Office of the President

November 1, 2019

The UW’s global reach creates opportunities for all

Ana Mari Cauce

One of our strengths as a public research university is our global reach – it’s part of why our great public university is routinely listed among the best global universities. The world we live and work in is already deeply interconnected; for the students now earning their degrees, the culture and job market they enter will only be more globally intertwined. So I am delighted that today we are officially launching the Center for International Relations & Cultural Leadership Exchange, or CIRCLE, to streamline and enhance support for international students, global education and opportunities for cross-cultural exchange.

The launch of CIRCLE coincides with UW Global Month, a chance to celebrate our global impact and highlight the many opportunities for students, faculty and staff to experience and share the richly diverse cultures that shape our community. The UW Global Month calendar is packed with cultural and educational events, and I hope everyone will check out the offerings. On November 4, the Samuel E. Kelly Ethnic Cultural Center and ASUW La Raza Commission will host a celebration of Día de los Muertos and on November 20, Finnish Ambassador Jan Store will give a lecture, “New Beginning for Europe? The European Union in a Time of Turbulence and Uncertainties.”

Throughout November, across our campuses, there will be opportunities to learn from experts, sample other cultures and explore the UW’s many study abroad opportunities. For interested students, the programs are plentiful – over 2,300 students participate in study abroad every year and 25 percent of eligible students receive scholarships – but with so many options, the process can be daunting. At the UW Study Abroad Fair on November 14, advisers, program directors and study abroad alumni will be available to help each student find the right program. For students like Erika Arias ’19, UW Study Abroad programs took her to six different countries on three different continents, helping to prepare her to pursue a Ph.D. in political science. And for Nick Ferderer, an MBA candidate at the Foster School of Business, his Global Business Certificate program took him to Ahmedabad, India where he worked to advance economic opportunity for women.

Throughout our University, cultural and intellectual exchanges are sparking cross-border collaborations. As a research powerhouse, the UW is deeply engaged in in the global research enterprise and our talented faculty are making an impact all over the world. Professor Melissa Mugambi is working with Kenyan partners to develop local innovation ecosystems for medical diagnostic tools. And in Cambodia, UW researchers from the College of the Environment, College of Engineering and School of Public Health are working to understand how the introduction of hydropower will affect the availability of traditional food sources.

Across the UW and far beyond the geographical boundaries of our campuses, the UW is engaging with the global community – from the international students we welcome here to the ambassadors who go abroad to learn and experience the world outside Washington, including next week’s Converge Taipei alumni gathering where we will explore the UW’s work on artificial intelligence. As we begin UW Global Month, I hope everyone will seek out these connections and discover new ways to see and understand our shared planet.