CWUNewsNewshttps://www.cwu.edu/international-programs/newsen-usThe Global Gazette, Vol. 4, Issue 2 -- June 2022https://www.cwu.edu/international-programs/node/3569Tue, 14 Jun 2022 08:36:34<p style="text-align: center;"><a href="https://myemail.constantcontact.com/The-Global-Gazette---Volume-4---Issue-2.html?soid=1134551685112&amp;aid=2ApsGh9n7OY" target="_blank"><img alt="" src="https://files.constantcontact.com/8f7dc882801/5c6b4bf8-76a2-4b58-9014-2f5c9dfc36e8.jpg?rdr=true" style="width: 600px; height: 173px;" /></a></p> <p>The June 2022 issue of the Office of International Studies and Programs&#39; newsletter, <em>The Global Gazette</em>, is out. Here&#39;s what&#39;s featured in this quarter&#39;s issue:</p> <ul> <li><a href="/international-programs/node/3567">2022 Globalization Appreciation Reception Recap</a></li> <li><a href="/international-programs/node/3566">Asia University Washington Spring Program (WSP)</a></li> <li><a href="/international-programs/node/3565">CWU Resumes Education Abroad </a></li> <li><a href="/international-programs/node/3564">CWU Students Receive National Education Abroad Scholarships</a></li> <li><a href="/international-programs/node/3563">WorldCat Connections Online Intensive English Program Slated for August</a></li> <li><a href="/international-programs/node/3562">UESL In-Person Program Resumes in Fall 2022</a></li> <li><a href="/international-programs/node/3561">Enhance Your Career by Studying Abroad</a></li> <li><a href="/international-programs/node/3560">Reconnecting CWU Students Through Events and Activites</a></li> <li><a href="/international-programs/node/3559">Student Employee of the Year</a></li> <li><a href="/international-programs/node/3558">Ramadan at Central Washington University</a></li> <li><a href="/international-programs/node/3557">New faces in OISP</a></li> </ul> <p>Or check out the <a href="https://myemail.constantcontact.com/The-Global-Gazette---Volume-4---Issue-2.html?soid=1134551685112&amp;aid=2ApsGh9n7OY" target="_blank">whole issue here</a>.</p> </p style="text-align: center;">CWU Faculty Members Awarded Prestigious Fulbright Scholarshipshttps://www.cwu.edu/international-programs/node/3568Fri, 10 Jun 2022 08:42:52<h4>By Rune Torgersen</h4> <hr /> <p>Cen<img alt=" L-R: Elvin Delgado, Susan Kaspari, and Michelle DenBeste " src="https://www.cwu.edu/news/sites/cts.cwu.edu.news/files/styles/news_feature/public/images/features/CWU-faculty-fulbright-2022-main-min.png?itok=e9dSfbX6" style="float: right; margin: 0px 0px 30px 30px; width: 400px; height: 224px;" />tral Washington University Associate Professor of Geography Elvin Delgado, Geological Sciences Professor Susan Kaspari, and Provost Michelle DenBeste have been awarded coveted Fulbright Program awards by the U.S. Department of State and the Fulbright Foreign Scholarship Board.</p> <p>Delgado, who was presented with a Fulbright Specialist program award, is headed to the University of Chile in Santiago, the oldest and most prestigious university in Chile. There, he will discuss Chile&rsquo;s energy transition plans and the development of green technologies, such as its green hydrogen initiative, with local industry professionals, scholars, and policymakers.&nbsp;</p> <p>Delgado also plans to collaborate with faculty members at the University of Chile to develop an upper-level online course accessible to students at both universities, present lectures within the Department of Geography, and conduct site visits and exploratory fieldwork at renewable energy sites. After more than 15 years conducting research in an international setting, Delgado is excited to gain new perspectives on his work.</p> <p>&ldquo;The most exciting part of this trip will be learning from Chilean scholars about energy transition issues in their country,&rdquo; said Delgado, who also serves as the Integrated Energy Management program director at Central. &ldquo;In addition, I am excited about the opportunity to give several invited lectures to share my research findings in an international setting.&rdquo;</p> <p>Kaspari, who was awarded a Fulbright U.S. Scholar program award, will travel to Norway to conduct research on the role light-absorbing particles play in snow and glacier melt. She will collaborate with researchers from the Norwegian Polar Institute while conducting field work on the Svalbard archipelago. In addition, she will teach about the causes and impacts of rising sea levels at the Arctic University of Norway, the world&rsquo;s northernmost university.&nbsp;</p> <p>&ldquo;I&rsquo;m excited to expand my research into the Arctic, where climate warming is most pronounced,&rdquo; Kaspari said. &ldquo;I teach several climate-related courses [at CWU], so the research I will be doing will also impact my teaching.&rdquo;&nbsp;</p> <p>CWU&rsquo;s third Fulbright award recipient, DenBeste, will spend 12 days in Paris and surrounding communities to learn more about international student and faculty programs in France, and the rest of the world, through the France International Education Administrators program. She will tour schools, attend meetings, and explore how exchange programs work abroad to gain insights on how to bolster CWU&rsquo;s Office of International Studies and related programs.</p> <p>&ldquo;My hope is to be able to apply what I learn in France to help elevate existing programs at CWU,&rdquo; DenBeste said. &ldquo;As part of that effort, I&rsquo;d like to bring more awareness to the opportunities that the Fulbright Scholar programs provide to faculty and students and encourage more of the Wildcat community to apply for and take advantage of what these programs have to offer.&rdquo;</p> <p>Media contact:&nbsp;Rune Torgersen, Department of Public Affairs,&nbsp;<a href="mailto:rune.torgersen@cwu.edu">rune.torgersen@cwu.edu</a>, 509-963-1264</p> </a href="mailto:rune.torgersen@cwu.edu">2022 Globalization Appreciation Reception Recaphttps://www.cwu.edu/international-programs/node/3567Thu, 09 Jun 2022 16:06:10<p><img alt="Dean Ediz Kaykayoglu speaks at the 2020 Globalization Appreciation Reception" src="/international-programs/sites/cts.cwu.edu.international-programs/files/images/OISP/GAR%201.png" style="float: right; margin: 0px 0px 30px 30px; width: 300px; height: 225px;" />The Office of International Studies and Programs (OISP) hosted nearly 100 attendees at the 2022 Globalization Appreciation Reception, held in the Hebeler Auditorium on the Central Washington University campus on April 27th.</p> <p>The reception is an annual event held to thank CWU domestic and international faculty and&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; students, CWU staff, and community members for the contributions they have made to internationalize the curriculum, campus, and local community through their partnerships with international programs at Central Washington University.</p> <p>The evening opened with remarks made by Provost and Vice President for Academic and Student Life, Michelle DenBeste, who showed her strong support of international programs at CWU.&nbsp;</p> <p>Ediz Kaykayoglu, Dean of Extended and Global Education, followed her remarks by highlighting the various activities that have transpired since the event was last held in 2019.</p> <p><img alt="Guests at the Globalization Appreciation Reception enjoy the speeches" src="/international-programs/sites/cts.cwu.edu.international-programs/files/images/OISP/GAR%202.png" style="float: left; margin: 0px 30px 30px 0px; width: 300px; height: 228px;" />This included such items as increased international student enrollment, over 100 virtual recruitment events, the implementation of virtual exchange programs - providing 768 CWU students and 21 CWU faculty the opportunity to connect with international partner students all around the world this past academic year, resuming education abroad, hosting nine Department of State-sponsored students, welcoming a new visiting scholar to campus, online English as a second language programs, and welcoming back students from the Asia University America Program (AUAP).</p> <p>Also mentioned were the numerous virtual and in-person events held to support and engage international students, the fact that CWU international student, Kathy Mae, received student employee of the year at CWU and is second in the state and top 19 for national student of the year, and the acknowledgement that CWU was a finalist for NAFSA&rsquo;s prestigious Paul Simon International award.</p> <p><img alt="Guests at the 2020 Globalization Appreciation Reception listen to speeches at the event" src="/international-programs/sites/cts.cwu.edu.international-programs/files/images/OISP/GAR3.png" style="float: right; margin: 0px 0px 30px 30px; width: 300px; height: 198px;" />After guests learned of what has transpired, Nicki Kukar, Director of International Student and Scholar Services (ISSS), shared various ways in which faculty, students, and community members could become involved. Kukar stated, &ldquo;while each one of us in this room has probably already engaged with international education in one way or another, one thing that the pandemic has taught us is that there are new ways to do things.&nbsp; My challenge to all of you is to find one thing from this list that you haven&rsquo;t done and try it!&nbsp; Find new ways to engage with our office, with international students, with virtual exchange or new programs.&rdquo;</p> <p>Highlights of the event included both faculty and student speakers who shared information on their backgrounds with the group and why international education is important to them.</p> <p><img alt="2021-2 Gerrits and Macinko Scholarship winner David Nmesoma Ezeifeka speaks at the 2022 Globalization Appreciation Reception" src="/international-programs/sites/cts.cwu.edu.international-programs/files/images/OISP/GAR%204.png" style="float: left; margin: 0px 30px 30px 0px; width: 300px; height: 373px;" />Speakers included Assistant Professor of Communication, Josh Nelson-Ichido, who is a seasoned expert at incorporating both in-person and virtual exchange activities into his course curriculum and David Nmesoma Ezeifeka, a current CWU international student from Nigeria, who was awarded the Gerrits and Macinko scholarship this academic year.&nbsp;</p> <p>Annie Young and Casey Ross from University Advancement shared information about the importance of alumni engagement and participation, and crowdfunding event #GiveCentral that took place the following day.&nbsp; Through both the #GiveCentral event and a silent auction held during the reception, over $3,600 in International Student Emergency Funds were raised.&nbsp; These funds help international students overcome barriers to their educational experience by providing them with direct financial relief during times of emergency.</p> <p>If you&rsquo;d like to contribute to this cause, please visit <a href="http://www.cwu.edu/international-programs/giving" target="_blank">www.cwu.edu/international-programs/giving</a>.</p> Asia University Washington Spring Program (WSP)https://www.cwu.edu/international-programs/node/3566Thu, 09 Jun 2022 15:41:33<p><img alt="Asia University Washington Spring Program students meet CWU President Jim Wohlpart" src="/international-programs/sites/cts.cwu.edu.international-programs/files/images/AUAP/WaSP%201.png" style="float: left; margin: 0px 30px 30px 0px; width: 300px; height: 225px;" />On February 1, 2022, after a two-year hiatus due to COVID, Asia University students once again stepped foot on the CWU campus.&nbsp; CWU hosted the first ever 2-month Asia University Washington Spring Program.&nbsp; The program was created to give AU students a chance to participate in a short-term, in-person study abroad program as the world slowly starts to resume international travel. The program was a huge success, not only for the twenty AU participants, but also for the CWU campus and Ellensburg community.&nbsp; Having the Japanese students living in the residence halls and participating in campus events brought so much energy and excitement.</p> <p>One of the many highlights of the program include the interactive curriculum which was developed to engage CWU and AU students as much as possible.&nbsp; During the seven weeks of instruction, there were 10 class exchanges with CWU students studying Communications, Education, and Japanese and over 50 CWU students participated in WSP classes as classroom volunteers, attending class at least one hour a week.&nbsp; These opportunities provided valuable cross-cultural education to both sets of students.</p> <table align="center" border="0" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0"> <tbody> <tr> <td style="text-align: center;"><img alt="Participants in the Asia University Washington Spring Program pose after a class" src="/international-programs/sites/cts.cwu.edu.international-programs/files/images/AUAP/WaSP%202.png" style="width: 301px; height: 225px;" /></td> <td style="text-align: center;"><img alt="Asia University Washington Spring Program students learn from members of the CWU and Ellensburg community" src="/international-programs/sites/cts.cwu.edu.international-programs/files/images/AUAP/WaSP%203.png" style="width: 300px; height: 225px;" /></td> </tr> </tbody> </table> <p>Outside of class, students were also very busy and engaged.&nbsp; WSP students hosted Japanese culture nights in the residence halls, participated in the CWU Parade of Nations event, attended two International Cafes and every student participated in at least one Home Visit.&nbsp; The Home Visit program enabled the Japanese students to see Ellensburg home life.&nbsp; More than 15 local families invited the students to their home for an afternoon or evening of games, conversation, meals, and more.&nbsp; This was the highlight for many of the WSP students and for many Ellensburg families who have missed the interaction with our international students.</p> <table align="center"> <tbody> <tr> <td style="text-align: center;"><img alt="Asia University Washington Spring Program students share their culture with the CWU and Ellensburg community" src="/international-programs/sites/cts.cwu.edu.international-programs/files/images/AUAP/WaSP%204.png" style="width: 300px; height: 225px;" /></td> <td style="text-align: center;"><img alt="Asia University Washington Spring Program students pose with President Jim Wohlpart and Provost DenBeste at a reception" src="/international-programs/sites/cts.cwu.edu.international-programs/files/images/AUAP/WaSP%205.png" style="width: 299px; height: 225px;" /></td> </tr> </tbody> </table> <p>With the success of the WSP program, the traditional AUAP is set to resume in the fall with 54 prospective students studying at CWU.&nbsp; We are excited to welcome them back and look forward to continued collaboration across campus and getting the students active in Ellensburg again.</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><img alt="Asia University Washington Spring Program students" src="/international-programs/sites/cts.cwu.edu.international-programs/files/images/AUAP/WaSP%206.png" style="width: 750px; height: 422px;" /></p> </table align="center" border="0" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0"></td style="text-align: center;"></td style="text-align: center;"></table align="center"></td style="text-align: center;"></td style="text-align: center;"></p style="text-align: center;">CWU Resumes Education Abroad https://www.cwu.edu/international-programs/node/3565Thu, 09 Jun 2022 15:32:29<p>For the first time since cancelling all education abroad programs and recalling students in March 2020 in the wake of a then emerging pandemic, Central Washington University officially resumed education abroad activities in January of this year, encouraged by improvement in global conditions, including vaccination rates among the CWU student population and among the populations of students&rsquo; more common destinations.</p> <p>Borrowing best practices from peer institutions across Washington State and the US, CWU developed a supplemental petition process for students seeking to study in destinations with elevated travel advisories from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the US Department of State (DOS). As much as a decision-making tool for CWU, the intent of this petition is to have students actively engage with and plan for any risks and restrictions at their destination.</p> <p>Six (6) students received approval to participate in third-party sponsored and bilateral exchange programs, spending a spring semester in such places as France, Italy and South Korea. For some students, such as senior Asian Studies &amp; Spanish dual major Aracely Cohetzaltitla, this was the culmination of nearly two years&rsquo; worth of waiting and persistence. Ten (10) students are projected to study abroad this summer, and additional 18 are projected to start their programs this autumn.</p> <p>Due to the additional logistics and liability associated with them, faculty-directed and other group international travel programs have been more difficult to resume. However, should conditions remain amenable, the first such program could go abroad this autumn.</p> CWU Students Receive National Education Abroad Scholarshipshttps://www.cwu.edu/international-programs/node/3564Thu, 09 Jun 2022 15:29:00<p><img alt="CWU Russian and Spanish senior and ROTC cadet Muir Hamilton, winner of the David L. Boren Scholarship" src="/international-programs/sites/cts.cwu.edu.international-programs/files/images/study-abroad/SAEP%201.png" style="float: left; margin: 0px 30px 30px 0px; width: 300px; height: 400px;" />Two CWU students received prestigious, national scholarships toward the costs of their education abroad programs this academic year. Senior Russian Studies &amp; Spanish dual major and Army ROTC cadet Muir Hamilton was awarded the <a href="https://www.borenawards.org/" target="_blank">David L. Boren Scholarship</a> to study Russian language and Russophone culture, first in Ukraine and later in Kyrgyzstan, for the 2021-22 Academic Year. An initiative of National Security Education Program and the US Department of Defense&rsquo;s (DOD) Defense Language and National Security Education Office (DLNSEO), the Boren Scholarship awards up to $25,000 for study in less common or high-need locations (i.e., Africa, Asia, East-Central &amp; Eastern Europe and Latin America). Recipients must also incorporate study of a critical need or less commonly taught languages appropriate to their destination into their programs. Qualifying languages taught at CWU are Japanese, Korean, Mandarin, Russian and&mdash;for certain countries in Africa&mdash;French.</p> <p>This was the second time Muir applied and was awarded the Boren Scholarship. He had initially intended to study in Ukraine during the 2020-21 Academic Year, but could not do so due to the pandemic. Rather than deferring his award, Muir was required to forfeit his initial award and reapply for the highly competitive scholarship. To be successful twice is a testament to the time and effort Muir put into selecting his program and, especially, crafting thoughtful and compelling application essays.</p> <p><img alt="CWU biology and psychology senior Haley Durand, winner of the Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship " src="/international-programs/sites/cts.cwu.edu.international-programs/files/images/study-abroad/SAEP%202.png" style="float: right; margin: 0px 0px 30px 30px; width: 300px; height: 556px;" />Senior Biological Science and Psychology dual major Haley Durand was one of approximately 1,500 students awarded the <a href="https://www.gilmanscholarship.org/" target="_blank">Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship</a> following the October 2021 application cycle. This summer, Haley will study traditional health systems in northern India for six weeks through SIT Study Abroad.</p> <p>The Gilman Scholarship is an initiative of the Department of State&rsquo;s (DOS) Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs (BECA) and awards undergraduate students up to $5,000 toward credit-bearing study abroad and international internship programs. Students studying a DOS-designated Critical Need Language, such as Japanese, Korean, Mandarin and Russian, are eligible to apply for an additional $3,000 award.</p> <p>Requiring applicants to receive the Federal Pell Grant, the Gilman Scholarship Program is designed to broaden the US student population that &ldquo;studies and interns abroad by supporting undergraduates who might not otherwise participate due to financial constraints.&rdquo; Additionally, it seeks to support first-generation college students, veterans, ethnic minority students, students with disabilities and other students historically underrepresented in education abroad.</p> <p>Several thousand students apply each cycle, making the scholarship highly competitive, as is the Boren Scholarship. Similar to Muir, Haley&rsquo;s success is a result of taking time to complete well-crafted essays that clearly communicated her story, who she is, and how her experience in India will benefit her in the future. Both students should be proud of their accomplishments.</p> WorldCat Connections Online Intensive English Program Slated for Augusthttps://www.cwu.edu/international-programs/node/3563Thu, 09 Jun 2022 15:18:12<p>UESL&rsquo;s&nbsp; &ldquo;WorldCat Connections&rdquo; is set to return in August, 2022. This will be the third August edition of the program, which began in 2020 with 11 students representing 2 partner universities participating. By last summer, the program had expanded to include over 70 students from 7 partner universities. WorldCat Connections will consist of two two-week sessions, with each class providing 20 hours of English language teaching and practice. The program is open to both individual and group registrations. More information is available <a href="/international-programs/node/3504">here</a>, or by writing to <a href="mailto:uesl@cwu.edu?subject=WorldCat%20Connections">uesl@cwu.edu</a>.</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><img alt="Matt Britschgi teaches a WorldCat Connections short-term English language class over Zoom." src="/international-programs/sites/cts.cwu.edu.international-programs/files/images/esl/WorldCat%201.png" style="width: 700px; height: 305px;" /></p> </a href="mailto:uesl@cwu.edu?subject=WorldCat%20Connections"></p style="text-align: center;">UESL In-Person Program Resumes in Fall, 2022https://www.cwu.edu/international-programs/node/3562Thu, 09 Jun 2022 15:14:10<p><img alt="CWU University English as a Second Language students share a moment with Wellington" src="/international-programs/sites/cts.cwu.edu.international-programs/files/images/esl/UESL%201.png" style="float: right; margin: 0px 0px 30px 30px; width: 300px; height: 209px;" />After a two-year pause resulting from the pandemic, the UESL program will again host international students at CWU for its in-person intensive English program, which will be welcoming new students to the Ellensburg campus in Fall Quarter, 2022. The refreshed program will be designed to serve students at intermediate level or above who wish to further improve their English language and academic skills while experiencing life on a vibrant American university campus. For more information about our&nbsp;<a href="/international-programs/node/2856">in-person program</a>, contact UESL Program Coordinator Matt Britschgi at&nbsp;<a href="mailto:UESL@cwu.edu?subject=UESL%20in%20Ellensburg">UESL@cwu.edu</a></p> </a href="mailto:UESL@cwu.edu?subject=UESL%20in%20Ellensburg">Enhance Your Career by Studying Abroadhttps://www.cwu.edu/international-programs/node/3561Thu, 09 Jun 2022 14:52:05<p><em>by Matthew Zielsdorf</em></p> <p><img alt="Amy Ruiz-Perez at the Piazza di Trevi" src="/international-programs/sites/cts.cwu.edu.international-programs/files/images/study-abroad/SAEP%203.png" style="width: 300px; height: 400px; float: left; margin: 0px 30px 30px 0px;" />Studying abroad can be a life-changing experience for students. From enhancing your global network to experiencing a new culture, the benefits to your education and career are significant. In an increasingly globalized world, studying abroad is now more important than ever.</p> <p>With study abroad, you can experience new places and cultures, make friends from around the world, and gain a global perspective &mdash; while earning credits towards your degree. It will allow you to develop highly valued skills such as intercultural communication, foreign languages, adaptability, and problem-solving.</p> <p>Studying abroad helps you build invaluable relationships with people from all over the world. You broaden your international connections while having the opportunity to meet people that could turn into lifelong friends. Some connections can even lead to career opportunities, including internships, job offers, and business partners.</p> <p>&ldquo;The most valuable thing I learned while studying abroad was the value of connections. I connected with so many people such as my professors, classmates, study abroad students, and locals,&rdquo; said Amy Ruiz-Perez who studied in Florence Italy. &ldquo;I now have lifelong friends who share common interests and people who have impacted my life.&rdquo;</p> <p>Learning happens on the edge of discomfort and study abroad is not without its challenges. By immersing yourself in another culture, you develop valuable life skills needed for personal growth, including independence and adaptability. These skills can give you an added boost of confidence in your personal and professional life.</p> <p>Studying abroad can be overwhelming, but the challenges you overcome can help you become a more mature person. You&rsquo;ll find out that you can often thrive in new, unexpected circumstances, and you&rsquo;ll boost your communication skills by speaking a new language &mdash; helping you further improve your self-confidence. It&rsquo;s a great opportunity to work on cultural competencies, like being sensitive to other cultures, learning how to adapt to new situations, and tolerating ambiguity.</p> <p>Studying abroad can help launch your career and make you more competitive in the workforce. It gives you the opportunity to show future and current employers that you have the open mind, resourcefulness, and drive needed to adapt to a different environment.</p> <p>Many employers are looking for graduates who have international experience. According to a recent survey by Erasmus Student Network, 64 percent of employers consider study abroad experience to be important, and 92 percent of employers look for transferable skills that are typically gained from the experience, such as flexibility to new challenges.</p> <p>Your experience with a different culture allows you to expand your worldview. By studying abroad, you&rsquo;ll learn about new perspectives and develop cross-cultural awareness. For example, you may work with people from other countries in your next job. By studying abroad, you&rsquo;ll be more comfortable with people from different backgrounds, value their unique experiences, and establish a stronger relationship with them.</p> <p>&ldquo;I highly recommend students study abroad. To have the chance to explore and live in a new country is the opportunity of a lifetime,&rdquo; Ruiz-Perez said. So, take the leap and study abroad!</p> Reconnecting CWU Students Through Events and Activiteshttps://www.cwu.edu/international-programs/node/3560Thu, 09 Jun 2022 14:42:03<p>This Spring, the Office of International Studies and Programs (OISP) has been able to start having in person trips and activities once again! With the CWU community becoming more virtual during COVID, trips and activities have been a great step for many to start reconnecting with others in-person safely and explore Washington state learning about other cultures. OISP has been able to reach over 200 students through these Spring activities and have both learned and grown closer together as a community. To both reflect on all the fun we have had, and to get excited about upcoming programs, I&rsquo;ll give you a summary of our trips, International Café, and our reopening of the Worldcat Lounge.</p> <p><img alt="Students enjoy the international student trip to Leavenworth." src="/international-programs/sites/cts.cwu.edu.international-programs/files/images/ISS/active%201.png" style="width: 300px; height: 225px; float: left; margin: 0px 30px 30px 0px;" />Our Spring trips consisted of trips to Leavenworth and Yakima as well as two hikes, one to Hanford Reach and one to Frenchman Coulee. On March 6th, we enjoyed a beautiful day in the Bavarian town of Leavenworth where students both enjoyed shopping and eating together as well as hiking around the nearby park and a group of students who took a short ride to visit the nearby salmon hatchery full of juvenile salmon. On April 14th, we had long trip to Yakima which started with a visit to the Yakama Nation Museum in Toppenish where we had an amazing opportunity to learn about one of our local Native American Tribes. We then stopped in Yakima to shop and eat at the Yakima Valley Mall. Washington State is full of cultural diversity that is sometimes missed by locals and those traveling from abroad. These two trips provided us all with a great window into two very different cultures. Also, everybody loves a little sightseeing and shopping to get a break from their studies.</p> <p><img alt="International students trek the sand dunes at Hanford Reach" src="/international-programs/sites/cts.cwu.edu.international-programs/files/images/ISS/active%202.png" style="float: right; margin: 0px 0px 30px 30px; width: 300px; height: 225px;" />Along with experiencing other cultures and shopping, we greatly value the opportunity for students to enjoy the outdoors together and see the incredible natural beauty of Washington. The first hike on March 13th was a unique experience where students got to hike to a group of sand dunes at Hanford Reach! It was a great time for students to relax before finals and for some, who have never seen sand dunes, to have a new and special experience. The second hike on May 14th was to Frenchman Coulee near Vantage. It was a beautiful day with the hike ending at a waterfall where many pictures were taken, and students were able to cool off under the waterfall&rsquo;s mist. On the return trip, we stopped at the Ginko Petrified Forest Interpretive Center and enjoyed views of the Columbia river and learn about Washington&rsquo;s ancient forests where nowadays we find only desert.</p> <p><img alt="International students hike through the Ginko Petrified Forest." src="/international-programs/sites/cts.cwu.edu.international-programs/files/images/ISS/active%203.png" style="float: left; margin: 0px 30px 30px 0px; width: 300px; height: 400px;" />Finally, the Worldcat Lounge was reopened for two-hour sessions on Mondays and Thursdays. The goal was to provide students with a time to meet and talk with our student employees, meet each other, create new friendships, and to provide a space for international students and domestic students to have fun and study together. This was a very fun time where new friendships were made and we plan on continuing to have these sessions in Fall to build a closer community and provide support for our international students.</p> <p>This Spring, we were able to switch from virtual International Cafés to in-person. We had a great variety of hosts including a group of three international students speaking on their home country, the Douglas Honors College on the Olympics, our international rugby team players on rugby, the World Languages Department on languages of the world, and finally the Advanced Intercultural Communication Class on Rodeo. All of our hosts did an amazing job and brought very interesting topics and provided important opportunities for students to connect with each other.</p> <p><img alt="Fierce competition during the International Cafe Olympics" src="/international-programs/sites/cts.cwu.edu.international-programs/files/images/ISS/active%204.png" style="float: right; margin: 0px 0px 30px 30px; width: 300px; height: 225px;" /><img alt="Students eagerly learn about other cultures during the Intenational Cafe." src="/international-programs/sites/cts.cwu.edu.international-programs/files/images/ISS/active%205.png" style="float: left; margin: 0px 30px 30px 0px; width: 301px; height: 225px;" /></p> <p><img alt="Students enjoy a game while another looks on at the WorldCat Lounge open lounge." src="/international-programs/sites/cts.cwu.edu.international-programs/files/images/ISS/active%206.png" style="width: 300px; height: 174px; float: right; margin: 0px 0px 30px 30px;" />Finally, the Worldcat Lounge was reopened for two-hour sessions on Mondays and Thursdays. The goal was to provide students with a time to meet and talk with our student employees, meet each other, create new friendships, and to provide a space for international students and domestic students to have fun and study together. This was a very fun time where new friendships were made and we plan on continuing to have these sessions in Fall to build a closer community and provide support for our international students.</p> <p>Looking ahead to the future, we will be reaching out to more students and continue with our mission of connecting students and providing memorable experiences for students during their time at CWU! As summer approaches, I encourage you to find a time before Fall quarter to have both a cultural experience and an outdoor focused adventure to experience our beautiful state and broaden your outlook on the world around you!</p>