JMU International Programs — OIP Annual Report 2012–2013
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Message From The Executive Director

For a decade I’ve had the honor and privilege of serving as the executive director of the Office of International Programs. In that time, JMU’s international pursuits have grown by leaps and bounds. The number of students studying abroad has increased from 703 to 1,105, nearly a 60% increase, and we now send students all over the world – but for Antarctica, to every continent. And we have ranked high nationally for our study abroad numbers throughout the decade. We have seen the same kind of growth in the number of international students, from 212 in 2003 to 477 now. Indeed, our partnership with Study Group, an organization devoted to recruiting international students, has led to significant increases in international student numbers and their countries of origin. Activities at home have grown and thrived, including our robust International Week, our International Student Leadership Conference (now in its 13th year), the type and number of courses and programs JMU offers with an international bent, and an increase in the number of languages taught on campus.

Yet students, faculty and staff can always do more to become deeply engaged, “global” citizens. Our new president, Jon Alger, has spoken often of the importance of international education and has just returned home from a trip abroad where he, along with JMU’s rector, Joe Funkhouser, and the vice president of university advancement, Nick Langridge, had the chance to meet our students, faculty, staff, alumni and representatives from our partner universities. They have been energized by their journey and have come back even more committed to supporting greater, deeper, more meaningful internationalization for James Madison University.

To move forward as a community, we must be strategic. In the upcoming year, the OIP will be spearheading a campus-wide strategic planning process, engaging students, faculty and staff in a dialogue about what we need, want and should do to be an even better leader in the engaged, international university. I invite all of you to join me in this essential process. The only limit is our imagination.

Lee Sternberger
Executive Director
Office of International Programs