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To become a true regional center of excellence in higher education IUGB must offer its students a global education that infuses international content and perspectives throughout the curriculum. This includes internationalizing the disciplines in addition to offering area studies and foreign languages. IUGB also intends to strengthen international education by expanding international opportunities for students and faculty and through greater institutional involvement with organizations and associations whose mission is to promote international education and exchange.
Student Exchange and Study Abroad
Reputable research studies and reports have established the significant benefits that accrue to both the student and institution when students study abroad through student exchange programs or university or third-party sponsored study abroad programs. Through exposure to other cultures and perspectives, students often refer to the experience as “life changing”. The presence of students who have studied abroad in the classroom enhances the international nature of the institution as they share international experiences and also motivate and encourage their peers to study abroad. Therefore, expanding such opportunities for IUGB students is high on the University’s internationalization agenda.
IUGB’s student exchange program with GSU is currently providing 49 students the opportunity to study abroad in the United States. Over the next few years student exchange and study abroad programs will be initiated with the University of Houston through a partnership penned last summer and with other international institutions yet to be identified whose mission is to promote international education and exchange.
The faculty is a very critical part of the internationalization equation. In order to impart global knowledge and awareness to their students, faculty members must embrace the concepts and understand the importance of building international perspectives and content into the courses they teach. This knowledge and awareness is gained through their research projects, interaction with colleagues from other countries at international conferences and through active participation in and leadership of student exchange and study abroad programs.
IUGB is committed to increasing opportunities for faculty international engagement. This will be accomplished through existing and future partnerships, sponsored programs such as Fulbright, Eisenhower, Muskie and others funded through international organizations and foundations intended to build the capacity of IUGB faculty and enhance internationalization.