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Going Global – Paul Olson

We celebrated International Week at UJ over the past few days with a variety of activities including a multilingual chapel service, dance lessons, and the Café International. This is an important week for a variety of reasons, including the growing globalization of the economy, the relative ease of movement around the world, and our increasing understanding of how interdependent we are because national boundaries mean nothing to pollution, carbon dioxide, and animals. This week reminds us that the world is a small place, and it gets smaller every day.

The global landscape

We have spent a lot of time and energy at UJ over the past year or so discussing how to prepare students for life in a global society, and we’ve done things like change our general education requirements and bolster our study abroad opportunities. On a practical, day-to-day level, when I think about how UJ fits into the global landscape, I tend to think about us in terms of “incoming” and “outgoing.”


On the “incoming” side, we have students from 22 different countries attending the University, and you can now see the flags of all of their nations in the Avenue of Flags between Lyngstad and Nafus. We also have several faculty members who were born outside of the United States who add to the diversity we experience on campus daily. These students and faculty bring a wealth of knowledge to our campus and help our American students see the world from different perspectives while they continue their educational and professional pursuits. We are a stronger university because they are here!


On the “outgoing” side – to name but a few excursions – we had nursing students and faculty spend most of February in Kenya, and we have another group heading to Malawi in April. We have M.A. in Leadership students and faculty going to Germany to meet with alumni and business leaders over spring break. Also over spring break, I’m going along with Professors Reed, Piscitiello, and Lefter and three UJ students to our new building in Cagli, Italy, to help them prepare for our three-week May experience there. The May trip will allow students to earn seven hours of course credits in foreign language (Italian), religion, and business for less than $3,800! We also are connected to programs like ISEP, Irish American Scholars, and ieiMedia that allow students to spend more extended periods of time abroad. You can see Lexie Lueck in Experiential Education for more information about these opportunities – they will change your life!

Internationalizing UJ

Without both the incoming and the outgoing sides of the international equation, UJ would not be the great institution that it is, and that is why we are putting such a big emphasis on continuing to internationalize the UJ experience. So do your part – do a study abroad experience, learn a second (or third) language, go on a trip to Kenya or Costa Rica or Italy – because Jimmie Nation is not confined to campus; it is a global enterprise! You won’t regret it!

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Posted:February 24, 2017

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1,100 students from 36 states and 22 countries

Student to Faculty Ratio - 13:1