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International

Thanks to donations from the First Baptist Church College Ministry, Delta State's new international students were welcomed with “Dorm Room Essentials” kits.

International students welcomed with “Dorm Room Essentials” kits

By | Community, Faculty/Staff, International, Student Success Center, Students | No Comments

Members from Cleveland’s First Baptist Church College Ministry stepped up in a big way recently to support the arrival of Delta State’s new contingent of on-campus international students.

Church member Missey Hudson helped coordinate the group effort to purchase and organize what they call the “Dorm Room Essentials” kit.

The idea was presented to Hudson by an international student she met last year through the church’s ongoing efforts to welcome international students.

“What we wanted them to be able to do after an international flight and a two-hour drive from Memphis, was to be able to go into their dorm room, have a snack, take a shower and go to bed — and not have to go to WalMart to pick up the things they need after they’re exhausted and jetlagged,” said Hudson. “We wanted to make sure students don’t have to arrive to an empty bedroom.”

Hudson took the idea to the church’s college minister, and church members came together to donate funds for the kits.

“This was really a group effort,” stressed Hudson. “I had the blessing of coordinating someone else’s idea and everyone else’s hard work.”

The donations included sheets, a pillow, blanket, towel set, a planner and a small bag of snacks.

Marwa Cherraf, an international student from Morocco, was thrilled to receive the welcome gift.

“I was very pleased to get the basket — it meant a lot,” said Cherraf. “There are some international students who don’t know where to go and what to get when they first arrive. This was such a nice gift because it had all the stuff we need, especially for the first couple days. It makes me feel really welcomed as a new international student at Delta State. I appreciate that people want to make sure we feel comfortable and at home.”

To top it all off, Dr. Christy Riddle, executive director of International Student Services and the Student Success Center at Delta State, boxed everything together in new laundry baskets.

“This was such a kind act from the First Baptist Church,” said Riddle. “It warms our hearts that people in our community want to help welcome our international students. We have a growing international student body at Delta State, and this help will go a long way.”

Hudson said the church’s small act of kindness was a simple way to make the new students feel more at home.

“I’m hoping this idea will grow,” added Hudson. “International students are so far away from home, their friends and their family members. They’re looking to Cleveland and Delta State to form those friendships and family-like connections. As members of the Cleveland community, we can all step up and welcome these folks into our homes and our lives.”

Learn more about International Student Services at http://www.deltastate.edu/student-success-center/international-student-services.

Dr. Md. Fokhray Hossain (left to right), director of International Affairs at Daffodil International University in Bangladesh, Dr. A.H.M. Ali Reza, assistant professor of biology at Delta State and the university’s international partnership liaison, and Dr. Fazlul Haque, Registrar at DIU, recently signed a memorandum of understanding to begin developing international exchanges between the two universities.

Delta State forges partnership with university in Bangladesh

By | Academics, Faculty/Staff, International, Students | No Comments

Delta State University has worked hard to develop international partnerships in recent years, and these developments have grown once again thanks to a new relationship with Daffodil International University in Dhaka, Bangladesh.

 The partnership formed thanks to efforts from Dr. A.H.M. Ali Reza, assistant professor of biology at Delta State, and the university’s international partnership liaison.

Reza, a native of Bangladesh, had been communicating with former colleagues and peers at Daffodil, and during a research trip Reza took to Bangladesh in July, both institutions signed a formal memorandum of understanding to begin developing international exchanges at the schools.

“I have several very good connections at Daffodil International University who worked hard to make this partnership happen with Delta State,” said Reza. “Being one of the leading private universities in Bangladesh, DIU has a good reputation for offering high-quality higher education to the students. They have been working hard to grow their connections in the international market, and forming this connection between DIU and DSU is a great opportunity for both universities.”

The main goal of this partnership is to send students and faculty abroad for academic and cultural exchanges. Reza is hopeful that these formal exchanges will soon become available for both faculty members and upper level students.

Dr. Md. Fokhray Hossain, director of International Affairs at DIU, is also thrilled to move forward with the exchanges.

“It is important to bridge the international partnership for student exchange, academic exchange, research and sharing resources between both of the institutions,” said Hossain. “Initially, we look forward to start a short-term student and academic staff exchange program, such as a summer program to develop cross-cultural activities.”

Dr. Christy Riddle, executive director of International Student Services and the Student Success Center at Delta State, is excited to see Delta State’s international connections building.

“As we continue to expand our international partnerships, we increase the opportunities for DSU faculty to teach abroad,” said Riddle. “This partnership will also allow our students the opportunity to participate in international study abroad opportunities.”

DIU is recognized in independent government assessments as one of top graded universities in Bangladesh. The university combines impressive modern facilities and a dynamic approach to teaching and research with its proud heritage of service and achievement. Learn more at http://www.daffodilvarsity.edu.bd.

Follow all news at www.deltastate.edu as advancements will continue with DIU and other international partner institutions.

A group of faculty from Anyang Institute of Technology in China recently arrived at Delta State for a two-week exchange program.

Delta State welcomes Chinese delegation

By | Academics, Faculty/Staff, International | No Comments

A group of nine faculty members from Anyang Institute of Technology in Anyang, China are visiting Delta State for an intensive two-week exchange program, as both universities will explore future international exchanges.

The trip, being coined as China Summer Camp, is the result of a partnership that Dr. Charles McAdams, Delta State provost and vice president for Academic Affairs, helped form after visiting AIT earlier this year.

The AIT delegation, which arrived July 3, will be on campus until July 16, and their visit will focus on exploring U.S. higher education, Southern culture and study abroad opportunities for students.

The first week has focused on specific aspects of Delta State and Mississippi Delta Chinese heritage. The second week will mainly pertain to U.S. business practices, community tours and events.

“I am very excited for Delta State to hold its first summer camp for Chinese faculty,” said McAdams. “This training workshop is another result of the partnership agreement we established with AIT this past spring during my recent trip to China. We are partnering with AIT in order to attract their students who wish to finish their degree at an American university.

“We also provide summer training workshops for faculty to help them understand our educational system in hopes that they will send their students here to study. Our plan is to have a camp next summer for students to help them prepare for studying in an American university. These camps are a benefit to their students and to DSU.”

McAdams added that not only is there a potential for increasing enrollment, but Delta State is also providing the opportunity for its students and faculty to learn about other cultures though direct contact with Chinese faculty and students.

“Dr. Christy Riddle and the Office of International Student Services in the Student Success Center, along with faculty in the College of Business, have done a fantastic job of planning and administering this workshop,” said McAdams.

Riddle is thrilled to host a new group of foreign visitors on campus, as Delta State continues to build its international relations.

“This visit is another opportunity for DSU to expand its international efforts to establish partnerships that will allow our students to study abroad,” said Riddle. “We hope this is the beginning of continued collaboration. We are designing a summer camp for next summer to host students from China who are interested in studying abroad at DSU in the fall of 2017. Additionally, we plan to formalize the partnership to encourage international exchange opportunities for DSU faculty, students and staff.”

This is the first trip to the U.S. for all of the AIT faculty participants, all of whom are business faculty. Their fields include: management, marketing, logistics management, accounting, finance, business negotiations, international trade, and electronic commerce.

Yupeng Li, an AIT participant in the camp, has enjoyed the experience thus far.

“Our city in China is actually very similar,” said Li. “And I find many things in common with our universities too. We see that everything is about agriculture in Mississippi, and our province is the same. The people here are very friendly and generous. I really like it.”

Anyang is one of China’s most historic cities, and is considered one of China’s seven ancient capitals. Similar to the Mississippi Delta, Anyang has been a long-time regional agricultural center.

AIT was founded in 1983, and is a non-profit public higher education institution. The university offers bachelors, masters and doctoral degrees in arts and humanities, business and social sciences, language and culture, medicine and health, engineering, and science and technology.

Students from La Trobe University in Australia enjoyed a luncheon Wednesday at Delta State with the Fighting Okra and President William N. LaForge.

Australian delegation visits Delta State

By | Delta Center, International, President | No Comments

A group of 47 students and faculty members from La Trobe University in Melbourne, Australia made a special stop at Delta State’s campus Wednesday during their three-week international study tour between New Orleans and Memphis.

The group is taking part in the trip to focus on critical aspects of the region, including history, culture, society, site visits and more.

Their stop at Delta State included a tour of the Delta Music Institute, a visit from the Fighting Okra, a luncheon with President William N. LaForge and Dr. Christy Riddle with International Student Services, and a visit to GRAMMY Museum® Mississippi.

The students, enrolled in the School of Humanities and Social Sciences, will eventually complete a region-based research project based on their visit.

For more information on La Trobe University, visit http://www.latrobe.edu.au/about.

Follow all Delta State University news at www.deltastate.edu.

Faculty and students from KUL in Lublin, Poland hosted the Delta State group for a final dinner during the cultural exchange between the two universities.

Delta State completes exchange in Poland

By | Academics, Faculty/Staff, International, Students | No Comments

A Delta State University delegation recently returned from a successful cultural exchange with a partner institution, John Paul II Catholic University of Lublin (KUL) in Lublin, Poland.

A select group of four Delta State students, one faculty member and one staff member spent two weeks aboard for the intensive exchange.

KUL is one of several international universities with which Delta State has signed a memorandum of understanding to further develop international exchanges. Delta State hosted a group of KUL faculty and students in October 2015.

The trip, coordinated by DSU International Student Services, marked the first opportunity for Delta State students to visit KUL’s campus, observe classes, learn about college life in Poland, and gain hands-on knowledge of Polish culture.

Students attending the trip included: Scottie Willis, a senior from Byram, Mississippi; Katherine Jackson, a junior from Cleveland, Mississippi; Maria Clara Belisário, a junior from Belo Horizonte, Brazil; and Paxton Stratton, a freshman from Fort Worth, Texas.

“As soon as we flew out of the U.S. for Poland, everything was new to everybody —and that is something that we wanted to offer our students,” said Dr. A.H.M. Ali Reza, assistant professor of biology at Delta State, who also led the group as the university’s international partnership liaison. “Several of our students had never traveled outside the country, and this cultural exchange trip offered them a significant amount of experiences they can utilize throughout their entire life.

“The education system, culture, environment, food, interaction with fellow students — everything that the students experienced during this trip was priceless. You can only get it through an opportunity like this.”

Paulina Liszka, teaching assistant in the Faculty of Law, Canon Law and Administration at KUL, was one of the leading figurse during Delta State’s visit. Liszka was also part of the group that visited Delta State in 2015.

Delta State students taking part in a course at KUL.

Delta State students taking part in a course at KUL.

“Delta State’s visit to Lublin was a fantastic way to get an understanding of Polish history and culture, as well as the university environment,” said Liszka. “This was definitely a life-changing, mind-broadening experience for both sides, and we hope to continue developing cooperation between our universities. Thanks to such international cooperation, we can gain a much greater understanding of other cultures, as well as global issues.”

The trip featured a number of academic highlights, including an international seminar, during which DSU and KUL students presented speeches about systems of education, law and culture in both the U.S. and Poland. Reza also provided a formal lecture on American environmental law.

The students were also able to observe and participate in a KUL course taught in English, providing them a first-hand glance at the Polish university setting.

“The best part about this trip was getting to spend time with the students and see what university life is like in Poland,” said Jackson. “We attended their classes, hung out in the places they usually hang out in, and did the things they do everyday. That made me feel like less of an outsider and realize that college life is universal. On top of that, this trip made me appreciate the little things I take for granted everyday in America.”

Additionally, Reza met with KUL officials and faculty members to discuss future exchanges that would be open to students, faculty and staff at both universities. Among the leaders he met with were: Dean Piotr Stanisz; Tomasz Kostecki, director of International Exchange; professor Sławomir Łukasiewicz; professor Katarzyna Maćkowska, and professor Anna Haladyj.

Dr. Reza lecturing to KUL students.

Dr. Reza lecturing to KUL students.

Rory Doyle, photographer and news writer at Delta State, documented the trip.

“I was thoroughly impressed with the quality education at KUL and the quality of its students,” said Doyle. “We had a number of KUL students help coordinate our visit, and we couldn’t have done it without them. It was a unique exchange for our Delta State group, and I know that we feel privileged and grateful to be given so much access to KUL, their faculty and students — and the special aspects of Polish culture.”

The group also had the opportunity to visit Poland’s capital, Warsaw, and the second largest city, Kraków. Not far from Kraków is Auschwitz-Birkenau Memorial and Museum, a former Nazi concentration camp. The visit greatly impacted the entire group.

“In life, there are so many things you never forget — your first kiss, your favorite teacher, your first car, and even your first true friend,” said Willis. “I added another to my list of unforgettable events. I visited the historic Auschwitz Concentration Camp. To say that it was a humbling experience would be an inadequate description. It was life-changing. For years, we learned about the Holocaust, but to physically walk where they walked definitely invoked feelings of pain and sorrow

The group had the opportunity to visit Auschwitz-Birkenau.

The group had the opportunity to visit Auschwitz-Birkenau.

for those who were forced to endure such things. I’ll never forget the day I walked to the gates of Auschwitz.”

Dr. Christy Riddle, executive director of International Student Services and the Student Success Center at Delta State, added that the university will continue to strengthen ties with KUL and other international institutions.

“These trips offer our students the opportunity for first-hand insights into the global world by putting what they learn in the classroom into perspective,” said Riddle. “The KUL trip was an exciting way to expand DSU’s international opportunities, and it has opened the door for future exchange opportunities with KUL, both for DSU students traveling there and KUL students traveling here. We are already in discussions for a spring 2017 class with a trip planned for next summer.”

Follow all international partnership developments at www.deltastate.edu.