Friday, May 25, 2018

A Few Clouds, 84 °F

15 Park Place

The newly renovated Walter International Education Center, located at 15 Park Place, opens for business on Monday.

Photographer: Alyse Lamparyk

15 Park Place rear view

The center will house the Office of Education Abroad (OEA) and International Student and Faculty Services (ISFS).

Photographer: Alyse Lamparyk

15 Park Place construction

Construction wraps up on the University's newest capital project.

Photographer: Alyse Lamparyk

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Walter International Education Center to facilitate international community

Office of Education Abroad and International Student and Faculty Services have big plans for shared future

Last week, the Office of Education Abroad (OEA) and International Student and Faculty Services (ISFS) moved into the newly renovated Walter International Education Center at 15 Park Place. As the staff continues to unpack and settle in, their directors are forging ahead with plans for collaboration under one roof.

“I think there’s going to be a lot of pleasant discoveries as we move in together,” Director of OEA Catherine Marshall said. “I can imagine that there will be some efficiencies gained in the parts where we already overlap.”

OEA and ISFS share the common purpose of promoting and supporting international education exchange. Marshall and Director of ISFS Krista McCallum Beatty frequently work together to coordinate students’ international travel, take part in international committees and execute the University’s annual International Week festivities.

Shared living space will serve to enhance that collaboration, according to Executive Director of the Center for International Studies Dan Weiner.

“This will create unique opportunities for innovative global programming and information sharing and further establish OHIO as an international education leader,” Weiner said.

OEA and ISFS have hopes for increased international programming, including an international coffee hour that McCallum Beatty has wanted to implement for years. The program would provide refreshments and a forum for individuals interested in speaking with people from other countries.

Ideally the event would be hosted on the center’s front porch during the spring to attract the large number of passersby, according to McCallum Beatty. Its prime location next to Baker University Center allows for easy access to a large number of people.

“We’d really like it to be the kind of space that people are like, ‘What’s going on in there? I want to go check it out and see what’s happening,’” McCallum Beatty said.

Marshall added that the central location will hopefully diminish confusion about the offices’ respective locations. OEA was previously housed in Lindley Hall, while ISFS was located in Baker University Center.

Other possibilities for collaboration include shared student communications and co-hosted special events, such as International Faculty Night.

“Who knows what kinds of things could come from just having people with similar interests in the same physical space,” McCallum Beatty said.

Marshall acknowledged that the changes will take time as the two offices adjust to their new living arrangements.

Both offices had been set up in suite style. In the new center, staff members from both offices are interspersed across four floors. Conference rooms are scattered throughout the building, offering opportunities for team meetings and discussion.

“It presents some challenges in terms of communication within each office, but we’re really excited about that daily interaction between the two departments and the synergy we’re hoping that will create,” said McCallum Beatty.

“Through the proximity, we’ll have a better understanding of what they do, which hopefully implies that we will also have a better understanding of what we’re doing in terms of working with our incoming international students,” Marshall added.

Did you know?

  • The Office of Education Abroad offers opportunities to work, study, intern or volunteer abroad.
  • Scholarships, grants and financial aid may be available for education abroad trips.
  • International Student and Faculty Services helps international students and faculty file necessary paperwork and information.
  • ISFS assists international students with achieving their academic goals, offering advising and opportunities to learn.

Related Links

Office of Education Abroad International Student and Faculty Services Association of International Educators (NAFSA)*

Additional Info

* Following this link takes you outside Ohio University's website