International delegation visits campus to foster academic collaboration, student exchange

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A delegation from about a dozen countries visited the 鶹ҹ as part of an initiative to foster collaboration among universities on academic initiatives and student exchange programs.

The visit was coordinated by 鶹ҹ’s , which hosted NAFSA: Association of International Educators members who were attending the association’s conference in New Orleans.

The group, which traveled to campus on Friday by bus at the invitation of the University, included college presidents, consul generals and embassy representatives.

NAFSA, which was founded in 1948, is based in Washington, D.C. Members – including 鶹ҹ – represent more than 170 countries. As a whole, NAFSA members work together to advance policies and practices that support international education and initiatives.

University representatives signed memorandums of understanding with several NAFSA members, paving the way for scholarly and research collaboration and student exchange. Visitors also enjoyed crawfish, jambalaya, and live music from Michael Doucet while on campus.

During a welcome reception, Dr. Joseph Savoie, University president, said the University’s “students from other parts of the country and the world bring elements of different cultures and a wide range of perspectives to our campus and to our community – perspectives that inform, that enlighten and that influence.”

“Many of those students also bring a high level of scholarship and research expertise to our classrooms and laboratories,” Savoie added.

Dr. Gabriel Carranza, the University’s executive director of Global Engagement, said being able to host the delegation was “fortuitous, because people and institutions can’t partner with – or promote – a place they don’t know much about.”

“Having influential educators and governmental officials on our campus enables them to promote our University and our programs and our status as a top-tier research university across the globe,” he added.

Earlier last week, a delegation led by Slovakia’s minister of education visited campus. The delegation toured Ray P. Authement College of Sciences’ facilities and laboratories, learning about virtual reality research.

Later this summer, a group of about 15 college students from Slovakia will visit the University to study computer science, said Dr. Azmy Ackleh, dean of the College of Sciences.    

“These visits are invaluable, because they open the door for not only sciences-related collaboration, but to grow and evolve our already strong international partnerships in many disciplines and colleges across campus,” Ackleh explained.

The University currently has collaborative partnerships with about 40 universities in 60 countries.Last year, the University joined the Agence Universitaire de la Francophonie, becoming the first member of the international network of French-speaking universities and research institutions in the United States.

Photo caption: 鶹ҹ hosted visitors from about a dozen countries during two events last week to develop academic and student exchange partnerships. A delegation from Slovakia, including Tomáš Drucker, its minister of education, toured Ray P. Authement College of Sciences facilities. Drucker, seated, joined students in learning about virtual reality research on campus. Photo credit: Paul Kieu / 鶹ҹ