Skip to content

News and features

International students meet local 5th grade pen pals

After exchanging letters for several weeks, 45 UW international students met their 5th grade pen pals from White Center Heights Elementary School for the first time on December 5. “I really enjoyed participating in the Pen Pal program,” says Bader Al Farhan, a sophomore student from Kuwait. Read more from FIUTS…

Vice Provost to visit UW Rome Center

The Vice Provost for Global Affairs will meet with faculty and staff at the UW Rome Center during his visit to the city from November 16 – 22.  The meetings will familiarize the Vice Provost with the facility and its operations. Together with Rome Center faculty and staff, Vice Provost Riedinger seeks to put the center on a more sustainable and dynamic footing.

The Office of Global Affairs is exploring opportunities to expand programming for UW students at the Rome Center, including study, research, and service learning, and also to position it as a host for scholarly conferences and a base of operations for faculty conducting research in Italy. “We’re looking at what more we can do to make the Rome Center a true platform for teaching, research, and student engagement,” says Vice Provost Riedinger.

UW welcomes Humphrey fellows

The University of Washington’s Evans School of Public Affairs is hosting ten Hubert H. Humphrey Fellows this year. Mid-career professionals from a variety of fields, this year’s fellows hail from Africa, Asia, Eastern Europe, the Middle East, and South America. Humphrey fellows are selected for their dedication to public service and potential for leadership.

Only 17 U.S. universities host Humphrey fellows each year. Since 1987, UW has hosted more than 300 fellows from 100 nations. Kenneth Peavler coordinates a weekly leadership seminar for the fellows on campus. He sees UW as an ideal base for Humphrey fellows, offering “world class opportunities”.

Fellow Naseer Uddin Sarwar, Director of Pakistan’s Department of the Auditor General, will focus on issues of government accountability and transparency during his time at UW. “I aim to develop a personal relationship with the Evans School, and to strengthen the relationship between Pakistan and the U.S.,” he says.

Paula Correa, a Uruguayan fellow who serves as the Entrepreneurship Programs Specialist in her country’s Ministry of Industry, Energy and Mining, is excited to learn about and use new technologies while at UW. She says, “I’m taking a class where the students are all in front of computers… it’s totally new for me and not what I expected from a university course”.

Throughout the year, the Hubert H. Humphrey Fellows Presentation Series will feature talks by the current fellows highlighting their expertise. On November 21, fellow Estelle Antilahy will present “Challenges toward Water Supply and Management in Developing Countries: A Case Study of Madagascar”. Follow the UW Hubert H. Humphrey Fellows on Facebook for updates on future presentations.

Back: Mohamed Elkaramany (Egypt), Bakhadur Khabibov (Tajikistan), Naseer Uddin Sarwar (Pakistan) Middle: Mohammed Laid Slougui (Algeria), Bo Liu (China), Seokhoon Cho (Republic of Korea) Front: Estelle Antilahy (Madagascar), Paula Correa (Uruguay), Aziza Msaaf (Morocco), Maria Lille (Estonia)
Back: Mohamed Elkaramany (Egypt), Bakhadur Khabibov (Tajikistan), Naseer Uddin Sarwar (Pakistan)
Middle: Mohammed Laid Slougui (Algeria), Bo Liu (China), Seokhoon Cho (Republic of Korea)
Front: Estelle Antilahy (Madagascar), Paula Correa (Uruguay), Aziza Msaaf (Morocco), Maria Lille (Estonia) Photo: Evans School of Public Affairs


Meeting of public universities features Vice Provost

Vice Provost Riedinger attended the annual meeting of the Association of Public and Land-Grant Universities (APLU) from November 10 – 12. A member of APLU’s Commission on International Initiatives Executive Committee, he served as a discussion panelist and engaged with university leaders from across the country around issues related to international education.

The panel discussion, titled The Future of International and Foreign Language Education: What More Can Government and Universities Do Together?, explored opportunities for partnership between the US Department of Education and public universities to support world language and international education.  The panelists also discussed the need for universities to equip graduates for success in the global economy.  Maureen McLaughlin, the US Department of Education’s Senior Advisor to the Secretary of Education and Director of International Affairs, as well as leaders from the University of Arizona and The Ohio State University also participated as panelists.

Vice Provost Riedinger also attended a working dinner convened by APLU President Peter McPherson to brainstorm strategies for increasing US student participation in study abroad in the absence of increased federal funding for scholarships.


UW leaders connect with alumni and parents in China

UW’s President Young and Vice Provost for Global Affairs Riedinger visited China and Japan from October 26 to November 7, making stops in Beijing, Shanghai, Hong Kong, and Tokyo. The leaders met with UW alumni and friends, parents of current UW students, as well as key institutional partners.

The trip marked the beginning of an exciting new chapter for UW’s connection with international alumni, students, and parents. In Beijing and Shanghai, President Young and Vice Provost Riedinger connected with UW alumni and parents. Leadership groups of UW alumni living in China provided ideas for how UW can support the development of alumni organizations and deepen international alumni involvement.

In the first-ever meetings between university leadership and parents of international students in their home country, Vice Provost Riedinger was “impressed with the strength of [the parents’] affection for UW… and their keen interest in the success of their daughters and sons, both inside and outside of the classroom.” Feedback from the parent meetings highlighted the need for improved communication with international students and parents about the resources available at UW – from academic advising to faculty office hours.

Meetings with institutional partners focused on strengthening research partnerships, increasing collaboration among faculty, and creating additional opportunities for UW students to engage in research, internships, and experiential learning in China.

Study Abroad Fair connects students to a world of opportunities

fair 1Today on the University of Washington campus, over 1200 students visited the annual Study Abroad Fair in Mary Gates Hall Commons. International universities such as Waseda University, Universidad de Guadalajara, and University of Bristol, as well as representatives from UW faculty-led programs, scholarship programs, and other organizations – over 60 in all – were on hand to provide information about the many opportunities available for study, research, and internships abroad. Study Abroad Peer Mentors and International Programs & Exchanges staff members were available during the fair to direct students to appropriate resources and provide new ideas. Student participants could also attend information sessions during the fair, including several on study abroad scholarships.

Study Abroad Peer Advisers Samantha Walters, Melissa Wong, and Jackie Lungmus
Study Abroad Peer Advisers Samantha Walters, Melissa Wong, and Jackie Lungmus

“The Study Abroad Fair creates a really exciting atmosphere for students,” says Mike Renes, a Study Abroad Adviser and Regional Lead, “they can come into the Office of International Programs & Exchanges any day for advising and learn about program options, but getting to talk with a Program Director or alumni of a program makes it real for them and gives them a good sense of the kind of experience they’ll have on the ground. That’s what the Study Abroad Fair is all about.”

fair2The Office of International Programs & Exchanges plans to hold the Study Abroad Fair at the HUB next year to provide room for additional participants and information sessions. “We’re very excited to move the fair to a new home in the HUB,” says Renes, “the new space will give the fair room to grow. Even students who come in thinking study abroad may not be possible will have the chance to come and learn everything they need to know… from program options to how to fund it.”

[VIDEO] Tahiti becomes UW athletes’ second home

This summer, 11 Husky football and softball players participated in a unique study abroad program to Tahiti. Facilitated by UW Athletics and the Department of Anthropology, the two-week-long program allowed UW student-athletes to connect with Tahitian community members by sharing their passion for sport. The program’s shorter time frame allowed them to maintain their rigorous training schedule. Participating student-athletes made big sacrifices to join the trip. “They had to choose between [using the break] to visit family or study abroad,” says Liberty Bracken, an Academic Adviser for UW Student-Athlete Academic Services who coordinated the program.

Tahitian club football players at a clinic
Tahitian club football players at a clinic Photo: Liberty Bracken

While in Tahiti, the UW football players facilitated nightly clinics for 5 Tahitian-American football teams. The softball players introduced local women and girls to their female-dominated sport. Female athletes are a novelty in Tahiti, where most women do not participate in organized sports. “Watching [UW softball player] Kaitlin Inglesby pitch was very impressive… the women began to think of the players as great role models for Tahitian girls,” says Bracken. Off the field, the Husky athletes connected with Tahitian culture by teaching English through PE classes at Punavai Elementary School, where they met with 17 classes and over 400 students.

The trip was also academically focused, and the student-athletes engaged in lectures and field trips related to topics of local interest, including the impact of decolonization and nuclear testing. In addition, the athletes kept journals to note their observations about Tahitian culture, politics, language, and identity.

UW athletes and Tahitian hosts practice a traditional dance
UW athletes and Tahitian hosts practice a traditional dance Photo: Liberty Bracken

UW football and softball players made meaningful and long-lasting connections with the Tahitian community through the program. “The kindness and generosity of the UW athletes in coaching and mentoring Tahitian teams made a huge difference,” says Bracken, “the student athletes were so open to learning about the Tahitian players’ lives and journeys… football and softball helped to facilitate that.”

When it was time for the student-athletes to return home, over 60 community members came to the airport to bid them farewell. The emotional sendoff was a fitting end to a transformative experience for 11 Huskies, in which, as they put it, “Tahiti became our second home.”