search button
newscenter logo
Saturday, September 23, 2023

Follow SDSU Follow SDSU on Twitter Follow SDSU on Facebook SDSU RSS Feed

Great Wall of China (Source: Pexels) Great Wall of China (Source: Pexels)

SDSU’s Efforts Underscore Importance of International Education Week

SDSU is hosting several cultural and educational events to highlight the university’s strong engagement in international education.
By Ryan Schuler

San Diego State University emphasizes the essential role that  international academic experiences play as part of a well-rounded and impactful education for the 21st century. Paired with research, internships and service, this  university-wide commitment to international education fosters high levels of academic achievement and retention and prepares students for the global workforce.

SDSU is taking crucial steps to continue educating students about diverse cultures during International Education Week, taking place Nov. 16-20.

A joint initiative of the U.S. Department of State and the U.S. Department of Education, International Education Week aims to promote programs that prepare Americans to participate in a global environment and attract individuals from abroad to study, learn and exchange experiences in the U.S. 

This year’s theme for International Education Week is “Engaged. Resilient. Global.” Despite the difficulties brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic, SDSU continues to engage with students on the topic of international education, and students have continued to show their resilience amid study abroad opportunities coming to a temporary halt. 

“At SDSU, we believe it is critical that our students broaden their understanding of the world around them. This is core to our overall mission, and our current generation of students must meet these ever changing global workforce demands," said SDSU President Adela de la Torre.

“As global borders become more porous through nimble technology and greater access to efficient transportation systems, our students just be prepared. It is the role of SDSU to provide the learning experiences that support the intercultural and linguistic skills that will distinguish them in their professional fields and make them even more valuable to future employers. Students are at our core, and promoting international experiences and education is very much part of our new strategic plan," de la Torre continued. 

Led by SDSU International Affairs in partnership with several academic units, SDSU will host a series of cultural and educational events to highlight the university’s engagement in international education. All events will be held virtually.

The links to all International Education Week Zoom events can be found online. Highlights of the week include (all times PST): 
  • Nov. 16: International Education Week Opening Remarks by SDSU President Adela de la Torre and Cristina Alfaro, Interim Associate Vice President for International Affairs, beginning at 2 p.m.
  • Nov. 16: Culture & Mental Health hosted by the International Student Center and Counseling & Psychological Services, beginning at 2 p.m.
  • Nov. 17: The Fowler International Alumni Panel, hosted by the Fowler Center for Student Success, will be held at 4 p.m. 
  • Nov. 18: Virtual International Programs 101, hosted by the Global Education Office, will begin at 1 p.m. for faculty and staff, and at 2:45 p.m. for students.
  • Nov. 19: President’s Lecture Series in conjunction with the Charles W. Hostler Institute on World Affairs - Distinguished speaker: The Ambassador of the Kingdom of Bahrain to the United States of America, Shaikh Abdulla bin Rashid Al Khalifa. The lecture begins at 1 p.m.
  • Nov. 19: How I Got a Job on OPT, hosted by the International Student Center and SDSU Global Campus, beginning at 1:30 p.m. 
This year, the SDSU International Student Center will pause hosting its signature event, the “International Peace Village,” in order to comply with public health and safety guidelines, though the event is expected to resume next year. It will instead host the “International Post Card Stories” campaign, where participants are asked to submit a 10-15 second video or a photo with a short write-up that highlights a cultural food, clothing, festival or component of another country. Submission can be made via Google Forms and can be viewed on the International Student Center Instagram account.

The annual Open Doors report from the Institute of International Education, coinciding with International Education Week, was released earlier today, and for the third consecutive year, SDSU ranks among the top 10 universities nationally for the number of students studying abroad. With 2,940 students studying abroad during the 2018-19 academic year, SDSU ranked No. 7 in the nation and maintained its No. 1 ranking among California universities.
“SDSU has a long and rich history of international engagement,” said Alfaro. “At International Affairs, we are committed to preparing globally conscious citizens. For us, international education is about supporting students who courageously leave their comfort zones to challenge themselves to learn about others whose culture, language, and contextual realities are different from their own. We are honored every day to support the 2,270 international students who come from upwards of 90 countries to study at SDSU.”  

SDSU also encourages students to apply for international experiences through the Fulbright U.S. Student Program and the Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship Program for students who receive federal Pell Grants. In 2018, SDSU was named a Gilman International Scholarship Top Producing Institution by the U.S. Department of State.

SDSU’s efforts to engage in international education directly align with the university’s new five-year strategic plan, “We Rise We Defy: Transcending Borders, Transforming Lives,” which calls for SDSU, as a community-engaged, border-connected Hispanic-Serving Institution, to develop globally conscious citizens.

RE:BORDER Binational Conference

SDSU’s proximity to the U.S.-Mexico border — with SDSU to the west and SDSU Imperial Valley to the east along the border in California — affords SDSU students, faculty and staff very unique opportunities to engage in international education. One such example is through the university’s annual RE:BORDER binational conference

The virtual conference, which took place Nov. 12-13, was held in collaboration with El Colegio de la Frontera Norte (El Colef), a prestigious Mexican institute of higher education specializing in teaching and research with a focus on border issues.

This year, the conference focused on challenges and solutions related to mobility and migration in the transborder region of California and Baja California in several fields, including business, education, public health and government policy. 

Academic experts, practitioners, students, public policy experts, and community stakeholders discussed how SDSU and its regional partners can contribute to key challenges facing the region — with equal input from both sides of the border.