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The World Comes Home to NC State

After a tumultuous 2020-2021 school year, NC State Global is looking forward to sending students to study abroad, welcoming international students to campus, meeting face-to-face (with masks) for global events, and learning together again.

“Global engagement has been seriously impaired in the last 18 months by COVID-19 due to travel restriction and visa limitation. NC State Global has overcome the challenges to serve our students, faculty and communities well by using virtual platforms and developing new programs. This fall semester we are welcoming over 1000 international students to NC State and are sending some study abroad students following the travel policy and petition process. As a part of new strategic plan development, we are also launching a new “Global Learning for All” initiative that will expand the focus of NC State Global to a wider variety of accessible program models, in addition to study abroad, and provide many more online or virtual global learning options, as well as campus-based curricular and co-curricular global activities. This is to make global learning more equitable, accessible and inclusive at NC State.” says Dr. Li, Senior Vice Provost of the Office of Global Engagement.

Study Abroad

The Study Abroad Office is sending 100 students abroad, including 27 to the European Center in Prague (“NC State Prague”). All students or group programs have gone through a rigorous risk assessment and petition process if their country was in a restricted travel area, and signed a comprehensive release and hold harmless agreement. Additionally, Study Abroad is hosting 76 exchange students on campus and has five international students participating in their single-course virtual exchange program through Poole College of Management.

As of August 2, Spring 2022 Study Abroad applications have opened. Due to ongoing COVID-19 restrictions, Study Abroad is offering a limited portfolio where they have the most confidence that programs will be able to proceed, based on risk assessments. Student interest is quite strong, as they’ve advised hundreds of students and received over 250 applications so far. Both program and scholarship applications are due on September 15.

“We’re cautiously optimistic about group, faculty-led programs for spring break and summer 2022,” says Kim Priebe, Director of Study Abroad. “All programs must meet required adaptations to proceed. We are planning on launching spring programs that can meet the additional risk mitigation requirements on September 1, with an application deadline of October 15. Summer group programs will launch the first week of November, with an application deadline of February 15, 2022.”

NC State Prague

As of September 1, NC State Prague has officially welcomed 27 students for the fall semester, running two programs concomitantly. The Classic Fall program has 14 students, and the Prague Connect program has 13 first-year students admitted to NC State as part of Spring Connect. Following Study Abroad health and safety recommendations, all students will have single rooms, class sizes remain small, with space to accommodate social distancing, and weekly testing is required for non-vaccinated participants. All NC State Prague staff members are now fully vaccinated and back in the office, on-site in Prague and Raleigh.

Office of International Services

The Office of International Services (OIS) welcomed over 1200 new international students during their Fall 2021 New International Student Orientation, including 1032 graduate students and 193 undergraduate students. Additionally, the Sponsored Student Programs office is supporting the educational and administrative needs of 38 new sponsored students for the Fall 2021 semester and an additional seven Fulbright scholars.

To support the adjustment and success of this population, OIS hosted a two-day virtual orientation on August 10 and 11 that featured a student panel, a student success presentation, and a faculty panel, among other components. New students were also able to participate in a student led meet and greet segment which allowed students to build connections with their peers. One new student commented “That was hands down the best orientation! Extremely helpful and I received so many valuable resources. Most importantly it gave me a sense of security, knowing there are people watching out for me and that I can reach out for help.”

“It’s so wonderful being able to watch our new students find ways to connect with one another.” stated OIS Director Elizabeth James, “We are extremely grateful to have all of our new students here as well as our returning students. Whether physically in Raleigh, enrolled abroad, or planning to join us in the future, our office is excited to have our students be a part of our Wolfpack community.”

With most students now safely in Raleigh, OIS looks forward to the return of in-person programming. New students will have the opportunity to further build relationships with peers and campus resources through an in-person Information Fair and Welcome Party in early September.

Global Training Initiative 

In partnership with SKEMA Business School, which is headquartered in France, the Global Training Initiative (GTI) welcomed 409 international students to their Raleigh campus located at NC State in August. Typically, NC State hosts approximately 200 SKEMA students every fall semester. However, due to COVID-related closures of SKEMA’s China satellite campus, double the number of students came to study at NC State. GTI helps connect SKEMA students to the campus and greater Triangle region through courses, workshops, site visits, and classroom discussions with NC State students.

Additionally, GTI’s Developing Cultural Competence (DCC) program has 76 students from NC State, SKEMA, Kyoto Institute of Technology, Colombia Challenge Your Knowledge, and the University of the Philippines starting next week. Applications are currently open for the October offerings of the co-curricular course. GTI offers virtual open enrollment offerings through the 2021-2022 Academic Year for NC State students and global partners.

“We’re excited to see more students from GTI partners and programs coming back to campus,” said Michael Bustle, associate vice provost of global initiatives and education. “We’re also excited to have students from all across the world continue to engage in our virtual offerings.”

NC Japan Center

The NC Japan Center’s Japanese language classes for fall 2021 started on August 30. 91 students (the highest fall cohort in years) are enrolled in 12 classes, three sections of which are meeting face-to-face at the Spring Hill House. The Japan Center is also facilitating COIL programming in fall 2021 between NC State courses and those at Japanese institutions, such as Nagoya University and Waseda University, which have been growing in number since spring 2021. There are collaborations scheduled with the NC State Japan Club and the Global Film Series this semester, and joint research projects between NC State faculty with Japanese institutions, supported by the Harry C. Kelly Memorial Fund. “We’re so excited to see students, faculty, and staff back on campus,” said the NC Japan Center director, Jonathan Brewster. “We have a lot going on, both in-person and online, and there’s much more to come!”

Intensive English Program

The Intensive English Program (IEP) is expecting 27 full-time students in the traditional IEP courses this fall semester. For the first time in over a year, IEP will host 8 students for in-person classes. The class (American Life and University Culture) will focus on acclimating students to campus life, highlighting student resources and engagement opportunities with other groups on campus. All other IEP courses will be facilitated online to accommodate those international students that were not able to get a student visa or chose to study from their home countries.

Additionally, IEP and GTI were selected to host a foundation year cohort of 12 recent high school graduates from the King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST) Gifted Student Program. NC State was previously selected to host this program in 2015 and 2016.

Global Health 

The joint research proposal “Incorporation and Maintenance of Carrion Microorganisms in Blowflies” by Bethany Hoye (University of Wollongong), Daniel Horton (University of Surrey), and Aram Mikaelyan (NC State) was awarded $9,615.70 through NC State’s UGPN fund. Additionally, MOU agreements with China Agriculture University, Pasteur Institute Senegal, and the Nigeria CDC were finalized. For the 2021 fall semester, 83 students are currently enrolled in the Global Health minor.

Passport Services 

As Americans return to traveling, demand for passports has increased and processing times are lengthier than usual. Applicants may wait up to 18 weeks to receive their passport with routine processing, or 12 weeks even with expedited processing. The Passport Services office in Talley Student Union has adopted new hours to increase convenience for applicants, particularly as school and in-person work resumes. They now offer appointments starting at 8 am during the week (the earliest in the Triangle) as well as highly-sought weekend appointments. The office also reintroduced evening hours for the first time since the pandemic closures, thanks to their new and returning auxiliary agents. A new work study student will add expanded support for renewal applicants and photos. Appointments are required for passport applications and can be made online at the Passport Services’ website. Applicants can also enter their email addresses to be notified when new appointment slots become available.

This post was originally published in Office of Global Engagement.