Fall 2019 Site Visits

Every semester, World Learning Program Officers visit a handful of host institutions to meet with students, explore facilities, and connect with university staff. Keep reading to experience campus life at five U.S. host institutions through the eyes of our Program Officers and program participants.

This semester, Alex had the opportunity to visit Global UGRAD host university St. Norbert’s College in De Pere, Wisconsin outside of Green Bay. Alex had a great time getting to see and experience the campus and the local community. The two Global UGRAD students attending St. Norbert’s College, Ibrahim Mahmoud (Egypt) and Narek Shamamyan (Armenia) showed Alex around campus and discussed their experiences at the college. In particular, Alex enjoyed having meals with both participants at their highly-ranked dining hall and getting to explore the campus and riverside views. A special thank you to excellent hosts Christina Hankwitz and Dan Stoll for all their hospitality and care for the Global UGRAD students at St. Norbert’s College.

Bethany visited first-time host institution Augsburg University this past November. She was welcomed to campus by Angela Bonfiglio, Leah Spinosa de Vega, and Jim Trelstad-Porter from the Center for Global Education and Experience and had several meetings with university staff and administrators. During her time on campus, she also spent time with Global UGRAD participants Dilnoza Fayzieva (Uzbekistan) and Thuy Nguyen (Vitenam). Dilnoza and Thuy have had an overwhelmingly positive experience on campus, and are grateful to the U.S. Department of State and World Learning for this once-in-a-lifetime experience!

In November, Divisional Vice President Melissa Oppenheimer visited the two Global UGRAD students on the campus of second-year host Southern Illinois University-Edwardsville (SIUE). Both Njoud Alghamdi (Saudi Arabia) and Heyang Yang (China) were thriving in their own unique ways in the welcoming environment at SIUE. Njoud found community in the campus’ theater community and volunteering in the food pantry; Heyang made connections with many Americans through her sorority and friendship family. Thank you to the wonderful team at SIUE – Amy Nusser, Dr. Mary Konya Weishaar, and Carrie Stewart – for supporting these students.

Himani was able to visit first-time host institution Towson University this past August and met with Dr. Saleha Suleman and Pegah Hedayatpour, the university staff who help administer exchange programs. She enjoyed meeting with Waldis Crus (Dominican Republic) and Phuong Ngyuen (Vietnam) to discuss their experience at Towson. Both Global UGRAD students spoke about new friendships—Phuong joined a fashion club and connected well with the people in her dorm, and Waldis joined the French and Japanese clubs on campus. Himani was impressed by the level of engagement and care demonstrated by the Sponsored Students Programs office. Thank you to the university staff at Towson for making this visit happen!

Becca had the pleasure of visiting students Daniela Grimm (Paraguay) and Andela Miric (Serbia) at Mt. Holyoke College this past September. She was welcomed by university staff Roberto Mugnani and Tiffany Espinosa. Mt. Holyoke was a first-time host this semester, and Becca enjoyed exploring campus and sitting in on student classes. Both students spoke about the clubs they had joined and the connections they made through their classes and community service. Daniela was learning about different religious traditions through campus clubs, and Andela was participating in many events hosted by her Living-Learning community. Thanks to Mt. Holyoke College and the college staff for a successful first semester!