— Ray Feroz
Every semester Clarion University hosts students from around the world who are here to take coursework for a semester, an academic year, or longer. They have diverse majors. Clarion also offers a program for English learners to develop English language proficiency. International students enrich our community! International students who are with us this fall semester come from Brazil, Saudi Arabia, Canada, India, Ireland, Malta, China, Korea, Japan, Ecuador, and South Africa.
On the other side of the coin, Clarion University students have abundant opportunities to study abroad at universities around the globe through our partners in international education in Europe, the Americas, Africa and Asia. Exchange programs are available as well as direct assignments and faculty-led offerings. Prior to study abroad, students meet with their advisors and Office of International Programs staff to ensure that courses will transfer and all arrangements are smoothly in place. An international experience can help make a student’s résumé stand out!
Clarion has an Advisory Council for International Education and Programming (AKA International Advisory Council – IAC) made up of faculty and staff who are champions for internationalization of the curriculum and facilitating opportunities for international students and study abroad. IAC members include Miguel Olivas-Lujan, Sandy Chen, YooJin Ha, Ning Chen, Terry Pierucci, Young-Gyoung Kim, Nancy Clemente, Vasudeva Rao Aravind, Jocelind Gant, Lori Sabatose, Lynn Hepfl, Rachelle Prioleau, Simon Aristeguieta-Trillos, Bruce Smith, Chunfei Li, Elisabeth Sauvage-Callaghan, and Ambreena Buckley. The council meets monthly during the academic year. If you are interested in membership, please contact any member or me <firstname.lastname@example.org>.
Faculty and staff can be helpful to the cause by infusing international aspects into their curriculum and letting students know that study abroad is possible and need not cost much more than regular Clarion tuition and room and board. CU student scholarships are available (the IAC Scholarship Committee recommends scholarship awards in both the fall and spring semesters) as well as SSHE and private scholarships. Also faculty can organize and run faculty-led study abroad projects; indeed several faculty do so each year.
Clarion students have a very active Study Abroad Club where peers can provide and receive information and support. Leaders include Zoe Berkheimer (President) and Stephanie Lightner (Secretary). They meet bi-weekly, perform community service, and provide peer support for study abroad and international programming.
Finally, this fall, on Tuesday October 20th, there will be a Study Abroad and Graduate School Fair from 2:30 – 4:30 pm in Carlson Library. Please come and meet the Study Abroad Club members and learn about the many opportunities for study abroad. Finally, please encourage students to attend and learn about study abroad opportunities and meet new friends!
Ray Feroz has taught at Clarion University for 25 years in Human Services and Rehabilitative Sciences. He is a Licensed Professional Counselor and was educated at Kent State, Boston University, and the University of Pittsburgh. He has served as Clarion University’s Coordinator of International Education and Study Abroad. Currently he volunteers as faculty advisor for the Office of International Programs, and chairs the CU International Advisory Council.