This month, UNG celebrates international partnerships and its foreign language and culture initiatives by holding dozens of events as part of the 15th annual International Education Week.
"Our administrators, faculty and staff have been very successful in building partnerships around the world to expand our language and culture programs to support students' development as leaders in an ever-growing global society," UNG President Bonita Jacobs said.
While International Education Week begins Nov. 17, UNG has events scheduled throughout the month.
During the 2013-14 academic year, 276 UNG students studied abroad and some 185 international students were enrolled at UNG in fall 2013. Programs in a variety of disciplines – not just languages – are offered in dozens of countries and can range from a couple of weeks to an entire academic year.
"Studying abroad was an experience I believe every student needs to have," said Natalie Restrepo, a senior business major who studied in Peru this summer. "Not only was I able to finish my minor abroad, I got to travel to a beautiful country and visit sites many people only dream about. This was a great learning experience, and I was able to establish connections and form relationships that mean the world to me."
|A group from UNG traveled to China for Liaocheng University's
40th anniversary this year. Dr. Chris Jespersen, center,
dean of UNG's College of Arts & Letters, presents a piece of
original artwork created by UNG's Alex Craft for the ocassion
to the Liaocheng president at the school's anniversary
celebration, which was attended by 15,000 people.
While most of UNG's foreign programs are study abroad opportunities for students, the university offers a growing number of opportunities for students, faculty and staff. In 2013, UNG signed new exchange agreements with three schools in Germany – Friedrich-Alexander University Erlangen-Nürnberg, Universtät der Bundeswher München, and the NATO School in Oberammergau, and also with Peru's Universidad de San Ignacio de Loyola. Jacobs also visited Sogang University in Seoul, South Korea, to renew an exchange agreement and was a guest at the 90th anniversary celebration of the Republic of China Military Academy in Kaohsiung, Taiwan.
Other new partnerships in the works include John Cabot University in Rome, Italy, the Center for International Learning in Oman, Checkpoint Charlie Foundation in Berlin, Germany, and a Russian language training center for UNG students at Daugavpils University in Latvia.
In addition to sponsoring International Education Week, the Center for Global Engagement (CGE), led by acting director John Wilson, coordinates the university's exchange and study abroad programs.
"There is enormous interest in our university, and I am honored to be able to provide some leadership in making UNG known throughout the nation and world as a university on the cutting edge of internationalization," Wilson said. "Studying abroad is a great way to obtain personal and intellectual growth, career inspiration, work experience, language acquisition, and intercultural understanding. It is my goal to provide students with international opportunities to enhance their careers and life experiences."
UNG offers courses in 10 languages, and students can earn a bachelor's degree in modern languages with a concentration in Arabic, Chinese, French or Spanish. Each summer, UNG offers intensive language courses for college and high school students. UNG also offers specialized global opportunities for students in the Corps of Cadets, including federally funded programs such as Project Global Officer, Chinese Language Flagship and UNG's Language Training Center.
International Education Week is a joint initiative of the U.S. Department of State and the U.S. Department of Education. For more information about UNG's celebration of International Education Week, including a calendar of events, visit the CGE website.