UH pledges to double number of students studying abroad
As the global climate changes, UH is providing students the opportunity to submerge themselves in a different culture and environment, by providing students with scholarships as they learn abroad in China.
Partnering up with Sias International University located in Xinzheng City, Henan Province of China, the UH Office of Learning Abroad has begun the task of doubling the number of students learning abroad on campuses throughout China through the leadership of Vice Provost of Global Strategies and Studies Jamie Ortiz.
“The University of Houston made a commitment to Sias University to pledge that within five years we will double the number of students going abroad,” Ortiz said. “With this pledge we became on of the less than 200 university throughout America that have this partnership.”
UH aims to raise the global awareness on campus of things happening throughout the world, thus the partnership with Sias. This task is in the hands of UH’s Office of Global Initiatives, which is led by the efforts of Administrative Coordinator Leah Scott.
“As we become one of 20 of the few universities chosen out of those who submitted proposals, we aim to bring the international community here to the campus of UH,” Scott said. “We also want to bring a bigger global presence, and raise our global footprint as the University of Houston in terms of being able to offer more programs abroad and being able to offer more opportunities for students to learn overseas.”
As the global landscape changes, students’ awareness of the status of different parts of the world is peaking. Providing opportunities for students to become completely submerged in the world is at the forefront of UH’s agenda.
“In terms of number, the U.S. is just one country out of 208 countries, so the likelihood of a student being sent to any of those countries and the student learning about their culture, economics, government, and all other aspects of that country makes their social awareness commendable,” Ortiz said. “The U.S. is not the center of the world, now the center is in Asia, China, India, Brazil, Russia or the Middle East, and we are just one piece of the puzzle. The world does not turn around us but the rather the US turns around the world.”
As the chances for students to learn abroad increase, this program displays its undeniable value for students who partake in this opportunity.
“When students learn abroad many aspects are explored, such a research, internships, or any other activity where you are taking things for that environment and learning from that,” Ortiz said.
The UH Office of Global Initiatives and the UH Office of Learning Abroad have set a clear goal of improving the education value of students here at UH via global understanding and knowledge, as both offices prepare for the future of this program to grew and impact many students.
“Most students in the workforce are needed to have global competency, and a part of that is our job: to set students up to have global competency so that when an employer looks at their diploma, they know that they have a certain merit with the University,” Scott said. “In the workplace we are seeing the demand for cross-cultural education skills, or being multilingual as our country becomes more diverse. We are preparing students to become competitive in the work force.”