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Volume 10, Edition 4 December 2010

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Save the Date: 1/11/11
Premiere of Hood To Coast, a documentary directed by former exchange student and UNCG alum, Christoph Baaden

A former exchange student and UNCG alum, Christoph Baaden has directed an independent film called Hood To Coast, which is coming to over 350 movie theaters across the US on January 11, 2011. He has been working on the film for the last three years and is now finally being released at select theaters.

The film is an inspiring new documentary that follows four teams with various levels of athletic ability on their epic journey to conquer the world’s largest relay race. This is a film about ordinary people on an extraordinary journey. It played very successfully at South by Southwest (SXSW) this year to sold-out non-runner crowds.

Christoph first came to UNCG as an exchange student from the University of Mannheim. Originally from Germany, he has lived in the US since coming back as a Graduate student in 1999. He graduated from the Broadcasting & Cinema Masters program in 2001, winning a Student Emmy for his Master’s thesis. After graduating, Christoph moved to Los Angeles.

In Greensboro, the film will be played at 8:00pm on January 11, 2011, at the Regal Grande Stadium. Tickets are on sale at www.hoodtocoastmovie.com/tickets.html.

Here are two simple things you can do that will make a big difference to Christoph and his film team:

1) Please REQUEST THE MOVIE at www.hoodtocoastmovie.com/tickets.html. It only takes 30 seconds but it helps tremendously! The more requests they get, the faster they can add screens in your city and nationwide, plus the film can get additional nights.

2) If you are planning to join the show- please buy tickets early! The more early demand they can show for the film, the better. This will really help the film a lot.

Faculty & Staff

We wish everyone a wonderful holiday and happy New Year!!!

On Friday, December 3, 2010, the International Programs Center welcomed students, faculty, and staff from the UNCG community to our annual holiday gathering. This year, IPC hosted an Open House in order to bring people together in our relatively new work space. Many people came out from across campus to take part in the festivities. We hope everyone enjoyed it as much as we did!

IPC Staff attend NAFSA Regional Conference

IPC staff members Tom Martinek, Kaitlin Ritchie, Lindsay Armistead, and Logan Stanfield attended the NAFSA Region VII conference in Jacksonville, Florida on November 7-10, 2010. NAFSA is the professional organization representing the field of international education. The Region VII conference is comprised of international educators from the southeast. It provides workshops and activities for all areas of international education, including study abroad and international student services. This conference was particularly ideal as IPC seeks to strengthen its current programs and support services and raise the profile of international education at UNCG. IPC staff members were able to bring back a wealth of information to contribute to new initiatives and programs for international students and students going abroad such as study abroad curriculum integration, community programming for international students, and effective study abroad marketing.

Tom, Lindsay, Kaitlin, and Logan

This is what Lindsay Armistead, Study Abroad Coordinator, had to say about her experience at the conference:

“As a first time attendee of any NAFSA conference, the Region 7 was definitely a memorable one for me. I was amazed at the sense of camaraderie and stewardship all of the members displayed and I quickly felt like I fit into the community of International Educators. The three days of the conference were packed full with great informational sessions and collaborative brainstorming.

Perhaps the best part of the event was having the chance to network with so many others who were experienced in the field. As a newcomer I requested a mentor to help guide me through the NAFSA experience. My mentor, Viet Ha from Presbyterian College, South Carolina, shared with me his experiences as an international educator and encouraged me to engage in other collegial relationships.

What a great way to culminate the end of the semester with some of the best colleagues a person could ask for! The NAFSA Region 7 was a tremendous experience that I will continue to be a part of in the years to come.”

Kavita Gosai: New American Citizen

On November 19, one of our staff members, Kavita Gosai, was officially sworn in as an American citizen. “I am proud and relieved to become an American citizen,” said Kavita, “because becoming a citizen opens up new opportunities that I didn’t have before and now I can be a part of the American system.” Her new citizenship brings mixed feelings as well, says Kavita: “I am sad because I am giving up the rights of my own country.” Kavita, originally from India, has been in the U.S. since 2004 and has been working with IPC since the fall of 2007.

In preparing to apply for citizenship, Kavita, like others who become U.S. citizens, had to work hard to learn all about America’s history, government, geography, and political system. The application for citizenship includes a 100-question civics exam, followed by an interview with an immigration officer to test her verbal and written proficiency in English.

Kavita with her certificate

Once she passed these exams, Kavita participated in a celebratory ceremony in Guilford Court House in Greensboro, where she swore an Oath of Allegiance to the U.S. and received her citizenship certificate and a small American flag. A choir group sang several songs to conclude the ceremony, including “The Star-Spangled Banner” and “America the Beautiful.”

Everyone at IPC welcomes Kavita as a new U.S. citizen! We are lucky to have her as a fellow American!

International Students

New York City Trip Report by Julie Pereira*

*Julie is an exchange student from Université Jean Moulin - Lyon III in France. She is studying International Business and will be continuing at UNCG for the spring 2011 semester.

New York! Finally! Almost a hundred international worms in The Big Apple! Tuesday night November 23, our 10-hour trip to reach the heart of Manhattan starts. Many of us know that city from every angle thanks to Friends, Sex & the City or CSI: NY… But as Frank Sinatra used to sing we now “want to be a part of it” and we are almost there. This Thanksgiving will remain unforgettable for all of us!

After climbing the Rockefeller Center to admire the sunset on the Empire State building, we walked through Chinatown and lovely Little Italy. We also hit the road to the financial district best known as Wall Street, close to Ground Zero, and took the ferry to gaze at the most impressive gift the U.S. ever received from France, the Statue of Liberty.

What about New York and more specifically about Manhattan? There are at least 100 Starbucks only in Manhattan…! It is a vibrant city that never sleeps (as proof, Times Square is illuminated day & night). New York is best visited on foot and we appreciated the great sidewalks for walking (and the benches in sunny Central Park to rest). For neophytes, the New York subway is fast and it is easy to understand the directions when you know that "uptown" means up to North Island or Queens, and "downtown" means that the trains are heading south of the island of Manhattan and Brooklyn.

The favorite spots I went to were the Met (Metropolitan Museum of Art) for its Egyptian collection, the M&Ms Store in Times Square for all the delightful colors and the kids’ eyes filled with wonder, and Harlem for its charming streets. We were also impressed by the "Flat Iron," the iron-shaped building at the corner of Broadway and 5th Avenue.

As for Thanksgiving, many Americans watched the Macy’s parade on TV before enjoying a delicious dinner with family. For us, it was a bit different since we woke up at 6am to see the parade live and braved the cold (Starbucks’ hot chocolate was really helpful at that moment!), and ended our day around a Thanksgiving Dinner with our international family. Another epic moment was Black Friday. Actually, it left a big hole in our wallet, but a big smile on our face! New York is wonderfully worth it, an amazing city full of surprises. The IPC trips are definitely one-of-a-kind.

International students on top of Rockefeller Center

French Exchange Students Visit Grimsley High School

As many exchange students have done in the past, a group of international exchange students from France visited a French class at Grimsley High School in Greensboro this past month. The students were Julie Pereira, Audrey Paquet, and Melanie Lemiere, and they gave a presentation about their home country to the class. This experience is part of IPC's outreach programs for community building.

Julie Pereira said that her experience at Grimsley “was an exciting opportunity for us to talk about France and our experience as an exchange student. It was also a chance to discover from the inside what we are only used to seeing in American movies!”

For more information about how to get involved, or to have international students talk to a group, contact Kaitlin Ritchie, Incoming Exchange Coordinator, at saein@uncg.edu.

Friday Fest In Retrospect

This semester’s Friday Fests featured a diverse group of students from all over the world, representing six of the seven continents! Students from North Carolina started the year with a presentation about the culture of the American South. They gave international students an idea of what they could expect in their daily lives in Greensboro.

In September, we saw presentations from students from Trinidad & Tobago, Chile, Australia, and Scotland. October Friday Fests featured student presentations from South Korea, Botswana, Belgium, Germany, Finland, Sweden, and Denmark. To finish up the year, France and Italy presented some entertaining skits and delicious food for their fellow international students. There was always a lively crowd to encourage the presenters. Everyone did an outstanding job bringing their country to life for others who may know little about their culture.

Look out for announcements next semester about Friday Fest to learn more about other parts of the world!

Special Programs

Pre-IEW Event: Russian Language Society Hosts 24 hour Tolstoy read
By Kathleen Macfie, Director of Russian Studies

It was a beautiful fall Friday afternoon at UNCG when students from the Russian Language Society (RLS) gathered around the Minerva Statue in front of the Elliott University Center (EUC). They were on a mission: to read Leo Tolstoy’s War and Peace, cover to cover, in the next twenty-four hours. The event was organized to commemorate the 100th anniversary of Tolstoy’s death (November of 1910).

The reading kicked off at 1 pm on November 12 with a cake and the first of 1358 pages, read aloud by Ellen Lewis (’56) dressed in a period costume. Associate Provost for International Programs, Dr. Penelope Pynes, stepped up to take a turn reading, as did Dr. Sarah Krive, Assistant Director of Lloyd International Honors College (LIHC); Yekaterina Colon, lecturer in Russian; and about 35 students from the UNCG community and the Russian Language Society.

Ellen Lewis ('56)

As it got dark, the group had reached page 250 and the reading moved inside to the LIHC parlor in the North Spenser Residence Hall. A hearty group spent the night, reading both silently and aloud in multiple groups to finish the novel (Epilogues and all!) just before noon on Saturday, November 13. The reading left faculty advisor, Dr. Kathleen Macfie, impressed and a little tired: “It was like having the luxury of a class meeting with no time limits—we had an on-going discussion of Russian literature and Tolstoy’s characters through the night!”

Another Successful International Education Week!

From November 15-19, UNCG’s International Programs Center (IPC) offered a special variety of events in celebration of the 2010 International Education Week (IEW), including study abroad panels, a photo contest, an Intercultural Workshop, and a special Friday Fest reception. The International Programs Center would like to thank all who helped make this year’s International Education Week a success, including organizers, presenters and workshop participants. We couldn’t have done it without you!

As part of UNCG's annual IEW schedule, the IPC traditionally offers an intercultural professional development opportunity to staff on campus. This year, on November 17, IPC’s Denise Bellamy and Michael Elliott presented an Intercultural Awareness Workshop to a group of UNCG staff members from departments such as Human Resources, Housing and Residence Life and the Career Services Center.

The workshop began with a discussion about culture and identity and included the Intercultural Development Inventory (IDI), a measurement instrument to help participants understand their level of intercultural understanding, initially from a group perspective. With such a diverse campus and Greensboro community, participants of this workshop generally appreciate the dialogue around how to enhance cultural sensitivity, particularly in ways that take advantage of resources, organizations, and programs already in our community. While participants left the workshop with some basic ideas for follow up, interested staff members have the opportunity to meet and discuss their individual IDI profile with one of UNCG’s trained IDI administrators.

Regarding the workshop, Deb Carley, Director of Personnel Services in Human Resources, said, “We really enjoyed it and plan to incorporate some of the information into our training once a year or semester.” Angela Mahoney, Human Resources Consultant, also enjoyed the training and thought that it was a meaningful and very informative workshop.

We would like to thank the UNCG staff who participated in the intercultural workshop over International Education Week and encourage them to share what they learned about cultural awareness with others. If your office or department is interested in intercultural training opportunities, please contact the IPC at 334-5404 for more information.

Throughout International Education Week, the International Student Association (ISA) set up tables in the Dining Hall and the Elliott University Center (EUC) to hand out country buttons and sell Semi-formal tickets, while volunteers and staff from the Study Abroad and Exchange office regulated the Study Abroad Photo Contest. Over 60 students, faculty, and staff turned up to vote for their favorite photos in the contest. There were five categories with several photos in each from which to choose. The winners of the photo contest were announced at Friday Fest and each received a gift card to Barnes & Noble. Congratulations to the winners and thanks to all who submitted photos this year (we received over 250 submissions!).

Also during Friday Fest, students from YUVA India Students Organization presented some fun and interesting facts about their country and culture, along with a traditional dance performed by Sameera Nalam. A reception followed the presentation, where students gathered to socialize and enjoy a piece of cake in celebration of International Education Week.

Photo Contest Winners:

People & Culture: Erin Lowe, Kyoto Sangyo University, Kyoto, Japan

Cityscape/ Architecture: Katie Chapman, University of Castilla La Mancha, Toledo, Spain

Views of the U.S.: Joel Buncle, from Deakin University, Australia

Landscape: Helen Pohlig, University of Botswana, Gaborone, Botswana

Humorous/ Outrageous: Joey Green, University of Castilla La Mancha, Toledo, Spain



"Parents Wanted!" And They Came

One of the Bryan School events during the 2010 International Education Week was the 6th annual "Parents Wanted" session, an evening geared toward providing study abroad information for parents and family members. A panel of Bryan School Study Abroad Peer Ambassadors and IPC staff addressed a crowd of Bryan and non-Bryan parents and their students—some already nominated to study abroad in spring 2011, some still trying to gather their family members' support.

From left to right: Audrey Lisk, Sebastian Fernandez, Samantha Sweet, David Friedrich, Caitlin Adams, and Roxanne Tave

"This event has been popular since its creation in 2005. But this time marked by far the highest attendance," said Heidi Fischer, Bryan School Study Abroad Advisor. Eighty-five parents and students attended on November 16, almost double of 2009. Associate Provost for International Programs, Dr. Penelope Pynes, welcomed the crowd, and Director of Study Abroad and Exchanges, Denise Bellamy, served as a resource on the panel. Student panelists were Caitlin Adams (Int'l Business: Plymouth, UK), Sebastian Fernandez (Int’l & Global Studies & Economics: BNU, China), David Friedrich (Economics: Mannheim, Germany), Audrey Lisk (Marketing, Int'l Business: LIUC, Italy), Samantha Sweet (Int'l Business & Marketing: Deakin, Australia), and Roxanne Tave (Int'l Business, Economics & Political Science: Aarhus, Denmark).

"It's nice to see so many parents supportive of their students going abroad. We may add a spring version of this session to the schedule," said Fischer. "But I've been told we need to reserve a larger room." Not a bad problem to have.

Student Highlights

This is what life is about… by Andrea Navas*

*Andrea Navas is a Hospitality & Tourism Management major, as well as an Honors Ambassador.

She participated in a Faculty-Led program to Ecuador in Summer 2010.

Andrea is currently studying abroad at one of UNCG’s exchange partners, Heilbronn University in Germany.

So people tell you about the opportunity of studying abroad and all the benefits that it can bring to your life… let me tell you a little bit about what the buzz is about. I’m a normal girl who decided one day that normal was not good enough anymore, that I wanted to do something else for myself, and that’s when I thought about going to the study abroad office. From the very first moment, I felt I was taking a very solid step.

My first study abroad experience was in Ayampe, Ecuador. I was born and raised in Colombia, and I had been in Ecuador many times before, but this time was different. We learned lots on how we can be more sustainable professionals and responsible tourists, but believe it when I say there is not a single book out there that can express how powerful a hug or kiss is from the children of Ayampe. I also helped my classmates by teaching them some basic Spanish and translating every now and then.

I cannot tell you how amazing this experience was. When you go on the cable car that takes you to a mountain that is 4050 meters (13,287 feet) above sea level your heart beats faster and you cannot help thinking “What am I doing here?!” until you get to the end of the ride to the Pichincha where you see the entire city of Quito, and that is the moment when you realize what you are doing there. There are not pictures or words to describe the feeling, but the mountains and that glorious city are there to be seen, and are waiting to be seen by more people like you and me, normal students who decided that there is a whole world to be seen outside the United States.

Darren Rony with Andrea and a boy from Ayampe

Now I am in Heilbronn, a lovely little town that is located in the Black Forest in southwestern Germany. Even after eight hours in a plane and being awake for more than 24 hours, this being my first time in Europe and riding a train, there was no way I was falling asleep! I wanted to see everything there was to see. I keep telling my mom that Germany looks just like a postcard, so beautiful with the little villages between the mountains and the train moving at just the right speed so I can gaze through the window and see the people riding their bicycles across the fields.

I am learning not only through classes at the Heilbronn Hochschule, but also by meeting people from all over the world and by learning a little bit every day about German culture. It is not easy getting used to the time change and to the culture shock that comes with living in a culture totally different from your own, but if you really want to be part of this world you have to take the risk of living.

Today, I cannot be happier that I went to the study abroad office with a thousand places to choose from. I chose the one where I wanted to be, and that is exactly what you should do, do not wait until is too late, and say, “Well now it is too late to study abroad.” This is your chance to adventure and travel the world—don’t let someone else tell you how it is “out there.” I didn’t and you shouldn’t, just take the risk and do it!

Visitors & Visiting Scholars

School of Health & Human Performance signs agreement with Shanghai University of Sport (SUS)

On November 10-11, 2010, UNCG’s School of Health & Human Performance (HHP) hosted a delegation from the Shanghai University of Sport in China. The delegation actingon behalf of President Jiangchen Zhang, included Professors Jinju Fu, Dean of the College of Educational Kinesiology; Jahua Zhang, Dean of the School of Continuing Education; Jidong Li; and Jianfang Fan.

Dr. Ang Chen, Professor of Kinesiology at UNCG, and alumnus of SUS accompanied the group throughout their stay and acted as translator. On the first evening, a welcome dinner was hosted for the delegation by Dean Celia Hooper of the School of HHP, and Dr. Penelope Pynes, Associate Provost for International Programs. Other guests included Drs. Kathy Williams, Associate Dean for Academic Programs; Bill Dudley, Professor and Interim Associate Dean for Research; Joe Starnes, Professor of Kinesiology; Cathy Ennis, Professor of Kinesiology; Diane Gill, Professor of Kinesiology; Jo Safrit;  and Xiaochun Wang, current scholar in Kinesiology.

On the following day, after a campus tour with Dr. Chen, the delegation met with Chancellor Linda Brady to sign the addendum agreement in the Chancellor’s Board Room. The agreement formalizes collaborative research efforts.

A round of applause after the delegation signed the agreement with Chancellor Brady

Faculty Corner

Technology classroom from East Carolina University (ECU)

On the morning of November 10, 2010, representatives from nearly every school at UNCG gathered in the North Spencer Honors Residence Hall’s global teleconference classroom for a question and answer session on "Setting up and conducting collaborative international classrooms using today's technology." The session was led by Drs. Elmer Poe (Associate Vice Chancellor for Academic Outreach) and Rosina Chia, (Assistant Vice Chancellor for Academic Outreach) from East Carolina University (ECU). Representatives learned about ECU's successful use of the global classroom to create virtual international experiences and strategies for increasing the number of such opportunities here at UNCG. These opportunities are part of the goals of UNCG’s strategic plan to increase internationalization on campus.

If you would like more information, or have ideas about other opportunities for internationalization on campus, please contact Dr. Penelope Pynes (pjpynes@uncg.edu) or Dr. Jerry Pubantz (j_pubant@uncg.edu).

For more information on Drs. Elmer Poe’s and Rosina Chia’s work on the global classroom:

"Studying Abroad, Staying Home: ECU’s global understanding classes allow students to see and talk to other students all over the world" (East Carolina University: Campus Life)

Global Academic Initiatives (East Carolina University)


INTERLINK Bowling Night

INTERLINK students participated in a bowling outing on the evening of Thursday, November 18 at the local AMF Bowling Center. Each of the 80 students who attended was placed on a team that included students from other countries and an INTERLINK teacher. The bowling lasted for over two hours, and students enjoyed having the chance to interact with their peers and instructors in a non-academic setting.

INTERLINK teachers Ellen Baumgartner and Keith Prince with students Khanh Hoang (Vietnam) and Saeed Alawami (Saudi Arabia)

Upcoming events

For more events, visit the International Programs Center Events Calendar.


Dec 3                 IPC Holiday Party                
Dec 3                 ISA Semi-Formal
Dec 6                 Last Day of Classes
Dec 8-15           Final Exams
Dec 16              Commencement
Dec 24-Jan 2   Winter Holiday (Offices Closed)


Jan 4-8             New International Student Orientation
Jan 10              First Day of Classes
Jan 17              MLK Holiday (University Closed)
Jan 18              Chancellor’s Welcome Reception
Jan 21              Kohler Application Deadline


Feb 2               Reentry Workshop I
Feb 3               International Scholars Reception
Feb 10             Student Academic Achievement Awards Reception
Feb 15             UNCG Study Abroad Application Deadline
Feb 16             Reentry Workshop II

Previous editions:

Volume 10, Edition 3, November 2010

Volume 10, Edition 2, October 2010

Volume 10, Edition 1, September 2010

Archived Editions