Office of the President

November 13, 2018

International education benefits us all

Ana Mari Cauce

The world we live and work in – and in which our graduates will seek jobs and opportunities – is globally connected and culturally dynamic. Here at the University of Washington, International Education Week is an occasion to reflect on how important and valuable international education is to our students’ success and our impact as a global research university. From opportunities for our U.S. students to study abroad to welcoming students, scholars, faculty and partners from all over the world, international education benefits all of us.

Each year, more than 2,300 UW students spend at least part of the academic year studying abroad. Their experiences and academic programs are as diverse as their destinations, with more than 500 programs in 75 countries from which to choose. They include programs like the Exploration Seminar on Health in the Context of Culture, offered through our UW School of Nursing, which took pre-med student Kenia Diaz to India to shadow nurses in urban and rural areas. Meanwhile, Ashley Richards, who is studying sustainable urban development at UW Tacoma, traveled to South Africa to learn about educational and racial disparities. The knowledge and experiences they returned with will help inform the impact they make on the world.

The UW also has a large and varied array of international partnerships that benefit our research mission across virtually every discipline. They include the groundbreaking Global Innovation Exchange, as well as more recent collaborations like our partnership with Tohoku University in Japan to foster science and engineering research and development. Imagine the potential good that our two Pacific Rim universities could generate working together to prepare for a major earthquake or to advance clean energy technology.

Our world – particularly here in the Pacific Northwest – is deeply connected to other nations and cultures. We are a nation of people with roots that span the globe who transcend borders in countless ways. This week, I hope you will take a moment to learn about the many ways in which we are globally connected and to consider what opportunities you might explore to build on those connections.