JMU International Programs — OIP Annual Report 2013–2014
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OIP Mission Statement

The Office of International Programs at James Madison University is committed to the principle that international experiences and perspectives are essential to any undergraduate and graduate education. The mission of the OIP is to promote and encourage a critical awareness of world issues; a knowledge of and appreciation for other cultures, languages and belief systems; a sense of global community; and a commitment to engagement at the international level, that we may educate active and responsible global citizens. To this end, the OIP is committed to providing, supporting and facilitating international experiences for students, faculty and staff at JMU and abroad.

On March 28 and 29, JMU welcomed more than 250 participants from 65 countries and 23 institutions to the 14th Annual International Student Leadership Conference (ISLC). “Know Your Story. Lead with Passion” encouraged students to evaluate their strengths and motivations to fulfill their leadership potential far beyond these two days.

Starting in Fall 2015, JMU and the University of Salamanca (USAL) will offer a Master’s Degree in Education with a concentration in Spanish Language and Culture for Educators. During this 18-month program, students spend one summer at JMU, one summer at USAL and three additional academic semesters (fall, spring and fall) in online classes.

OIP Executive Director Lee Sternberger, president of the International Network of Universities (INU), now in year three of a three-year stint, will serve another term. This productive year featured two council meetings (one in Malmö, Sweden, pictured here), a new member in South Africa and enthusiastic participation in staff shadowing and student seminars.

1979 Study abroad at JMU began in 1979 with one program – Semester in London – one professor and 28 students. In 1997 our semester programs numbered three (London, Florence and Salamanca), and five short-term summer programs had joined the OIP’s offerings. By 2004, with Lee Sternberger as the OIP’s executive director, 761 students studied abroad. Only 10 years later, 1,217 students studied abroad in 63 different programs.

During 2013-14, as program directors, Faculty Members in Residence or recipients of International Development or Study Abroad General Education Grants, 143 JMU faculty had the opportunity to broaden their horizons with international experiences.

2014 JMU is now the academic home to 499 international students from 78 countries and to 47 international faculty members. They all provide perspectives, cultures and beliefs that mirror and differ from our own and always enrich our community.

Lee Sternberger wrote after her first year as executive director: “James Madison University has both an opportunity and obligation to facilitate participation in the wider process of global education for our students, faculty and professional staff. This charge is ours not only because our namesake embodied the highest and best of an enlightened citizenry but also because our legacy as a community of innovation and distinction has prepared us well for this timely calling.” Those words are all the more apt today, and they underpin the OIP’s mission.

Befitting our I-Week theme, entries in the 2013 International Photo Contest tested traditional notions of borders and boundaries and helped us see the world in new and intriguing ways. Since the contest’s beginning in 2000, every year has brought a wealth of dazzling images to challenge our judges. Enjoy these first-place winners in each of our categories.

Numbers continue to rebound in record-setting participation, with applications up by 21%. Each year the Institute of International Education publishes Open Doors, which ranks the study abroad activity of colleges and universities across the U.S. Here is how JMU placed in the most recent edition: For students studying abroad in long-term programs – #12. For students studying abroad in semester-long programs – #7. For students studying abroad for a short-term period – #2. And for total number of students studying abroad – #2.

This year’s 1,217 students studying abroad translate to an average of 25% of our students who participate in study abroad programs while at JMU. While this is a gratifying number, we have pledged to increase that to 33% as part of the Institute of International Education’s Generation Study Abroad Commitment.

The OIP collaborated with JMU’s Alumni Association to establish a chapter in London. In the fall, along with on-site faculty and staff and current Semester in London students, area alumni gathered to watch JMU’s Homecoming game (vs. William and Mary). Plans are already afoot to make this an annual event.

Along with JMU’s Big Event effort in April, four of our European programs – London, Antwerp, Salamanca and our EUPS graduate program in Florence – participated in local community service projects. Each event was a great success, receiving press coverage and bringing students, staff, faculty and alums together with their neighbors.

Representing so many regions and countries, our international students bring a great range of cultural richness to the JMU campus. They expand our worldview right here in Harrisonburg, both inside and outside the classroom.

In May 2013, four students, who joined the International Study Center in 2009, became the first cohort to complete their degrees. Leo Shuoda Wang (China), Jiahao Wu (China), and Nicole Hu (China) all went on to graduate school, and Jiryung Jeong (South Korea) returned home to teach.

During the summer of 2013, Jon and Mary Ann Alger, along with Board of Visitors Rector Joe Funkhouser, Vice President of Development Nick Langridge, OIP Executive Director Lee Sternberger and Study Abroad Director Felix Wang, visited three of the major semester programs in Europe: Salamanca, Florence and London.

When Diana Al Husseini, born in Russia and raised in Lebanon, told her family she wanted to study in the United States, her father said yes – but only if she found a full scholarship. Imagine his surprise and Diana’s joy when JMU accepted her as a Centennial Scholar. Now a rising senior chemistry major, Diana hopes more international students can have this same opportunity.

19 The OIP continues to support the Fulbright program with events honoring JMU’s 19 past Fulbright scholars and encouraging faculty and staff to apply. Through the Center for Faculty Innovation, former Fulbrighters present their stories as Voices of Fulbright. In the past year, Anthony Tongen (Mexico), Chip Bolyard (Cyprus) and JMU’s first two-time Fulbright award winner, Sang Yoon (South Korea), shared their experiences with the greater community and brought the benefits of their international experiences to their classrooms. JMU was once again honored as one of the year’s Fulbright Program “top producers.”

The OIP’s short-term programs expanded dramatically, with 24 new and returning programs, ranging from Sustainable Design and Development in Benin to History and Faith in Amman and Jerusalem. An additional two dozen of our ongoing short-term programs also successfully ran.

International Week with the theme “Borders and Boundaries” attracted more than 1,000 students and offered a broad focus inclusive of cultures, countries and systems that encompass our global community. A full week of activities spotlighted that intriguing and wide-ranging subject, with an international student parade and bazaar, panels, speakers, music, film, debate and sport.