International Education Month: Programs and People Fuel Campus Internationalization at FSU
Florida State University’s International Education Month kicked off on Monday, November 1, and over the next four weeks, the university will celebrate the international influences that FSU benefits from and those it projects around the world.
As much as any year in recent memory, there is a lot to celebrate.
Internationalization at FSU does not happen by itself – it is a stated goal. It starts with the university’s desire to create a globally and culturally sophisticated campus and to ensure that its graduates are ready to succeed in an increasingly globalized world.
Above all, the internationalization of FSU is an interdisciplinary effort involving dozens of programs, organizations and individuals. This work combines academic, cultural, technological and personal elements to ensure that the university’s internationalization effort continues on its award-winning trajectory.
Internationalization at FSU begins with a belief shared across campus, said Cindy Green, director of the Center for Global Engagement (CGE).
“International students and scholars make important academic contributions to FSU and enhance the cultural diversity of the university, which enriches our learning environment,” said Green. “They serve as leaders in our community, conduct exceptional research, fulfill teaching roles and bring unique perspectives to our campus.”
“International students and scholars make important academic contributions to FSU and enhance the cultural diversity of the university, which enriches our learning environment. They serve as leaders in our community, conduct exceptional research, perform teaching functions and bring unique perspectives to our campus. – Cindy Green, Director of the Center for Global Engagement
As COVID-19 put a damper on this momentum, Green said life is getting back to normal.
This fall, CGE welcomed 568 new international students to campus from 83 countries and regions, making it the largest number of new incoming international students to arrive at FSU. Of these newcomers, 118 were admitted in previous semesters and studied remotely due to visa delays and travel restrictions.
At CGE, all students can access a diverse catalog of programs, including company-focused offerings like the International Coffee Hours which take place on Fridays at 5 p.m. appropriately known as The Globe.
CGE’s more academic activities include the Certificate of Global Citizenship. Tanu Kohli Bagwe, Acting GCC Program Director and Professor, said the certificate is a path to learn more about the culture and the world through courses, cross-cultural events and supported experiences.
“Each experience of the certificate serves to develop a holistic and interconnected set of skills necessary to become an empathetic individual, a critical thinker and an advocate for multiculturalism and inclusion,” said Kohli Bagwe.
Programs like Global trade offer students the opportunity to study at one of the more than 40 FSU international partner institutions located in over 20 countries while paying FSU tuition fees, earning FSU credits and using their financial aid .
Graduate student Savannah Mikus participated in an exchange at Kwansei Gakuin University in Japan in spring 2020 while pursuing her bachelor’s degree in Chinese and Japanese culture and language.
“My exchange in Japan allowed me to engage in field research and work with professors from all over the world,” Mikus said. “I was able to discover my passion for researching and discovering the history of Japan. I realized that I had a passion for research and teaching and wanted to share my knowledge and understanding with others.
FSU’s innovation GraduateWorld the initiative is a place where such knowledge sharing occurs. Housed in the Graduate School, it is also a web-based initiative that sits at the intersection of FSU’s internationalization, providing a platform for the work of graduate students, researchers and faculty to FSU is seen by a global audience.
Launched in 2019, GradWorld looks like similar to Google Earth and displays personalized videos uploaded to a number of departments and colleges on campus for the purpose of showcasing the research and achievements of graduate students. The videos are produced in English and in the researcher’s mother tongue.
Alumni Policy Program Coordinator James Beck helped create GradWorld and said one of the goals of the site is to help present work in a more engaging way.
“It’s a way for them to do something different and creative,” Beck said. “They can use their videos to provide a short biography or explain journal articles, master’s theses or doctoral theses in a way that might be more engaging than a simple text.”
Beck said GradWorld also plays a valuable role as a portal through which a global audience of potential research collaborators, potential employers and interested students can learn more about FSU.
“One of the benefits that we have seen is that it allows potential students to really explore and find a specific study program or maybe search for student videos of students from their home country. “, did he declare. “They can find all kinds of useful information about FSU there and then maybe be inspired to come here.”
Beck said that since its launch, more than 300 videos representing 40 countries and 72 different degrees have been posted on GradWorld.
In the area of Brick and Mortar Footprint, FSU’s International Programs operate three European Study Centers and one at FSU’s campus in Panama City, Panama. The COVID-19 pandemic ended programs from March 2020 to January 2021.
PI Associate Director Louisa Blenman said enrollment had rebounded in programs for fall 2021 and exceeded pre-pandemic levels with 419 students attending the university’s three European Studies Centers in Valencia, Spain; Florence, Italy; and London.
“We are delighted to have record registrations at our European Study Centers this fall and our summer applications are also on track for a record term,” said Blenman.
Blenman said a patchwork of changing pandemic measures at the local, national and international levels made it difficult to manage programs as bottlenecks were lifted.
“Restrictions, mitigation measures and blockages varied from country to country and over time, so it was a constant challenge to stay on top of the rules and regulations for host countries and states- United, ”she said.
“Our teams in Tallahassee and abroad have done an impressive job of providing meaningful and integrated intercultural experiences amid very difficult circumstances,” she said. “The students were fantastic; I am so proud of them. They have shown resilience, creativity and perseverance to make the most of their time abroad. Those who have participated in the spring and summer programs will certainly have unique experiences to draw upon to continue their academic and professional endeavors.
FSU’s London Study Center celebrates 50 yearse anniversary of operation this year. This comes about a year after FSU’s Florence Study Center moved into its new home in the renovated neighborhood. Palazzo Bagnesi Falconeri, a Renaissance era, 37,000 square feet of space located in the heart of the city.
Blenman said there was more good news to share as FSU’s Panama campus and its study abroad program are expected to resume in-person operations.
“Higher education there has just received approval from the Panamanian government to resume face-to-face operations,” she said. “So this spring will be the first time they go back since March 2020. I know our students, faculty and staff from Panama are very happy to be returning to campus. “
For more information, visit https://global.fsu.edu/iem.