Global reach

Oswego students with Maasai children
Oswego students with Maasai children

SUNY Oswego is committed to internationalizing our campus, curriculum and educational experiences to promote appreciation for the rich diversity of people and voices. In 2011-12, we continued to expand opportunities for students to gain greater international understanding and experience — whether scaling Africa's Mount Kilimanjaro, participating in astrophysics research in Switzerland or learning from Pakistani artists visiting Oswego.

Our efforts won wide recognition as we excelled among our peers in sending students abroad. The college was named a top producer of Fulbright Scholars. And the Institute of International Education named Oswego a destination campus for overseas students.

Oswego advances as leading study-abroad institution

Octavia Morrison

"The atmosphere here encourages me to genuinely learn in depth."
— Octavia Morrison
     on her Global Laboratory
     experience in Calcutta

Often in the top 20 of the nation's master's level colleges and universities for student participation in study abroad, Oswego rose to No. 8 on the list for mid-length study-abroad programs in the 2012 Open Doors Report on International Educational Exchange. "That's our highest ranking ever," said Dr. Joshua McKeown, director of international education.

Enrollments through Oswego's international education office totaled 436, including 233 Oswego students in 2011-12.

The international opportunities Oswego offers students extend beyond the traditional year or semester abroad at a partner university to such experiences as "Global Cities" quarter courses that include a week in the city under study; research projects through the college's distinctive Global Laboratory network; and service opportunities through the college's Center for Service Learning and Community Service.

Oswego's Global Laboratory network continued to expand in 2011-12, adding sites in India, Sweden, Switzerland, Costa Rica and Brazil. In summer 2012, 47 students participated in this research-abroad program.

A high-visibility international experience launched in 2012 was the class whose final project was climbing the world's highest stand-alone peak. The course, PED 399: "Climbing Mount Kilimanjaro," covered mountain climbing, fitness and nutrition, and the culture of Tanzania. "Students learned about working as a team, how to prepare their minds and bodies for the trek and about the importance of setting and reaching goals," Provost Lorrie Clemo said. "As with all of our international education offerings, the course provided knowledge and understanding of culture, language, geography and global perspectives."

Class activity continued on the students' return to Oswego, as they collected clothing and raised funds for the Maasai people they met on their trek. "The kind of poverty, the lifestyle, was something we've all seen on TV, but there's a difference between knowing about it and being there," said junior technology education major Mac Dillman.

Fulbright winners share expertise abroad, foster partnerships

Dr. Geraldine Forbes

"It's always exciting to teach in a different place and interact with people from different cultures."
— Dr. Geraldine Forbes
     Fulbright Fellow

The Chronicle of Higher Education recognized SUNY Oswego as one of the year's Fulbright Scholarship "top producers." Two Oswego faculty members studied and taught overseas on Fulbright awards, one in India, the other in Kenya, and Oswego's director of international education won admission to a Fulbright-Nehru International Education Administrators Seminar in India.

The Fulbright Program is the flagship international educational exchange program sponsored by the U.S. government. It aims to increase mutual understanding between the people of the United States and the people of other countries.

Dr. Geraldine Forbes, distinguished teaching professor of history, has long experience with the Fulbright Program and in 2011-12 traveled and taught in India and Turkmenistan with a Fulbright-Nehru Visiting Lecturer Fellowship. Dr. Faith Maina, associate professor of curriculum and instruction, used her Fulbright award to develop women scholars in Kenya.

Isabelle Bichindaritz, Early Starter, 2012

With support from sources other than the Fulbright Program, Oswego faculty in 2011-12 conducted research, attended conferences and presented their scholarly and creative work in countries throughout the world: Angola, Australia, Austria, Brazil, Canada, China, Costa Rica, Germany, Greece, Kenya, Pakistan, Paraguay, Poland, Romania, Russia, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Turkey, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom and Zimbabwe.

Learners and teachers from around the world enrich campus culture

The Institute of International Education named SUNY Oswego a destination campus, which will contribute to increasing our number of international students. At the same time that visitors learn American ways, our domestic students will become accustomed to interacting with people from other cultures.

Dr. Taejin Jung

"I am an international faculty member, so I feel the need to contribute to connecting SUNY Oswego and universities in South Korea."
— Dr. Taejin Jung
     Assistant professor of
     communication studies

New "two-plus-two" agreements with Chinese universities mean that SUNY Oswego will do more than host temporary visiting students: we will award them degrees and they will become our alumni. Students in chemistry from Zhejiang Gongshang University will study for two years there and apply to transfer to Oswego for the final two years of study, graduating with a chemistry degree from Oswego. Similarly, Zhejiang Sci-Tech University and Oswego will jointly deliver bachelor's degrees to Chinese students in three majors: business administration, human resource management and marketing. These pacts build on the shorter-term student exchanges and other cooperative ventures Oswego has undertaken with seven partner universities in China.

International students and visiting scholars from other nations reside in our community during the academic year, accenting our daily life. But we also stage special arts and culture events that more explicitly and deliberately promote cross-cultural understanding. A prominent example in 2011-12 was "Caravanserai: A Place Where Cultures Meet," a yearlong exposure of the people of Central New York to Pakistani music, film and culture through the college's Artswego program.

Caravanserai: A Place Where Cultures Meet
"Caravanserai: A Place Where Cultures Meet"

Tags: World Awareness