International Education Week Noted at TAMIU Nov. 13-17

TAMIU Notes International Education
Week, Expanded Student Opportunities

International Education Week, Nov.  13-17, finds Texas A&M International University continuing to expand its international offerings and providing its students with daily opportunities to experience an international education.

Dr. Dan Jones, TAMIU provost and vice president for academic affairs, said the occasion provides the University with a chance to pause and affirm its dedication to international education.

 “This week-long observance, jointly sponsored by the federal departments of State and Education, serves to affirm our University’s commitment to an international education for our students.  ‘International’ is in our DNA and through collaborative efforts with 40-plus institutions around the world, student and faculty exchange and study abroad programs and an international presence by both students and faculty, we are confirming our commitment and dedication to international education,” Dr. Jones said.

A team of University administrators including Jones, Dr. Jacky So, dean of the College of Business Administration, and Dr. Jaime Ortiz, associate vice president for International Programs, recently returned from a trip aimed at developing new collaborations in China, Hong Kong, and Taiwan. Other efforts have recently taken place in South America and the Middle East.

This semester, the University’s enrollment features 5 percent international students, representing 30 nations.  Likewise, the University faculty continues to represent a large international population.

This Fall, the University also welcomed its first Fulbright Scholar, Hasssan Qutub, who is leading a course in Arabic, a first for the University. The Fulbright Program, the flagship international exchange program of the US, celebrates its 60th anniversary this year.

Dr. Ortiz noted that Qutub’s assignment at TAMIU is in direct correlation with the White House’s National Security Language Initiative.

“At last January’s first University Presidents Summit on International Education, President Bush announced the Initiative. At that time, Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice said ‘studying critical languages such as Arabic, Chinese, Russian, Hindi, and Farsi expands young people’s opportunities, enriches their lives, and demonstrates our respect for other cultures.’ With professor Qutub’s presence, we are greatly expanding our students’ understanding of the Middle East and its rich culture and history,” Dr. Ortiz said.

To further encourage student participation in Study Abroad Programs, the University is now accepting passport applications on behalf of the U. S. Department of State. This Spring Break, the University has planned a new study tour to Paris lead by TAMIU associate professor of English and French, Dr. Annette M. Olsen-Fazi.

According to the Department of State, more than 550,000 students from around the world study in the United States each year, while nearly 200,000 Americans study in other nations.

A new study by the Council of Graduate Schools indicates that international graduate enrollment at U.S. universities has increased for the first time in four years.

Jones said Department of Education Secretary Spellings’ statement on International Education Week shares TAMIU’s vision for international education.

“She notes, ‘Education teaches more than students. It teaches all of us to see beyond our borders and boundaries, both real and imagined. It teaches us to overcome stereotypes and appreciate cultures other than our own. In so doing, it gives us hope for a brighter future by advancing freedom, opportunity and understanding.’ We concur completely,” Jones said.

For additional information on the University’s commitment to international education, current Study Abroad programs and more, contact the Division of International Programs at 326.3068, go by offices in Pellegrino Hall 301, e-mail jortiz@tamiu.edu or visit tamiu.edu/dip/?id=3

Journalists who need additional information or help with media requests and interviews should contact the Office of Public Relations, Marketing and Information Services at prmis@tamiu.edu