SARASOTA, Fla. (June 18, 2015) – Since the creation of USF Sarasota-Manatee’s Global Engagement Office (GEO) in May 2014, the program has experienced considerable growth. Approximately 50 international students, from 17 foreign countries, are expected to enroll in classes at USFSM this fall. With the development of USFSM’s student body through its Global Engagement Office, this institution is on track to become a local hub for diversity in culture and ideas by bringing more foreign students to the area as well as encouraging faculty and student participation in study-abroad programs.
“Expanding international education is an important component of our new strategic plan as we need to prepare our students to succeed in a global market,” USF Regional Chancellor Dr. Sandra Stone said.
“Our numbers of enrolled international students and visiting scholars are on the rise as we work closely with all campus colleges in promoting international education at USFSM,” said Amela Malkic, recently appointed director of the GEO. “I believe that USFSM is an affordable and attractive academic choice because we offer outstanding educational programs, a personalized learning community and a warm Florida welcome to international students.”
Thi Viet Thi Kuynh, a junior in biology from Vietnam, originally accepted to the University of Tampa, but soon transferred when she realized USF Sarasota-Manatee best fit her preference of smaller, more personalized classes. “The decision to transfer to USFSM is the wisest decision that I have made for my education,” said Thi Kuynh. “In the classes, I am very comfortable discussing lessons with professors and classmates. Every class has around 30 students, which is the perfect number for me. The Global Engagement Office has supported me so much since the day I was accepted to USFSM.”
In addition to bringing international students to USFSM, the Global Engagement Office works on diverse initiatives aimed at expanding the international reach of USFSM, including global perspectives in the curriculum. “Our institution is committed to graduating competent students,” said Malkic. “Personally, I am excited and grateful for the opportunity to work with Dr. Stone and the entire USFSM community on expanding international education across our institution and the USF System. We intend to collaborate with our colleges, faculty and USF World on a variety of initiatives that will promote international opportunities for faculty and students. It is exciting to be a part of USFSM as we work to meet our strategic goals and advance student achievement through global academic experiences.”
The Global Engagement Office coordinates with USF World and provides support to faculty and students interested in studying abroad. In an effort to promote global culture at USFSM and globalize student success, the GEO coordinates campus-wide programs and info-sessions on study abroad. The GEO also coordinates an international certificate program at USFSM and works with deans and faculty on creating new study abroad initiatives.
For more information, please visit, USFSM Global Engagement Office.