This academic year, Athens is home to 92 international students who won nationally competitive academic awards in their home countries and chose to study at Ohio University. They will be recognized at an international sponsored student reception Friday.
“It’s important for them to be honored and have an opportunity to meet each other and to be welcomed into what we call our global community,” says Dan Weiner, director of the Center for International Studies, “Our domestic students are learning from our international students just as our international students are learning from our domestic students. This is all part of what we call a global living and learning environment – because it’s both.”
A total of 32 countries are represented in this mix of high-achieving students, from Afghan Merit Scholars studying civil engineering to Fulbright scholars from more than a dozen countries studying subjects from film to physics.
One is Idrissa Fane, a Fulbright scholar from Mali in his second year of a master’s degree in communication and development studies. He chose Ohio University for its academic reputation in the fields of journalism and communication.
One of Fane’s first experiences as a student was a visit to Alden Library. “The library was really fantastic. It’s a great, huge, library. Maybe more volumes than all of Mali,” Fane recalls, adding that the next thing he experienced was the friendliness and helpfulness of the American students.
Wanting to give back, Fane became vice president of the Ohio University Fulbright Scholars Association his first year. This year, he is president. The group’s upcoming programming will include a scavenger hunt designed to get participants interacting with students from around the world, in addition to a nonviolence training workshop. “We want to involve people to create interactions between the international community and OU as a whole,” Fane says.
Fane plans to return to the University of Bamako in Mali to help establish a department of communications in its institute of management.
The government and agency programs sponsoring these students include: Afghan Merit Scholar Program; America-Mideast Education and Training Services, Inc. (AMIDEAST); Bolashak Scholarships; Ford Foundation International Fellowships Program; Fulbright Scholar Program; Indonesian Ministry of Higher Education; LASPAU (for students from the Americas); Edmund S. Muskie Graduate Fellowship Program; Ping Scholars; Saudi Cultural Mission.
“We’re getting some of the best and brightest students from around the world to come to OU,” says Krista McCallum Beatty, director of International Student and Faculty Services. She says the international sponsored student reception serves “to recognize that we have these great student scholars at OU and to recognize that OU has really good academic programs for them as well.”
The reception will take place from 3:30 to 5 p.m. Friday in the Baker University Center multipurpose room 240/242.