August 19, 2010

International Students Reflect on Time at UNC Charlotte

For the second year in a row, the office of Intercultural Outreach Programs, housed in the Office of International Programs, has hosted a group of 30 Fulbright graduate students for a three-week introductory course to American graduate studies. This year, students came from Chile, Mauritania, Czech Republic, Sierra Leone, Cambodia, Iraq and dozens of other countries. The three-week program is designed to prepare them for what to expect when they continue on their journey to another U.S. institution for their graduate studies. In the process of learning the ins-and-outs of available campus resources, teaching styles and communication tips, they got a pretty good sense of UNC Charlotte. And, they were impressed!

So, kudos to the students, faculty and staff who directly participated in welcoming these students to the U.S. and working with them for the next step in their journey. And thanks to those who indirectly participated by creating a welcoming atmosphere and environment for our international guests. It's great to be part of 'Niner International.

Best of luck to these students - thanks for sharing your thoughts!

August 18, 2010

All Things International at Atkins

Welcome to UNC Charlotte! You are about to be inundated with information relating to campus activities, class schedules, extra-curricular opportunities, parking and anything else you can imagine. Here's one more resource you should be aware of - particularly if you have any inclination to anything international in your studies.

In Atkins library, if you need anything related to "international", there is one person you must know: Librarian Frada Mozenter. Whether you’re an international student at UNC Charlotte or conducting research on an internationally-themed paper, Frada is the person to get you the information you need.

Frada has been the reference contact for the social sciences for twenty-nine years and knows the system, resources, tips, tricks and search criteria inside and out. She can pull books, current newspapers, articles from around the world and peer reviewed journals at the click of a button. You may know a few choice words to search, Frada knows more. And she knows how to maximize searching for the most answers. When NI met with Frada, she had just finished pulling up over 600 references for a faculty research project.

She’s not just a resource for enhancing papers. Frada knows the library from the inside and has been appointed to represent Atkins to international students and faculty as the Library Liaison to International Students. Beyond assisting with search criteria and presentation guidelines, she gives tours and instructional presentations so that students become more familiar with what to expect when using the library and so they know how many options really are available.

As Atkins continues to grow and respond to the many needs of the UNC Charlotte community, it’s incredibly useful to have an inside person who can communicate the changes or just answer questions. Which areas are quiet zones? Where can I access the internet? Where do I find “Journal Name”? How do I access information on “X” country? Where do I find analyses of “X” world event? Frada Mozenter is that person.

August 17, 2010

For the Artistically Inclined

In a nod to those who would prefer communicating with pictures rather than words, check out this creative piece by Christoph Niemann on his perspective of a flight from New York to Berlin via London.

Any favorite flight stories?

August 12, 2010

The Easy Button

Staples has a commercial out - well, an entire brand actually - centered on "the easy button." Besides wondering how they managed to get cake batter to shoot up about 4-feet onto the actress's face after dropping to the floor, it's striking that the idea of purchasing school supplies needs an easy button. In fact, it seems the whole process of getting ready for school needs an "easy button". There seems to be little that is easy about preparing for a full year of college - undergraduate or graduate. And for those students who are coming from another country, there's a whole extra layer of adjustments to make.

Lucky for you, there's an easy way to get your international perspective throughout your UNC Charlotte years - actually, several easy ways. We have various programs, events, websites and initiatives going throughout the year for students to participate in depending on what you're comfortable with and/or interested in. We'll post these options here and also on our calendar of events so there's no reason you shouldn't know about how easy it is to include some intercultural learning in many of the activities that you already consider important: traveling, making new friends, having new experiences and graduating as a competitive job seeker.

So, we'll have plenty about "how" to do it. Let's take a minute to talk about "why" do it. For that, we'll rely on outside sources so as not to "toot our own horn/button."
  • From the NY Timesa business bio - it's the 2nd page that has the good stuff.
  • This one requires some extrapolation (7 Skills Every Worker Needs), but if you're not sure how having an international experience can develop your "marketability" in these areas, ask anyone in the International Programs' offices.
So, while you're gearing up for the demands of another busy year, consider how you can easily gain international learning (and why you should) just by doing the things you'll be doing anyway.