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 Tuesday, Nov. 24, 2009 IssueFaculty/Staff E-Newsletter


Bringing CU to the world, and the world to CU
Chancellor Philip P. DiStefano

As we celebrated International Education Week on campus last week (Nov. 16-20, 2009), I was moved by the experiences of our students studying abroad.

As I write this, psychology major Annie Scott is studying at the University of Ghana in west Africa, learning a local language, living with a large Ghanaian family, volunteering in an orphanage, and working to free child-labor slaves. All this in one semester! It’s a learning experience on many levels that she will carry with her for the rest of her life. “I’m grateful for the new view I’ve gained on life and the world,” she said.

She is one of 1,257 University of Colorado at Boulder students studying abroad right now. The number represents the most students studying abroad of any Colorado institution and it ranks us 12th in the nation. Our students choose from over 260 programs in 56 different countries on every continent, except Antarctica.

Laura Bate, an international affairs and economics major, studied Arabic in Egypt. Sharoia Taylor, an ethnic studies senior, did fieldwork in Brazil. Cassiope Sydoriak studied art and art history in Florence, and lived in a house with students from seven countries. Matthew McAllister, a political science major with an economics minor, had an eye-opening experience in South Africa. And Mark Arnoldy, who studied in Nepal, is returning to distribute locally produced, fortified peanut butter to help alleviate malnutrition in a half million Nepalese children as part of his honors thesis. To learn more of their compelling stories in words and video please visit the News Center website.

Beyond our students studying abroad, we also have 1,248 international students enrolled, which also leads all Colorado institutions. They come to us from 86 different countries including India, China, South Korea, Saudi Arabia and Taiwan, and also from Mongolia, Burkina Faso, Oman, Uzbekistan, Libya, and Senegal. In addition, CU-Boulder has a state-leading 658 international visiting scholars from 62 countries. They are teaching and conducting research as we continue building a global crossroads for the advancement of learning and society.

Internationalizing the educational experience is one of the near-term priorities in our Flagship 2030 strategic plan that I identified in my State of Campus address last month. It lends richness to our campus and is a bonus economically. It allows students to interact with students from other cultures and share perspectives as they prepare for a life of career and contribution in a global society.

We have a stated goal of increasing the number of international students on campus to 10 percent of the student population in the next five years. Accordingly, we are pursuing legislation that will allow us to exclude international students from our state-mandated, non-resident enrollment cap.

Further, we would like to increase the number of students who participate in study abroad from 28 percent to half of all our bachelor degree recipients in the next five years. This year’s freshman class is a good example of globalizing the campus. Its members include 172 international students from 37 countries, including 39 students from China, the best-represented country in our newest class.

Whether a student is from Boulder or Beijing, one of the beauties of studying at CU-Boulder is the opportunity to meet and exchange ideas with fellow students from other countries, on our campus or abroad. There has never been a truer motto when we say we bring CU to the world, and the world to CU.

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