CWUNewsNews welcomes first Tunisian exchange student to campus, 27 Sep 2016 07:38:39<p><img alt="" src="/international-programs/sites/" style="width: 317px; height: 190px; float: right; border-width: 3px; border-style: solid; margin: 3px;">This fall, Ahlem Jedidi became the first student from Tunisia—the northernmost nation in Africa—to ever study at Central Washington University.</p><p>“At first, I didn’t know there was an Ellensburg or a Washington that was not part of Washington D.C,” admitted Jedidi. “Then I did some research and decided it was going to be different, but really great. Everyone has been so welcoming and so kind. I have the feeling like it’s my home now, even after only a week.”</p><p>Jedidi, 22, is the university’s first Thomas Jefferson Scholarship Program, Tunisia UGRAD scholarship recipient. CWU’s Office of International Studies and Programs (OISP) helped facilitate her year of study.</p><p>Coordinated by the United States Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, the Thomas Jefferson program is run through IREX, a nonprofit international education and development organization. An interview was part of the selection process.</p><p>“I had never spoken English before with people from the United States,” Jedidi noted, adding that the language barrier is still presenting some challenges. “I don’t know the names of vegetables,” she added, with a laugh. “I have to go on the Internet and see what they are.”</p><p>Not only is it the language and country that are different, but CWU’s small-town locale is also an adjustment for Jedidi, who lives in Tunis—Tunisia’s largest city—with a population of more than one million.</p><p>“It’s different but I like different things,” she acknowledged. “I have never seen a place like this. The architecture is magical. The food? Yes, it’s different. So are the people, the way they see things, the way they think, the way they work. But I’m enjoying everything and the fact that it’s different from where I come from.”<br><br>Jedidi has already had time to amend one of her preconceptions about the United States.<br>“People [in Tunisia] who watch TV shows think that Americans do not have strong family relationships,” she explained. “When I came here all the students had their parents with them and my [American] roommate told me she likes to go home on the weekends because she misses her family. It changed my mind.”<br><br>Jedidi, who has a younger and older brother, says the importance of family here is akin to that in her home country. That importance of family is also driving her academic pursuits.<br>“I’m interested in social business, like family-life management, how you can do business by studying the family,” she pointed out. “I’m choosing classes that will, one day, help me open my social business, focusing on education.”&nbsp;<br><br>Roslyn Moes, CWU international student advisor, added, “Ahlem is living on campus but will also be connected with a ‘friendship family,’ so she can experience real American culture, not what’s portrayed on television.”<br><br>In order to gain practical educational experience, Tunisia UGRAD students enhance their education with online career preparation in the fall followed by professional internships in the spring.</p><p>Participating students return to Tunisia equipped with the knowledge, skills, and abilities needed to become innovators and leaders in their respective fields, while making positive contributions to the economic development of the country and its 11-million citizens.</p><p>“We are a small country and we have a lot to build,” Jedidi explained. “I want to learn about innovation and see what people do to succeed here. I’m going to go back and do the same thing in Tunisia, because we need it.”</p><p>Jedidi is among nearly 500 international students from 48 countries attending CWU classes fall quarter.<br><br>Rachel Gordon, OISP project manager, stated, “Our recruitment plan allows us opportunities to bring students here who would, otherwise, never have a chance to visit Ellensburg.”</p><p>Through interactions with her CWU peers and area residents, Jedidi will also provide new and different perspectives within Central classrooms and the community.</p><p>“I want people to know that Tunisia is a really beautiful country, with a lot of history, amazing traditions, and delicious foods,” Jedidi added. “Maybe someone will want to come and visit<br>someday.”</p><p><strong>Media contact:</strong> Robert Lowery, director of radio services and integrated communications, 509-963-1487,</p><p>September 27, 2016</p><p>More information about the exchange program is available on Facebook and Twitter:<br></p><p>&nbsp;</p></br></br></br></br></br></br></br></br></br></br></br></br></br></br>CWU Near You: CWU Visits Nepal, Pakistan, and Jordan, 15 Sep 2016 15:37:08<p><a href="/international-programs/sites/ 2016 stacy travel.pdf" target="_blank"><img alt="CENTRAL WASHINGTON UNIVERSITYVisits Nepal, Pakistan and Jordan Fall 2016 Visiting:•Kathmandu, Nepal September 24EducationUSA University Fair, Click here to Register•Pakistan•Amman, Jordan October 5 @ 18.00 EducationUSA Advising Center" src="/international-programs/sites/" style="width: 500px; height: 300px;"></a></p><p>Meet with Central Washington University’s International Student Recruiter,<br>Stacy Soderstrom, to learn more about our diverse undergraduate and graduate degree programs, English language learning program, scholarship opportunities, and why CWU is a great place to study and live!</p><p>Stacy will be in Nepal September 18-24, in Pakistan in late September, and in Jordan October 4-6.</p></br>Enrollment Up Dramatically for CWU WorldCats Summer Institute, 20 Jun 2016 16:14:05<p><img alt="" src="/international-programs/sites/" style="width: 275px; height: 274px; border-width: 3px; border-style: solid; margin: 3px; float: right;">Central Washington University’s WorldCats Summer Institute will experience an enrollment increase of more than 200 percent this summer, as students from around the globe come to Ellensburg. In all, 73 students will spend part of the summer on campus, up from just 23 students last year.</p><p>“It’s a phenomenal success,” said Ann Radwan, Office of International Studies and Programs (OISP) executive director.</p><p>Offered through OISP, the two-to-four-week summer program involves students, from Japan and Mexico, who receive exceptional English language instruction paired with considerable cultural immersion.</p><p>“Identifiably, we offer a very high-quality product,” Radwan added. “We ensure that the students receive lots of attention, feel welcome, and have a broad experience.”</p><p>It is a formula for success that has students from the University of Shimane Junior College, based in Matsue, Japan returning to CWU for the 25th consecutive year.</p><p>“Shimane officials actually recommended us to Kurume Institute of Technology [in Fukuoka, Japan],” noted Sherri Fujita, CWU University English as a Second Language director, who pointed out that a contingent of students from that institution are among the newcomers this year.</p><p>While students from those institutions, along with others enrolling through Mexico’s Proyetca program, will develop a better grasp of English and American culture, their parents are said to be equally attracted by CWU’s small, safe, college-town atmosphere, where the students don’t need a car, or bus, for transportation. It’s a significant departure for most of those students, who will spend the majority of their lives in cities or major metropolitan areas.</p><p>“It gives them a chance to live in the countryside where the air is clean, there’s more green, and a different way of doing things,” Radwan said. “Parents seem to find it somewhat unbelievable that there is still such a space in America.”</p><p>Rachel Gordon, OISP project manager added, “So many of the students are amazed to see blue sky or the stars at night.”</p><p>Fujita went on to say, “This is America. They feel like they are in the U.S. They feel the energy of campus. This is what they imagined.”&nbsp;</p><p>While at CWU, the students will be offered opportunities for outdoor hikes and horseback riding, along with weekday, and weekend excursions around the area and state. However, many are said to be happy just enjoying the university’s Student Union and Recreation Center, and its cultural, food, and recreational opportunities, along with the chance to live on campus.</p><p>“It gives them an opportunity to speak English as much as possible—for repetition and practice,” Fujita explained. “We distinguish ourselves from what they can get in their home countries by offering the whole 360 (degrees), not just an hour in the classroom.”</p><p>The enrollment growth is also being attributed, in part, to enhanced networking CWU is doing through established entities and other international connections, such as EducationUSA, a United States Department of State network of more than 400 international student advising centers in some 170 countries around the world.&nbsp;&nbsp;</p><p>“We’re building a client base and ‘trust’ is the key word,” Radwan says. “We provide what we say we are going to offer and the students get exactly what they expect. Everyone understands the value and everyone is satisfied.”</p><p><strong>Media contact: </strong>Robert Lowery, director of Radio Services and Integrated Communications, 509-963-1487,</p><p>June 20, 2016</p>CWU Offers Women's Self Defense for International Students, 28 Mar 2016 16:01:06<p><a href="/international-programs/sites/ Women's Self Defense Flyer2.pdf" target="_blank"><img alt="" src="/international-programs/sites/" style="width: 500px; height: 665px;"></a></p><p>Strong. Alert. Confident.<br>Would you really be able to fight off an attacker?</p><p>If the answer is no, come learn ways to protect yourself and increase your confidence in self‐defense situations! 90% of self‐defense is education.</p><p>No prior experience necessary!</p></br>CWU Visits South and Central America, 28 Mar 2016 15:15:04<p><a href="/international-programs/sites/ visits SA flyer.pdf" target="_blank"><img alt="" src="/international-programs/sites/" style="width: 500px; height: 680px;"></a></p><p>Meet with Central Washington University’s International Student Recruiter,<br>Stacy Soderstrom, to learn more about our diverse undergraduate and graduate degree programs, English language learning program, scholarship opportunities, and why CWU is a great place to study and live!</p></br>CWU Sets International Attendance Record, 01 Dec 2015 14:25:02<p>Central Washington University is home to almost 550 international students fall quarter 2015 in all programs. Led by nearly 200 from Saudi Arabia, with large numbers also from China and Japan, students from over 40 countries are currently in attendance at CWU.</p>CWU Officially Welcomes International Students and Scholars, 08 Oct 2015 12:07:04<p><span style="font-size: 12px; line-height: 1.4;"><img alt="" src="/international-programs/sites/" style="width: 500px; height: 300px; float: left; border-width: 3px; border-style: solid; margin: 3px;">About 450 international students and scholars from 38 countries worldwide are now in Ellensburg for fall quarter classes at Central Washington University.</span></p><p>A large number of them were on hand to be officially welcomed recently by CWU Provost and Vice-President for Academic and Student Life Marilyn Levine and Sherri Fujita, director, University English as a Second Language at the annual International Students’ Welcome Dinner.</p><p>Sponsored by the CWU Office of International Studies and Programs (OISP), it is designed to make the students and scholars feel more at home. Held in the Sue Lombard Dining Room it provided them with an opportunity enjoy pizza and pasta, and music from a variety of countries.</p><p>It also allowed them to renew acquaintances and make new connections, including with campus and Ellensburg community members.</p><p>“We’re now interest in helping our international guests extend their community connections,” says Ann Radwan, OISP executive director.</p><p>Those who would like to become acquainted with one or more of the visiting students or scholars, or have them over for an upcoming holiday meal or other gathering, can contact the OISP office (, 509-963-3612) for additional information.</p><p>Along with those enrolled at other university campuses around the state, CWU has more than 500 international students and scholars participating in fall quarter classes.</p><p><strong>Media contact: </strong>Robert Lowery, director of Radio Services and Integrated Communications, 509-963-1487,</p><p>October 14, 2015</p></span style="font-size: 12px; line-height: 1.4;">CWU Celebrates 25-year Partnership with Japan’s Shimane College, 04 Aug 2015 10:26:12<p><img alt="" src="/international-programs/sites/" style="width: 201px; height: 200px; margin-left: 7px; margin-right: 7px; float: left;">Since 1990, the University of Shimane Junior College (USJC), from Shimane, Japan, has enjoyed a rich and rewarding educational partnership with Central Washington University. Over the years, both universities have provided student and faculty exchanges, short-term summer groups, and students from Shimane coming and studying for up to four quarters with the University English as a Second Language (UESL) program. More than 600 Japanese students have taken part in the UESL program since it began.</p><p>“It is a very long and valued relationship,” said Sherri Fujita, director of UESL. “Over the years, our students, faculty, and administration have developed a tight-knit and supportive community, with a network that spans the globe.”</p><p>USJC Vice President Tsuyoshi Kishimoto and Professor Yoko Kodama will come to CWU on August 5 to commemorate the 25th anniversary of the partnership. They will arrive on campus with a group of 21 USJC students and their chaperones.<br><br>On August 7, the group will visit CWU’s Donald L Garrity Japanese Garden to discuss a possible site for a commemorative cherry tree. Originally, the UESL program wanted to plant a cherry tree to mark this occasion, but as this is not the right time of year, the group will indicate a likely spot for a future planting. The Japanese garden was established in 1990 through a $51,000 grant to CWU from the Japan World Exposition. The cherry tree is a revered cultural icon in Japan.</p><p>In September, the original landscape architect, world-renowned Masa Mizuno, will return to assess the site, oversee the tree planting, and advise on the continued care and maintenance of the garden.<br><br>Marilyn A. Levine, CWU provost and vice president for Academic and Student Life, and Ann B. Radwan, executive director of the Office of International Studies Program will host a Silver Jubilee reception for the students, their teachers, and chaperones at 2:00 p.m. on August 10 at the University Reception Center. There will be a formal ceremony to exchange gifts where CWU will present a picture of the Japanese garden, placed in a special CWU commemorative frame, and a certificate. The University of Shimane Junior College delegates will present a book they created that documents the relationship and all of the activities shared by CWU and USJC throughout the years.</p><p>Central Washington University has official ties with 38 universities around the world and each year hosts approximately 200 foreign students from countries such as China, Bangladesh, Vietnam, Korea, Indonesia, Mongolia, Sri Lanka, Germany, France, and the United Kingdom.</p><p>Media Contact: Valerie Chapman-Stockwell, Public Affairs, 509-963-1518,<br>&nbsp;</p></br></br></br></br></br>CWU to Forge Higher Education Ties With Cuba, 24 Jul 2015 11:21:48<p>“There’s a whole new set of relationships developing with Cuba,” says Ann Radwan, executive director of Central Washington University’s International Studies and Programs. “The networks that we will develop will be fantastic. It’s exciting.”</p><p>CWU was selected as one of just 12 institutions nationwide to participate in the 2015 International Academic Partnership Program.&nbsp; This year’s program, which began last week, forges new relationships between colleges and universities in the United States and Cuba.</p><p>The selection is particularly significant in a new era of mutual collaboration initiated by the two countries with the resumption of diplomatic relations and the opening of embassies in Washington, DC, and Havana on Monday, July 20.</p><p>Stella Moreno, director for CWU’s Center for Latino and Latin American Studies, points out, “Cuba has more than 60 universities that offer undergraduate and graduate programs in the sciences, the arts and humanities, technology, education, and medicine. The combination of USA and Cuban talents will prove alluring for the development of cultural and academic exchanges, and venues of discovery and progress in both countries. There is so much to learn and no time to lose.”</p><p>The Institute of International Education (IIE), a non-profit organization dedicated to promoting international education and access to education worldwide, administers the partnership program. Its most well-known endeavor is the Fulbright Program.</p><p>Radwan, who has had interactions with the organization for several years, notes, “The people at IIE are really quite expert at developing the architecture to support university partnerships. It’s then up to us to develop the partnerships.”</p><p>CWU’s Office of International Studies and Programs faculty, students, and administrators will participate in a range of training opportunities this year pertaining to implementation, as the university embarks on creating sustainable educational partnerships with Cuba.</p><p>In addition, the university will establish a campus steering committee to work on partnership development. Mark Auslander, anthropology and museum studies professor and director of the Museum of Culture and Environment, will chair the group, which is scheduled to begin by the end of July.</p><p>“Many faculty at Central are delighted at the prospect of partnering closely with Cuban educational and cultural institutions,” Auslander states. “Our students are fascinated by Cuban literature and the arts, Cuban history, and the complex challenges of democratization and economic reform in the new era.”</p><p>The committee is charged with creating a strategic plan for CWU’s new ventures in Cuba, which could lead to increased diversity among international students coming to Ellensburg.</p><p>Radwan predicts, “I think there will be a huge increase in US government support for Cuban students to study in the United States. This university has a lot to offer.”</p><p>Ken Cohen, director of the International Sustainable Development Institute; Elvin Delgado, director of the Institute for Integrated Energy Studies, and Auslander have been tapped to represent CWU on a trip to the island nation in October. The three faculty members work collaboratively with the Center for Latino and Latin American Studies.</p><p>“I wanted a diverse group of people going and they have very different interests and backgrounds,” says Radwan about those selections. “They’ve already worked in both Central and South America, so it seemed natural.”</p><p>Auslander adds, “We’re eager to learn from our Cuban colleagues and develop opportunities for collaborative learning for our students and [Cuban] students on the island.”</p><p><strong>Media contact: </strong>Robert Lowery, director of Content Development, 509-963-1487,</p><p>July 24, 2015</p>CWU to Participate in Forum on Internationalizing College Campuses, 25 Jun 2015 10:48:31<p><img alt="" src="/international-programs/sites/" style="width: 250px; height: 250px; float: left; margin: 7px;">Higher education is one of the top 10 service sector exports for the United State economy. In that regard, universities nationwide, including Central Washington University, play an important role in strengthening ties between the United States and countries around the world.</p><p>Ann Radwan, the executive director of CWU’s International Studies and programs, and Sara Cass, international student recruiter, will participate in the US State Department’s sixth annual <a href="" target="_blank">EducationUSA</a> Forum in Washington DC, June 30 through July 2. Nearly 600 university representatives will attend the forum.</p><p>The discussions will focus on the development of comprehensive and innovative strategies for attracting international students to campuses in the United States, along with the importance of study abroad. International education supports strong economies around the world by providing students with knowledge and skills needed to collaborate and compete in an increasingly global workforce.</p><p>The forum will feature sessions and workshops on traditional and virtual recruiting, improving international student services, handling student visas, accessing foreign government scholarships, and developing partnership for recruiting and retaining international students.</p><p>Media contact: Robert Lowery, director of Content Development, 509-963-1487,</p><p>June 24, 2015</p><p>Photo: Dr. Ann Radwan. CWU OISP executive director</p>