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Volume 11 Edition 4: December 2011 Emily Holmes, Editor

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International Students Contribute More Than $304 Million to North Carolina Economy

Each year the NAFSA: Association of International Educators generates a report that shows the economic contributions of international students and their dependents to the U.S. economy and to each state and local region. For the academic year 2010-2011, it is estimated that international students and their families brought about $20.23 billion dollars to the U.S. economy and over $304 million dollars to North Carolina’s economy. These figures are estimated based on the total contributions from tuition and fees for foreign students as well as their living expenses and those of their spouses and/or dependents.  In calculating these figures, U.S. government support is subtracted from the total so that the overall economic gain is accurately represented. Data is collected from the Institute of Education’s Open Door 2011 report funded by the U.S. Department of State (http://www.iie.org/opendoors) and Wintergreen Orchard House (http://www.wintergreenorchardhouse.com/)
World Flags

In the recent report, UNCG ranked fifth in the state out of more than 60 institutions of higher education contributing over $11 million to the North Carolina economy through their international student programs. UNCG was out-ranked only by larger institutions such as Duke University and NC State University. During the 2010-2011 academic year, it is estimated that UNCG served about 547 foreign students. International students at other institutions in the Greensboro area also significantly contributed to the local economy which, when combined with UNCG, resulted in more than $16 million of total spending in Guilford County.


According to NAFSA, international students contribute more to local communities than just money.  They foster positive relationships between the U.S. and other countries, bring global perspective to U.S. classrooms, contribute to university-wide programs, and increase the demand for university level science and engineering courses which in turn increases access to those programs for U.S. students. In an effort to better inform potential international students of the benefits of studying in North Carolina, the University of North Carolina (UNC) General Administration has recently launched a new website, http://studynorthcarolina.us , for anyone wanting to learn more about the opportunities available through the UNC university system. UNCG and the International Programs Center (IPC) are proud to serve so many talented students from around the world and hope to continue fostering international relationships as part of a global community.

To view the full report for North Carolina and other states, visit: http://www.nafsa.org/publicpolicy/default.aspx?id=29416

International Education Week a Success!

IPC had another successful International Education Week (IEW) from November 14-18.  The 2011 IEW celebration started with a preview event on Saturday, November 12th, called African Night which was sponsored by the International Student Association (ISA). During the week, IPC staff and other UNCG faculty and staff participated in various informational and educational events.  Debra Slade from the UNCG Financial Aid Office and Tom Martinek, Jr. presented information for students preparing to travel abroad on financial aid considerations.  Logan Stanfield offered a workshop for the directors of faculty-led study abroad programs, and Dr. Penelope Pynes and Michael Elliott offered a workshop to university faculty and staff about intercultural sensitivity. Also, the Bryan School of Business’s Heidi Fischer, Assistant Director and Coordinator for International Student Services, offered students and parents the opportunity to learn more about UNCG exchange programs through two student panels. Information sessions for were also held for undergraduate and graduate students that explored how to travel abroad and for international students to learn more about working in the U.S. 

The major events of the week included the distribution of country buttons by the ISA and the Study Abroad Photo Contest Exhibit. The country buttons are given out each year to students who are either from another country or who have studied or traveled in another country as a way of visually recognizing the truly global nature of the UNCG community. The Photo Contest highlights photographs taken by students who are traveling abroad or in the U.S. The winners of this year’s photo contest are listed below and were recognized in a special Friday Fest to celebrate the completion of IEW.  The IPC staff would like to thank everyone who helped make this year’s IEW a success!


Landscape Category: Laura Peoples, for photo of African Elephant in Chobe National Park, Botswana


Images of the U.S. Category:
Myriam Louzani, for photo of Lighthouse in Maine, USA


Outrageous/Humorous Category: Clairissa Anderson, for photo of Camel in India

Woman in window

People and Culture Category: Jessie Hill, for photo of Portuguese Woman in Porto, Portugal

Tower Bridge, London

Cityscape Category: Amanda Salters, for photo of View of Thames Bridge at Night in London, England

ARROWIPC Holiday Reception!

IPC Staff

Happy Holidays from the IPC Staff!

IPC Holiday Reception

IPC Holiday Reception

IPC student workers and staff, Prasamsa Sharma, Anne Marie Roberts, and Nor Othman

Angie and Kavita

IPC staff members, Angie Kapely and Kavita Gosai, prepare holiday goodies

On December 2, 2011, IPC hosted a Holiday Reception for the university community to celebrate the holiday season and thank everyone who contributes to IPC’s success. Reception attendees included IPC staff, IPC student workers, international students, study abroad students, and other faculty and staff from UNCG. The reception included refreshments, holiday music, and time for everyone to fellowship with one another. IPC would like to thank all of those who attended and those who helped make the event a success.  We wish you all Happy Holidays and a wonderful New Year

Staff Senate Tree Planting

Chris Fay

Chris Fay (Grounds Division)

Tree Planting

Left to Right: Logan Stanfield (IPC), Shirl Jones (Financial Aid), and Jill Beville (Campus Recreation)

On Friday, October 21, 2011, IPC staff helped the UNCG Staff Senate Service Committee plant six Prunus mume, or flowering apricot trees, between the Alumni House and Elliott University Center. The Staff Senate is made up of non-faculty employees of UNCG, and the Service Committee is designed to identify and implement community service initiatives on campus that are relevant to the staff and the UNCG community. Logan Stanfield, IPC Study Abroad Coordinator, is a member of the Staff Senate Service Committee and organized the event with the help of Chris Fay, UNCG's Grounds Superintendent.



Tree Planting

Lindsay Armistead (IPC), Tony Rojas (Grounds Division), Kevin Siler (Grounds Division), Kaitlin Ritchie (IPC), and Gualli Morales (Grounds Division)

The flowering apricot trees were a fitting choice for UNCG’s campus, as the beauty of their blossoms have been a source of inspiration for painters and poets for centuries. The flowers will peak near the end of February each year, so all can all look forward to a beautiful display for years to come.  The tree planting event also contributed to UNCG’s ongoing commitment to creating a healthier community as proven by its recognition as a Tree Campus USA by The Arbor Day Foundation.

Logan Stanfield would like to offer a hearty thank you to the volunteers that helped this project succeed, including IPC staff members Sara Poole, Lindsay Armistead, and Kaitlin Ritchie, and other volunteers, including Lee Odom, Betty Betts, Shirl Jones, Jill Beville, Bill Hardin, and Stacy Kosciak.  The volunteers were ably tutored and guided by the Grounds Division, including Chris Fay, Gualli Morales, Tony Rojas, and Kevin Siler.  Thank you!

ISEP Training in Washington, D.C.

ISEP Conference

Kaitlin Ritchie and Sara Poole at ISEP Workshop

On October 27-28, 2011, IPC staff members Kaitlin Ritchie and Sara Poole from the UNC Exchange Program, attended the International Student Exchange Program (ISEP) New Coordinators Workshop in Washington, D.C., along with IPC Associate Provost, Dr. Penelope Pynes.  At the workshop, Dr. Pynes offered two presentations and participated in the ISEP Council of Advisors meeting. Ritchie and Poole attended a number of presentations which included information on the basic functions and structure of ISEP, application and advising procedures, the placement process, and current ISEP updates. Many U.S. and international partners were represented at the conference which allowed for networking and collaboration. Meeting the international ISEP staff in person was a great way to build relationships and connections with our programs.

IPC Staff Member visits University of Mannheim

Denise Bellamy in Germany

Denise Bellamy meets with UNCG students studying at the University of Mannheim

On November 4, 2011, IPC Director of Study Abroad and Exchange Programs, Denise Bellamy, along with other representatives from University of North Carolina (UNC) System visited the University of Mannheim in Mannheim, Germany. During her visit, Bellamy took a campus tour and met with Birgit Heilig, Director of the Office of International Relations; Carita Emmerich-Wessels, Student Advisor of Overseas Programs; and other university staff. Bellamy also had the opportunity to meet with students from North Carolina who are studying at the University of Mannheim. The visit marked the beginning of the 15-year anniversary of the UNC System’s partnership with universities in the state of Baden-Württemberg, Germany. The partnership was the first state to state partnership to be formed between the UNC System and another international state. After her visit in Mannheim, Bellamy continued on to Konstanz, Germany, for the Baden-Württemberg Seminar (see below).

Baden-Württemberg Seminar in Germany

ISEP Conference

C.K. Kwai (far right) shares a meal with his fellow representatives

The 2011 Baden-Württemberg Seminar for International Administrators was held on November 6-12 in Konstanz, Germany. Five international administrators representing the University of North Carolina (UNC) System were invited to participate in the seminar. The representatives included Denise Bellamy from University of North Carolina at Greensboro, James Gehlhar from East Carolina University, C.K. Kwai from University of North Carolina Exchange Program, Julia Law from North Carolina State University, and Minnie Battle-Mayes from North Carolina A&T State University. Eight other university international administrators from Canada, Chile, Japan, Russia, Singapore, and South Africa joined the UNC delegation.  The seminar was hosted by the University of Konstanz which is located in the Southwest corner of Germany. The city of Konstanz is situated by Lake Konstanz and shares a border with the city of Kreuzlingen, Switzerland.

BW Seminar participants

The 2011 delegation at the Baden-Württemberg Seminar for International Administrators

The Baden-Württemberg Seminar for International Administrators is sponsored by Baden-Württemberg Ministry of Science, Research, and Arts, AACRAO; the American Association of Collegiate Registrars and Admissions Officers; and the NAFSA: Association of International Educators. Each year a delegation of 12 to 18 international administrators are invited to attend this seminar on German-American education exchange. The seminar focuses on the German educational system, German-American academic equivalencies, and student exchange between Germany and the United States. The goals of the seminar are for participants to have a better understanding of academic infrastructure and culture of Germany, to achieve a broadened perspective of U.S. higher education and the role of international education within it, and to acquire an enhanced ability to serve international students and prospective study-abroad students on individual home campuses. Lectures and discussions throughout the seminar are complemented by visits to secondary and tertiary educational institutions in the state of Baden-Württemberg and surrounding areas.

As part of the seminar, this year’s participants visited a secondary school in Konstanz, a University of Applied Science in Konstanz, the University of Tübingen in Tübingen, a University of Education in Weingarten, a Cooperative State University in Ravensburg, a Chamber of Handicraft in Konstanz, and Thurgau University in Kreuzlingen, Switzerland.

Arrow-rightNew York City Trip!

NYC Times Square

Time Square in New York City

On the evening of November 22, 2011, a group of international students departed UNCG for the New York City Thanksgiving Trip! The group traveled through the night and was so excited that upon arrival the next day that they didn’t even rest. They just went directly to tourist sites and shopping centers to begin their adventure.

The next day, Thanksgiving Day, was a big day for the students. First, they had the opportunity to see the annual Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade! Some of our students woke up very early in the morning to watch the famous parade.  This year marked the 85th anniversary for the parade, which begins at Central Park West and West 77th Street and proceeds along Central Park South before ending at the Macy's flagship store, at Seventh Avenue and West 34th Street. After the parade, the students gathered together to share a traditional Thanksgiving dinner at Ulysses, an Irish folk house and pub, where they enjoyed turkey, side dishes, salad, and dessert. On the bus ride to the restaurant, IPC trip leader, Logan Stanfield, talked about the history of Thanksgiving since some of the international students had never before celebrated Thanksgiving Day in the U.S. Dinner also included a surprise birthday cake that no one was expecting since the mother of one of the international students had ordered the cake from Australia and had it sent to the restaurant! Everyone enjoyed celebrating this special birthday and sharing a Thanksgiving meal together. At the end of the dinner, the four trip leaders and two other students were also surprised to receive several anonymous notes from the group expressing their thanks for organizing the trip. The special notes were much appreciated by the trip leaders. Later that night, a lot of the students got an early jump on Black Friday shopping. Many of the students shopped or just stayed out to experiencing the Black Friday atmosphere, even after midnight.

Birthday in NYC

A surprise birthday celebration on Thanksgiving Day!

While in NYC, the group stayed at a hostel located only one block from the subway, three blocks from Central Park, and surrounded by many restaurants and stores. Since rooms, activities, and other amenities were provided at the hostel, students enjoyed staying there and were satisfied with their visit. All in all, the students had a great time in NYC. The amazing city, the special events, and the biggest shopping day of the year all made the students wish they could stay one more day, but on Saturday evening, November 26, the group departed and rode through the night to arrive back on campus by Sunday morning.

After the trip, some of the students posted on the “NewYork Guide” Facebook group page, saying, “Thanks so much to Logan, Geoff, David, Ling & IPC for all your help & organizing for the brilliant trip to New York!!! Hope you enjoyed too!” and “Such an amazing Trip! Thank you so much.” Also, a special thanks goes out for all of the trip leader’s efforts, including the Facebook group, and to the lovely students who attended.

ISA Formal

ISA Formal

Dancing the night away at the ISA Semi-Formal

On the night of November 30, 2011, UNCG international students gathered with friends to celebrate the end of the semester and wish farewell to those returning to their home countries at the International Student Association (ISA) Fall Semi-Formal. After arriving via an ISA sponsored limousine, students danced, enjoyed refreshments, and socialized throughout the night at the Lotus Lounge in downtown Greensboro. UNCG students were also joined by other international students from neighboring universities and colleges such as NC A&T, Guilford College, and Bennett College. Many of the UNCG students met the other international students during the International Leadership Conference coordinated this month by NCAIE (North Carolina Association of International Educators) and invited them to join in the festivities.  The Semi-Formal event is held bi-annually and is organized by ISA board members.

arrowThe Peace Corps!

Peace Corps Logo

The United States Peace Corps was established on March 1, 1961, making this year the 50th anniversary of Peace Corps service around the world.  In those fifty years, more than 200,000 Peace Corps Volunteers have served in 139 countries in Africa, Latin America, Asia, Eastern Europe, the Middle East, the Caribbean, and the Pacific Islands.   Current and Returned Peace Corps Volunteers are made up of a diverse blend of people from numerous backgrounds and cultures who have serve in a variety of areas including education, health, business development, environmental preservation, agricultural development, and youth development.  Currently there are more than 8,500 active Peace Corps volunteers serving in 76 countries.  Serving in the Peace Corps can be a life-changing experience and as the celebration of 50 years of service draws to a close, we would like to share the experiences of some of our IPC Staff who served in the Peace Corps—Michael Elliott and Emily Holmes.

Michael Elliott
Director of International Student & Scholar Services

Mike Elliott

Michael Elliott

Peace Corps Service: Kenya, Africa, 1989-1991. Served as a high school science teacher in the town of Kasidi and also taught English classes.

Why did you join Peace Corps:
I decided before completing my Bachelor’s degree that I wanted to live and work overseas.  After exploring different options, I decided to join the Peace Corps because it is a program invited by the host country and is one of the best equipped as a development organization to train volunteers for outreach into the developing communities.  My personal goal was to help enrich the lives of students in a developing country and to better understand the needs, wants and situations of people outside of the U.S.

What are your memories of people and places?
One of my favorite activities was joining village families on weekend evenings for dinner or other activities.  This was a great way to learn about the culture and build relationships with individuals in the community.  I particularly remember two different families, one quite different from the other in regard to subculture and socioeconomic levels.  The first was an extended Arab Swahili family who managed the village market, brick yard and farm equipment.  This family had a phone, electricity and indoor plumbing which was unique in that village.  As this family was originally from Oman, traditions, food, behaviors and conversations were quite different than with the remainder of the community.  When I was at their home for dinner, we watched Arab and Kenyan videos, especially music videos.  We talked about life in the village, in Kenya, and the U.S. The other family lived a very modest lifestyle in a small, dilapidated mud hut.  When visiting their home, we would generally sit outside, partly under the palm thatched roof awning and partly under the stars.  One night while talking about our families, school and happenings in the village, we saw what must have been an international, commercial jet in descent for a Mombassa landing  – an incredible sight when juxtaposed with this small village of mostly mud huts and little subsistence farms and gardens.  All of my visits with community families were special in their own ways.

What was the toughest part?
The toughest but also one of the most rewarding parts of Peace Corps service was learning how to live with very little, a much different lifestyle in than in the U.S.  Without phones (now volunteers carry cells), electricity, or plumbing, one learns to use simpler methods like paraffin lamps and stoves and to depend more on other people, which in turn results in the building of close relationships with others.

What was the most rewarding part?

Kenyan Classroom

The Kenyan classroom

The most rewarding experience for me was the transformation I saw in myself.  Through my experiences in the Kenyan classroom, engaging in community projects, and building relationships with neighborhood friends and families, I came to understand how much more I was learning, changing, and receiving from others than I could ever have given.  In a biology class that I taught, for example, students one day initiated an in-depth discussion about the meaning of life from their own perspective as students in a Kenyan village. The dialogue was powerful, particularly coming from teenagers. The students were quite introspective as they shared philosophical ideas, hopes, fears and goals. As you imagine, I walked away at the end of the class stunned but also deeply impacted by the experience.

What is your most vivid memory?
My most vivid memory would have to be related to the everyday life of Kenyans in a small village, particularly the children and youth.  Children and youth, while typically very serious about their education and spending lots of time studying, enjoyed many activities that might be considered modest in the U.S.  For example, a high school youth might have a cherished novel they carry and read during any free time.  Or for younger children, a simple bike wheel rim and a stick would provide hours of enjoyment.  Of course a soccer ball was one of the best recreational items of all and would bring together a large part of the community on Saturdays.  However, most children, especially girls, also worked very hard.  Some did not have time for many recreational activities as their time was spent cooking, cleaning, gathering fire wood and water, or taking care of younger siblings. 

What was the most important thing you learned from your Peace Corps service?
One of the most important things I learned in the Peace Corps was flexibility.  For instance, when I arrived at the school where I would be teaching, there was not an English teacher.  Beyond teaching biology and physics, I was asked if I would attend an English teacher training program to prepare me to teach all of the English classes at the high school.  I, of course, accepted and was on my way to understanding the English language in a totally new way.  Other examples include adjusting to water not being available some days from the community water tap, washing clothes by hand, and using an outhouse on a daily basis.  Also, the concept of time was very different, particularly outside the classroom.  This sometimes became an issue when scheduling activities.  Since the culture was very much built around a sense of being – relationship building and maintenance – you had to be careful not to schedule too many activities in one day.  Just spending time with people in meaningful conversation, for even hours at a time, was important to building trust with others and becoming part of the community. 

What has been the impact of Peace Corps on your life?
First the Peace Corps impacted my professional direction.  I joined the Peace Corps after finishing a science related degree and ended up after my teaching experience in Kenya wanting to work in international education.  I returned to the States to study international affairs and education, and shortly after entered the field of higher education.  Furthermore, my Peace Corps experience helped teach me the importance of incorporating learned values, traditions, practices, and beliefs of other cultures into my own personal and professional life as well as my family life.

What advice do you have for others who are considering going into the Peace Corps?
While the Peace Corps is a challenging experience, it will certainly be one of the most rewarding, not only in regard to what you are able to give to others, but also what you learn from others and about yourself.  Be open-minded to what you can learn from your experience and you can gain perspective to teach others and impact their lives.  Be willing to practice sustainable, collaborative, and humble leadership through a variety of goals and methods accepted and developed by local people.

Emily Holmes
E-Newsworthy Editor and M.Ed.S. Counseling, (’13)

Chad Students

Holmes with her students at the local high school, Lycée de Kélo

Peace Corps Service:
Chad, Africa, 2004-2006.  Served as a TEFL (Teaching English as a Foreign Language) volunteer at a high school in the city of Kélo.

Why did you join Peace Corps:
I have always been passionate about service, and I have enjoyed travelling and learning about new places ever since I spent a semester abroad in France during my undergraduate studies at Western Carolina University.  The Peace Corps was a great opportunity to both serve and travel, while diversifying my perspective before entering a professional career.

What are your memories of people and places?
Chadian people are some of the strongest people I have ever known. Chad is one of the most undeveloped nations in the world, so poverty and lack of resources was a real problem. Despite this lack of resources, people persevered and relied on their faith and their community to help them through difficult times. Sharing and generosity were a way of life, and simple joys were cause for celebration. The landscape was mostly desert-like, scrubland, and it only rained about three months out of the year, so it was very hot and dry most of the time and extremely dusty.  I remember the first time it rained after months of dry heat, I ran out into the rain and just stood there to feel it on my face.  Rain was definitely a cause for celebration!

What was the toughest part?
Leaving.  Due to an attempted coup d’état in April 2006, I was prematurely evacuated from Chad after having lived there for a year and a half.  It was a very difficult time because I had to abruptly leave all of the people I had come to love and the home I had established there in the community. Also, being the only female teacher at the local high school and having classes of 80-100 students, mostly young men, was a real challenge.  I learned to manage my classes by adopting a zero tolerance policy for misbehavior and by using humor and creative teaching styles to engage the students. Also, I learned to laugh at myself despite the many challenges.

What was the most rewarding part?
The relationships I formed with the local children were by far the most rewarding parts of the experience. Despite many language barriers and cultural differences, I bonded easily with the children because of their curiosity and forgiving nature. I especially enjoyed teaching beginning English classes to the neighborhood children. With them, I could play games, sing songs, and act silly in a way that I couldn’t with my high school students who were learning grammar and verb conjugations. Also, the young students were extremely motivated to learn and came to class faithfully even though it was not required.

What is your most vivid memory?

English Awards for Chad Students

Neighborhood children from Holmes’ beginning English class after receiving their “English Awards” at the end of the course

Aside from the children, the sunsets and the night skies are very vivid in my mind. In the flat desert landscape of Chad, the sunsets were amazing!  Also, with no electricity, the stars were bright and beautiful. It is almost impossible to see stars like that in the U.S. since we are rarely in the dark.

What was the most important thing you learned from your Peace Corps service?
Serving in the Peace Corps changed my perspective on life and taught me to see the world differently. It made me really be able to appreciate my own blessings and to recognize the suffering that others endure. I also learned to trust my own inner strength and the power of the human connection to overcome barriers.  Living without modern technology (no running water or electricity) gave me time to reflect on myself and the world around me in a way that I wouldn’t have done amid the distractions of life in the U.S. I appreciate all of my experiences, good and bad, as they have shaped who I am today.

What has been the impact of Peace Corps on your life?
On a personal level, the new perspective I gained in the Peace Corps has made me a stronger and more compassionate person, and professionally, it has shaped many of my decisions.  Although I have an undergraduate degree in Interior Design and practiced design for a few years following my Peace Corps service, I found that it was not the right fit for me. My time in the Peace Corps had inspired me to make a life-long commitment to service, so ultimately I changed my career path which led me to pursue my current graduate studies in Counseling. 

What advice do you have for others who are considering going into the Peace Corps?
Do it!  Be aware that there’s a reason why they call it “the toughest job you’ll ever love” because serving in the Peace Corps can be physically and emotionally demanding, but if you stick with it and keep an open mind, you will find rewards that far outweigh the struggles. 

To read about other UNCG students and their Peace Corps adventures, visit:

Visit http://www.peacecorps.gov/ to learn more about the Peace Corps or apply to join!

arrowStudents share about Finland at Peeler Elementary School

Peeler Elementary School

Jessie Hill and Ella Koski with kindergarten students and teachers at Peeler Elementary School on October 14, 2011

Jessie Hill, a UNCG student who studied abroad at the University of Oulu, Finland, wrote:
My name is Jessie Hill, and I am a senior majoring in Human Development and Family Studies. Last Spring I studied in Finland as an exchange student.  I chose Finland because it has the best education system in the world, and I wanted to learn about Scandinavia.  It was the adventure of a lifetime!  Also, I received the Gilman Scholarship which allowed me to travel on school trips to Russia, Sweden, and Estonia and gave me the opportunity to travel throughout much of Europe after my semester in Finland alongside my new international friends.  As a recipient of the Gilman Scholarship, I did a follow-up project to promote international education in my community.  Part of this project was to educate an elementary school class in Guilford Country. With the help Ella Koski, a Finnish exchange student, I presented a program to a kindergarten class at Peeler Elementary School.  We both talked to the kids about the Finnish culture, the animals, its cold climate, the people, and the long months of darkness.  Ella taught the children how to say hello, "hei," and goodbye, "hei hei," in Finnish. The children were eager to learn about Finland and many of them asked questions or had comments while they were making the blue and white flag of Finland.  At the end of the day we walked out of the classroom hearing 25 enthusiastic "hei hei’s!"  This was a great way to share my knowledge about Finland, a place where I learned so much and a country which I learned to love.

Ella Koski, an International exchange student from the University of Oulu, Finland, wrote:
My name is Ella Koski, and I am an exchange student from the University of Oulu in Finland.  I arrived in Greensboro in August 2011 to spend the semester studying education at UNCG, as well as work as an intern at the International Programs Center.  I came to North Carolina to learn about the US culture and the education system, to meet new people, and, honestly, to spend some time in a warmer climate.  So far my stay here in the U.S. has allowed me to meet some amazing people from the U.S. and all over the world. It is difficult to imagine that already in December I will have to say goodbye to UNCG and all my wonderful new friends. 

Last spring Jessie Hill spent a semester at my university, and now that I am visiting her university, she contacted me to do a presentation about Finland and Finnish culture. Jessie and the international Programs Center organized for us to go to Peeler Open Elementary School for the Performing Arts to visit a class of kindergarten students.  Since I am studying to become an elementary school teacher, I eagerly accepted the chance to visit an American classroom and share about my country and culture.  Together with Jessie we talked about the four different seasons, the dark winter and the bright summer, the animals, and typical foods in Finland.  In addition, we of course introduced the most famous Finn in the world: Santa Claus.

We also taught the children a few words in Finnish—in Finnish when you meet someone you can say "Hei!" (Hello), which is pronounced like “Hey”, and when you leave you say "Hei hei!" (Goodbye). Not too difficult is it? At the end of our visit we made Finnish flags with the students and got to see some amazing pictures of reindeer, lingonberries, and Santa.  The children were truly wonderful and one of my favorite parts was when we heard all the happy “hei hei”s when we left the classroom.

Evelyn Wilson Simpson Award Recipient Meets the Simpson Family

Simpson Scholar

Simpson Award recipient, Victoria Basile, with relatives of Evelyn Wilson Simpson

On October 19, 2011, Bill Wilson, son of Evelyn Wilson Simpson who established the Evelyn Wilson Simpson Study Abroad Fund, attended the School of Nursing Scholarship Luncheon in the Cone Ballroom along with his sister, Marianne, and his cousin, Carolyn. The luncheon was to honor donors that have contributed scholarship money for various projects and initiatives at UNCG.

Evelyn Wilson Simpson established the Study Abroad Fund in 1984 in memory of her mother, Annie Dixon Wilson. Mrs. Simpson graduated from UNCG in 1921 with a major in French and a minor in Spanish. She went on to complete a Master’s degree at UNC Chapel Hill and then to teach at Salem College before having the opportunity to study at the Sorbonne in Paris. Mrs. Simpson had always wanted to study in France but did not have the opportunity until the president of Salem College learned of her desire and offered to fund her studies at the Sorbonne so that she could fulfill her dream. Thus in 1927, Mrs. Simpson boarded a ship bound for France and traveled for eight days before reaching her destination. This trip became the first of many that Mrs. Simpson would take in her lifetime to France and other parts of the world.

The experience that Mrs. Simpson had at the Sorbonne led her to believe in the importance of study abroad for students planning to teach foreign languages, and she was grateful for the assistance that she had received from the college president that made the journey possible. Therefore, the Simpson Study Abroad Fund was established to support UNCG students that study abroad and take part in intensive language study with the goal of eventually becoming teachers or working in an educational environment. It is awarded on the basis of financial need to a junior, senior, or graduate student who is teaching or preparing to teach a foreign language at any level in the American school system.

Former Simpson awardee, Victoria Basile, was able to meet the Simpson relatives at the luncheon.  Basile studied abroad in spring 2011 in Caceres, Spain, with the help of the Simpson Award. Basile, a Spanish major at UNCG with a K-12 licensure, plans to obtain a second degree in International and Global Studies. Basile shared stories of her experience abroad with the Simpson relatives and enjoyed letting them know how the award contributed to her ability to travel and take part in a range of cultural activities.

arrowThe IPC Kohler Fund Sponsors International Visitors!

British Debate Team

Left to Right: Ben Jasper (British Team), Anthony Gore (UNCG Team), Roy Dixon (UNCG Team), and Richard Robinson (British Team)

The British National Debate Team comes to UNCG

On November 10, 2011, UNCG hosted the British National Debate Team in a public debate.  UNCG was one of only 14 stops—and the only one in North Carolina—on the British National Debate Team’s fall 2011 United States tour. This marked the first time that UNCG has hosted a leg of an international debate team tour. The topic of the debate was “Resolved: That Article 5 (the principle of collective defense) of the NATO treaty should be abolished.”

The British team, carefully selected to represent the United Kingdom in international forums, consisted of two debaters, Richard Robinson and Ben Jasper. Robinson is a recent graduate from Manchester University. He was awarded a first

British Debate Team

British debater, Richard Robinson, at the podium

class degree in Law and will commence practice as commercial solicitor in 2013. Ben Jasper graduated from Wadham College, Oxford with a first class degree in Modern History and a Master of Philosophy in Politics. He has just completed the Graduate Diploma in Law and is due to start work as a lawyer at Clifford Chance next August.

The UNCG team consisted of two Lloyd International Honors College students selected by their peers, Roy Dixon and Anthony “A.J.” Gore. Dixon is a freshman from Salisbury, NC. His major is Business Administration and Finance, and he plans to graduate in three years and then continue in a joint Juris Doctor/MBA degree program. He hopes to one day pursue a career in corporate law. Gore is a sophomore from Charlotte, NC. He is a political science major and aspires to practice law.

British Debater

UNCG student, Roy Dixon, debates as his   teammate, Anthony “A.J.” Gore, looks on in support

“Being involved with this debate was certainly a once in a lifetime memory and something that I will never forget,” said Dixon. “Being able to say that I am one of only two students in the extensive history of this institution [UNCG] to partake in such an activity is pretty cool. Also, just being able to spend time with the international team was an enriching experience, and I know that I have been enhanced both academically as well as socially as a result of participating in the debate.” As for the audience, Dixon hopes that the debate increased their interest in the highly competitive world of debate. He says they “tried to provide the audience with not only a great academic, informational debate, but also a fun and inclusive environment.”

Gore also felt that being involved in the debate was a valuable experience. "I enjoyed engaging in civil discourse in a public venue,” he said. “It allowed people to see that disagreement is okay, as long as terms are clear and claims are made. In the end, people realize debate isn't a dirty word, it’s an extension of our beliefs.”

The winner of the debate, decided by audience vote, was the British team, but only by a small margin. The U.S. tour of the British National Debate Team was sponsored by the Committee on International Discussion and Debate, which has underwritten international student debate exchanges in conjunction with the National Communication Association since 1922. Previous U.S. tours have included debaters from Japan, Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia, Australia, New Zealand, Poland, and Pakistan. The UNCG event was coordinated by Dr. Roy Schwartzman of the Communication Studies Department and the Lloyd International Honors College, with support from the IPC Kohler Fund and the English-Speaking Union of the United Kingdom.

Guest Lecturer from Beijing

Dr. Dai

Dr. Dai at UNCG in front of the Foust Building

Dr. Dai lectures

Dr. Dai giving lecture

Changzheng Dai, Dean of the School of International Relations at the University of International Business & Economics in Beijing, China, visited UNCG on November 10-12, 2011. Dr. Dai is currently a visiting professor at Harvard University and his visit was sponsored by the IPC Kohler Fund, the Department of Political Science, International and Global Studies, and the Departments of Geography and Sociology with the help of Dr. Bill Crowther, Dr. David Olson, Dr. Susan Walcott, and Dr. Roberto Campo. During his visit, Dr. Dai met with faculty members and IPC staff and gave a lecture titled, “Contemporary China: Political Role of the Migrant Population,” in which the Chinese Hukou system and recent migration patterns were presented.

United States Institute of Peace

David Smith

David Smith

On November 15-16, 2011, David Smith, National Educational Outreach Officer from the United States Institute of Peace (USIP), visited UNCG to discuss international peace building. Smith’s visit was organized by Dr. Tom Matyók, Assistant Professor of Conflict Resolution, and Dr. Cathryne Schmitz, Professor of Conflict Studies and Social Work, and was sponsored by the IPC Kohler Fund.  During his visit, Smith gave two presentations for university students and the public, one titled “USIP: America's Commitment to Global Conflict Management and Peacebuilding” and the other titled “Evolving Ways of Peacebuilding: New Frontier.” Smith also met with undergraduate participants of the IPC’s Global Leadership Program and visited Northwest Guilford High School where he met with students, faculty, and staff.  While at UNCG, Smith also spoke with the media and gave interviews about his work.

USIP Presentation

David Smith's presentation

As USIP’s National Educational Outreach Officer, Smith coordinates Institute-wide educational outreach and public programming efforts and works closely with educational and professional associations, academic institutions, and public groups to promote Institute objectives. Smith has had numerous publications on peace building and conflict management and travels all over the U.S. offering presentations on a variety of issues including civil society and peace building, child soldiers, conflict resolution education, and international education.  Smith also consults with colleges and universities on approaches to teaching peace.

Before joining the Institute in 2005, his work focused on teaching at the college and university level. As a Fulbright scholar, Smith taught peace studies and alternative dispute resolution at the University of Tartu in Tartu, Estonia. He also taught at the undergraduate level at Harford Community College, Goucher College, Towson University, and Stevenson University, and at the graduate level at George Mason University. Furthermore, he has worked in the fields of domestic and community conflict resolution and as a practicing attorney. Smith currently serves on the Rockville, Maryland, Human Rights Commission.

Mexican Writer speaks at UNCG

Montiel with UNCG faculty

Left to Right: Antonio Moreno, Mauricio Montiel Figueiras, Veronica Grossi, Jose Felipe Troncoso

Mauricio Montiel Figueiras, a Mexican writer and critic, came to UNCG on November 18, 2011, and gave a lecture about the life and work of the Surrealist artist Leonora Carrington, titled “My Kitchen for a Horse.” The lecture was followed by a roundtable discussion in English and Spanish during which Figueiras discussed his own writing. Figueiras was joined at the roundtable discussion by Dr. Antonio Moreno, Professor of Spanish at Barton College; Dr. Verónica Grossi, Associate Professor of Spanish at UNCG; and Jose Felipe Troncoso, Lecturer of Spanish at UNCG. Figueiras’ visit was sponsored by the Consulado General de México en Raleigh; the IPC Kohler Fund; the Department of Languages, Literatures, and Cultures; International and Global Studies; and the Office of Multicultural Affairs.
Figueiras in Paris

Figueiras in Paris

Figueiras was born in Guadalajara, Mexico, and currently lives in Mexico City. He is a writer of prose fiction and essays, as well as a translator, editor, and film critic. His work has been published in magazines and newspapers in Argentina, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Colombia, England, Italy, Peru, Spain, and the United States. His recent works include La penumbra inconveniente (Inconvenient Darkness, novel, 2001), La piel insomne (The Sleepless Skin, short stories, 2002), and Paseos sin rumbo. Diálogos entre cine y literatura (Aimless Roamings: Dialogues Between Film and Literature, essays, 2010). Figueiras has received many awards and has been the resident writer for the Cheltenham Festival of Literature in England (2003) and The Bellagio Study and Conference Center in Italy (2008). In 2012, he will be resident writer for the prestigious Hawthornden Retreat for Writers in Scotland. Figueiras has also been editor in chief of several cultural magazines and literary supplements in Mexico City and writes for several Mexican magazines and newspapers.

International Visitor from the United Kingdom

Gordon Smith

Gordon Smith

Gordon Smith
, from Plymouth University in the U.K., visited the IPC office on November 10, 2011. Smith is a faculty member at the Plymouth Business School, as well as the Program Manager for the International Business degree program and Chair of the Plymouth Business School International Committee. The International Business program gives Plymouth students the opportunity to study abroad for a year and provides opportunities for overseas students to study at Plymouth for a year. Gordon has developed many of the links with partner organizations, including UNCG, and is dedicated to providing invaluable opportunities for his students. Smith’s visit to UNCG was an impromptu stop as he passed through Greensboro on his way to Alabama. Smith met briefly with IPC member Tom Martinek, Jr., Assistant Director of Study Abroad and Exchange Programs, and shared a cup of coffee before continuing on his trip.

arrowPalace Excavation in Peru!

Inka ruin

UNCG student, Kristen Welch, in front of the ruins of the Inka storehouses at the site of Camata.

This past summer, students from UNCG ventured to Moquegua, Peru, to attend the Contisuyo Archaeological Field School from June 18 to July 24, 2011.  They joined a team of faculty, Peruvian archaeologists, graduate students, and undergrads from several universities, as well as local villagers, to work on an excavation project.  The UNCG sponsored project was directed by Dr. Donna Nash, Assistant Professor of Anthropology, and took place at the Wari site of Cerro Mejía.  The excavation focused on two hilltop palaces dating back to 600-850 AD and was funded in part by the National Geographic Society.  The goal was to gain a better understanding of the Wari Empire (AD 600-1000) and their early colonization of southern Peru. Research of the Wari colony in Moquegua has been on-going for more than fifteen years with Dr. Nash leading excavations and surveys of the region. This past season, excavations took place in local palaces to examine how local leaders responded to foreign Wari conquerors. Exploration revealed that local leaders invested a great deal in the construction of their palaces with one having an outer wall nearly a meter thick that was built of massive stones and thick red clay mortar. The local leaders who lived in these palaces did not have access to imperial material wealth and few items in the Wari imperial style were found in the palaces.

Peru Excavation

UNCG student, Megan Allen, measures ruins of the massive outer palace wall for her drawing architectural features assignment.

During their study aborad experience, students took two courses—Field Methods in Archaeology and Analysis of Archaeological Data, which helped them learn about different artifact types and basic procedures for analysis. On the site, they received instruction on basic archaeological practices such as drawing architectural ruins, interpreting features, archaeological sampling procedures and excavation (as seen in the photos). Students gained first hand experience colaborating with a team of scholars, including specialists working on mapping, geochemistry, human remains, stone tools, paleobotany, and zooarchaeology.

For the five-week program, the team lived in the beautiful
Peru archaeology

UNCG student, Jennifer Grenier, tries excavation for the first time in the southwest corner of the palace’s large plaza.

colonial city of Moquegua in southern Peru, which has a modern museum and a bustling local market.  Five days a week students traveled uphill by bus to the archaeological site and hiked to the top of the hill each day.  In the afternoons and on Saturdays students worked with artifacts recovered from the site and attended workshops at the museum or field laboratory learning techniques of archaeological analysis. Students also enjoyed a number of field trips to other archaeological sites in the region including the early coastal site of Tacahuay dating to 11,600 BC, the Tiwanaku temple complex of Omo, a late Estuquiña fortified village, and the highland Inka waystation of Camata (pictured above).  Many in the team also visited other local attractions such as modern vineyards, waterfalls, colonial cathedrals, and a cloister of Carmelite nuns.

The Contisuyo Archaeological Field School is being offered again in 2012. This coming summer the team will be working on four different village sites, some of which were later reoccupied by Inka settlers. The goal is to look at important changes through time from the periods before and after the Wari conquest of the region. If you are interested in joining the research team please apply online with IPC or email Dr. Nash for more information.

To learn more about the 2011 Field School you can visit their webpage: http://studyabroad.uncg.edu/index.cfm?FuseAction=Programs.ViewProgram&Program_ID=10585&Type=O&sType=O


On the roof of the project’s field house, Dr. Nash teaches a class on stone tools.  Joshua Wackett concentrates on making a flake that he can analyze for his lab assignment. Other students look on and give him pointers on where to strike the core.


President Ahad Shahbaz

INTERLINK President Ahad Shahbaz

INTERLINK’s President, Ahad Shahbaz, visited UNCG on November 21-22, 2011. During this visit, he met with the program’s teachers, students, and staff. He also met with Provost David H. Perrin, the staff of the International Programs Center, and other institutions in Greensboro.

Several INTERLINK students attended a “Night at the Theatre” and watched the production of Self Defense: Or the Death of Some Salesmen, which was produced by the UNCG Theatre Department. Before the show, the students went to dinner on Tate Street and discussed the premise of the play with INTERLINK’s student activities coordinator. They were able to meet and interact with the star of the show afterward.


INTERLINK students meet Leah Turley (second from left), a star from UNCG’s production of Self Defense: Or the Death of Some Salesmen   

Next term, INTERLINK will be expanding the International Conversation Partners Program (ICCP) and beginning a new program called the Learning Exchange and Assistance Program (LEAP). ICCP will continue to be social in nature, while LEAP will be more academic. The primary role of a conversation partner is to provide INTERLINK students with opportunities to practice conversational English while both participants enrich their cross-cultural understanding. Conversation partners are expected to meet for one hour per week. Volunteers in the LEAP program, on the other hand, work with INTERLINK students on class assignments and other academic tasks. A volunteer tutor in LEAP can work with an English learner as often as possible, depending on each participant’s schedule. We are seeking participants for both programs for the upcoming term. Please email Casey Thomas at thomascm@interlink.edu if you are interested in becoming a participant.


Dinner before the show: (L to R) Sofy Ribadeneira from Ecuador, Janaina Cereser Dente from Brazil, Clener Almeida from Brazil, Luisa Cesar from Brazil, and Casey Merie Thomas

INTERLINK’s Fall 2011 End-of-Term Ceremony will be held at College Park Baptist Church (1601 Walker Avenue) on December 16, 2011, from 11:30am to 2:00pm. This ceremony is meant to celebrate the conclusion of the term, to recognize students who have excelled, to congratulate those who are successfully completing the program, and to bid farewell to students who are leaving. We will also be honoring those who volunteered in our Conversation Program during the fall semester. The formal ceremony will be followed by a potluck-style luncheon. Contact Casey Thomas at thomascm@interlink.edu with any questions about the event or to confirm your attendance.

To see the attached flyer about the upcoming End-of-Term Ceremony, click here.

ArrowUpcoming Events

December 2011
Dec. 1              Travel Overseas Workshop - 3 sessions (Foust 101 and 104, 3:30-5:00pm)
Dec. 1              ISA Semi Formal
Dec. 2              UCIP Board Meeting (video conference, 9:00am-12:00pm)
Dec. 2              IPC Holiday Party 2011 (Faculty Center, 3:00-5:00pm)
Dec. 5              Last Day of Classes
Dec. 6              Chancellor’s Holiday Party 2011 (Alumni House-VA Dare Room, 4:00-6:00pm)
Dec. 7 -13       Final Exams
Dec. 15           Commencement (Greensboro Coliseum)
Dec. 16            INTERLINK’s Fall II 2011 End-of-Term Ceremony
(College Park Baptist Church, 11:00am-2:00pm)**
Dec. 26-Jan. 1      Office Closed for Winter Holiday -- HAPPY HOLIDAYS!

** College Park Baptist Church, Fellowship Hall, 1601 Walker Avenue - The ceremony will be followed by a potluck. Please RSVP to Casey Thomas at thomascm@interlink.edu if you plan to attend.

January 2011
Jan. 2               INTERLINK’s Spring I 2012 Term begins
Jan. 3-7           New International Student Orientation
Jan. 9               Classes Begin for Spring 2012
Jan. 13             Payment deadline for all incoming exchange students (including insurance)
Jan. 16             Martin Luther King Day (Classes Dismissed, Offices Closed)
Jan. 17             Chancellor’s International Students Spring 2012 Welcome Reception
January 20      UNCG ISEP Application Deadline (For Fall and Year-Long Programs 2011-12)
Jan. 20            Kohler Application Deadline

Jan. 23 UNCEP ISEP Outbound Application Deadline (For Fall & Year-Long Programs 2011-12)

Previous editions:
- Vol 11, ed 3: November 2011
- Vol 11, ed 2: October 2011
- Vol 11, ed 1: September 2011

Archived Editions