Eastern Mennonite University

This article is from the EMU News Archive. The approximate date of publication was in April 2003. Current EMU news is available at www.emu.edu/news


NAFSA Report - Internationalizing the Campus
EMU: a profile of success

An in-depth profile of Eastern Mennonite University's international education efforts is featured in a report published April 16, 2003, by the Association of International Educators (NAFSA).

The major report, titled "Internationalizing the Campus," highlights six U.S. colleges and universities, including EMU, that have done "a significant job of integrating global approaches to teaching into all aspects of campus life and learning" - through study abroad programs, faculty and scholar exchanges, new curricula and other means. The report also includes shorter program highlights of 10 other schools.

"Internationalization efforts on our college campuses are part of the lifeblood of American leadership in the world today," said Marlene Johnson, NAFSA executive director. "The institutions highlighted in this report have developed innovative ways to educate our students for a world in which global challenges know few boundaries and cross-cultural knowledge and understanding are essential."

The 108-page softcover report details model approaches, exemplary practices and major trends in international education in the U.S. The featured institutions were selected by a distinguished advisory committee of international educators who examined the mission, breadth, commitment and impact of internationalization efforts at 117 schools nominated for consideration.

"It's a major honor to be selected for this profile," said Delores A.(Delo) Blough, director of international student programs and coordinator of diversity initiatives at EMU. "It means that we are doing a good job of integrating international learning across our academic programs. The report will be distributed widely and will provide a positive boost for EMU's efforts in this arena," she added.

Ms. Blough believes that EMU was selected for the report based on the school's longstanding commitment to international learning, including its cross-cultural study programs, the significant number of international students on campus, its widely-recognized Conflict Transformation Program (CTP) and Summer Peacebuilding Institute that attracts students from around the world, the Intensive English Program (IEP) that prepares students from other countries for undergraduate study and the native-speaking language assistants who teach in the language and literature department each year.

Chris Connell, a former Associated Press reporter and now a free- lance writer, visited each campus last fall to gather information for the report. During an Oct. 10-11 visit to EMU, he talked with university officials, faculty and students, observed classes and attended a special chapel program that launched fall homecoming weekend activities on a cross-cultural theme.

Through case studies and campus models, "Internationalizing the Campus" illustrates the major benefit that international education brings to society; the vital need to prepare future generations for leadership in the global marketplace; and the importance of a strong U.S. commitment to international education.

EMU made cross-cultural study a graduation requirement in 1982. A survey listing in the 2003 edition of the U.S. News & World Report's magazine's "America's Best Colleges" issue ranked EMU sixth in the nation among all colleges and universities in the percentage of its student body (67%) that participates in off-campus study programs.

In his profile of EMU, Connell quoted extensively from students who had taken "life-changing" cross-cultural seminars, from faculty and administrators who helped shape the university's "Global Village" curriculum and from international students who enrolled in EMU's graduate-level Conflict Transformation Program.

The report also notes such distinctives as the university's radio station extensive use of news and other programming from the British Broadcasting Corporation and the Harrisonburg-based China Educational Exchange (CEE) program that gives Chinese educators and students opportunity to study at EMU. It concludes with "sidebar" profiles of individual students.

Along with EMU, the other schools with in-depth profiles for their international education efforts are Yale University, San Diego State University, Indiana University, Community College of Philadelphia and Dickinson College.

More information on the report and how to obtain copies is available on the NAFSA website at www.NAFSA.org/press.

NAFSA was founded in 1948 as the National Association of Foreign Student Advisers to promote the professional development of American college and university officials responsible for assisting and advising the 25,000 foreign students who had come to study in the United States after World War II.

By 1990, as the number of foreign students in the U.S. approached the 400,000 mark, there were 6,400 NAFSA members on 1,800 campuses. In May of that year, the membership formally renamed the organization the Association of International Educators while retaining the NAFSA acronym to reflect the past and broad name recognition.

With more than 8,500 members, NAFSA , based in Washington, D.C., is now the world's largest nonprofit association dedicated to international education.

- Jim Bishop
Posted: April 21, 2003

Central America Cross-cultural group on truck
Students in the 2003 Central America cross-cultural group take a ride in the back of a truck in Alta Verapaz, Guatemala.

Sam & Ruth
Sam Gbayee Doe, executive director of the West Africa Network for Peacebuilding and alumnus of the Conflict Transformation Program, meets with Ruth Zimmerman, codirector of the graduate program.

Carolyn Yoder
Carolyn Yoder '72 directs the Seminars on Trauma Awareness & Recovery (STAR), which trains relief workers on healing the victims of terror.

Jennifer Miller
In Hebron on the West Bank, Jennifer Miller '03 (wearing an embroidered Egyptian gown) found her hosts did not want visiting students to feel unsafe.

Joseph Lapp
Former President Joseph Lapp: Cross-cultural studies changes students' lives.

Krista and Don
Krista Martin '96, assistant director, and Donald R. Clymer, director of the Cross-cultural Program. Martin studied in the Ivory Coast as an undergraduate, while Clymer, a professor of Spanish, did alternative service work in Honduras during the Vietnam war.