15, we can start a new scholarship intended for those who would like to explore education in Germany. I think ECU Tigers should go globally.”

ECU’s other partner institutions abroad include: Hunan University in Changsha, China; Hunan Women’s University in Changsha, China; University of Limoges in Limoges, France; University of Guadalajara in Mexico; State University of Management in Moscow, Russia; University of Extremadura in Caceres, Spain; Ukrainian-American Liberal Arts Institute and Wisconsin International University (USA) Ukraine in Kiev, Ukraine; and Kiev National University of Linguistics in Kiev, Ukraine.

For more information on studying abroad contact Sukholutskaya at ECU’s Global Education Office at 580-559-5293 or

Rooftops in Biberach


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