A program & a non-profit
SPAN – The academic program
The Student Project for Amity among Nations (SPAN), founded in 1947, has been affiliated with the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities campus, since then. In so doing, it has been the longest-running study abroad program in Minnesota. SPAN remains one of the only undergraduate overseas research programs in the state.
Since its inception, SPAN has been operating within the university’s College of Liberal Arts and more recently under the auspices of the Institute of Global Studies (IGS) which is housed on the U’s west bank campus. While located at the U of M, the program is open to students from all colleges and universities.
Upon completion of the requirements of the program, SPANners, as they are called, are granted eight upper-level University of Minnesota credits (Courses: FSSP 5960 and FSSP 5970). The educational requirements include 40 hours of pre-departure preparation, a two-month in-country stay while the SPANner conducts research and field studies, and completion of a substantive (50 page) research paper similar to a master’s thesis.
SPAN – the non-profit organization
The Student Project for Amity among Nations (SPAN) also operates as a non-profit organization — the Minnesota SPAN Association — within the state. It is governed by an executive board which offers leadership positions to students as board officers/committee members of the organization. In keeping with the long history of SPAN, members of this student-initiated and student-run organization are required to participate in executive board activities. They are also asked to offer program support by: volunteering in the SPAN office, recruiting students to join SPAN, participating in the annual Thank-a-thon to SPAN donors, and assisting at events such as learning abroad fairs or the Bon Voyage banquet which is held annually for outbound SPANners.