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Organizations give information on international study tours

BY Tara Harris

October 24, 2013

The 16th annual education abroad fair took place last week in Main Classroom. There were many program providers who represented their companies and provided useful information to students considering traveling abroad.

Some of the providers present were AMIDEAST Education Abroad, API Study Abroad Programs, Arcadia/Alliance for Global Education, Cleveland State College of Business faculty-led programs, GlobalLinks Learning Abroad, Institute for Study Abroad- Butler University, KEI Study Intern Abroad, Modern Language Studies Abroad (MLSA), Panrimo, Semester at Sea and SIT World Learning.

Each program is unique and gives students the opportunity to experience life at college in another country.

Semester at Sea is a floating campus; an actual cruise ship where students travel the world and earn college credit. The ship was built in 2002 and includes nine classrooms, a library, fitness center, student union, medical center and more academically sponsored by the University of Virginia. They receive over $4 million in aid to help students get the funding they need.

SIT world learning offers opportunities for undergraduates to travel to Africa, Europe, Latin America and other places. Their missions are social justice, basic human rights and community and service engagement. SIT matches Pell grants up to $5,000.

KEI, the Knowledge Exchange Institute, offers internships and will honor tuition rates of other universities. The tuition includes housing and a prepaid cell phone. All classes are taught in English.

Global Links provides travel arrangements to countries in the Pacific such as Fuji. Global Links offers payment plans and numerous scholarship opportunities.

Cleveland State offers many programs for students to engage academically outside of the country.

Cleveland State’s College of Business faculty-led programs offers a trip to China Each year has a different spin, and this year is The Smart Phone Trail. However, the deadline, Nov. 1, is quickly approaching. They also have a trip to England this December. The newest trip they offer is to Munich and Amsterdam, where focus is placed on international field experience in management.

Amideast is based out of Washington D.C and programs are in the Middle East, such as Egypt, Jordan and Morocco. They focus on Arabic language learning and cultural immersion, where students live with a host family and learn to live in their culture.

Students were intrigued by the information they received.

Sara Al-nimer, a mathematics and psychology major, is interested in traveling abroad within the year.

“I like to learn about opportunities available and explore the options,” Al-nimer said.

A few of the programs are also open to graduate students.
Modern Language Studies Abroad (MLSA) is one of them. With programs in Spain, Costa Rica, Italy and France, MLSA offers opportunity to study abroad for little as one month in the summer or up to a year.

Panrimo offers programs in eight countries and a personalized internship search to match the client’s exact need. Their services are available to any student or recent graduate.

This fair was brought to Cleveland State thanks to Harlan Smith the newly appointed Executive Director of the Center for International Services and Programs (CISP).

The purpose of CISP is to provide excellent internationally-focused service to the campus community. The service mission of the center pertains to special populations, like international students or international research personnel.

In addition, the Center serves as a primary hub for campus-wide international programs, initiatives and endeavors, like study abroad advisement and international agreement development and implementation.

“I think that my own professional duty or purpose is to serve as a combination Chief International Officer, International Student Advocate, Study Abroad Cheerleader, General Immigration Geek, and International Risk Expert. That’s perhaps not the most elegant way to describe one’s role or purpose but I see myself as being of value to the campus community in these particular areas,” said Smith.

Smith enjoys helping students and working with colleagues who are just as passionate as he is.

“I think the thing that I enjoy most about my work is that my CISP colleagues and I get to help students reach their goals, dreams, and aspirations. Their excitement and enthusiasm rubs off and I often find myself excited about their excitement,” Smith said.

“I am where I am today because of my own international college experiences, so I know that it just takes one committed professor to make a true difference and one special opportunity or scholarship to turn one’s life in a different direction,” he said.

Smith said his future successes at Cleveland State will be built upon the accomplishments of the Center directors who have come before him, George Burke and Dr. Holm led the CISP for many years with distinction and he hopes to be so fortunate.

“I’m also very lucky to have an experienced and committed team of international education professionals as colleagues and members of the CISP team, including our colleagues in International Recruitment and Admissions. In my short few months here, I have been privileged to be part of the University of the Free State “Leadership for Change” Program. I enjoyed hosting the students from South Africa immensely and Dr. Donna Whyte’s hearty welcome and collegiality got me into the Cleveland State mix in a hurry,” he said.

Cleveland State’s international portfolio is strong and poised for further expansion. As with all things in higher education, the continued strength and future growth will depend on resources.

“Education abroad participation is one of the key areas where we have the ability, perhaps even the imperative, to grow. I also think that we have to explore the natural nexus that exists between the efforts of our diversity partners on campus and the work being done at the CISP – there are great partnership possibilities there,” said Smith.

Visit the CISP office in the Main Classroom suite 106 or Cleveland State’s website for more information.