Wednesday August 20, 2008

A Global View

Increased international enrollment and a rise in UD students going overseas to study are adding to the University's global perspective and campus diversity.

With an increase in international students selecting the University of Dayton, and a rise in UD students going overseas to study, the University is becoming a more diverse campus with an increasingly global perspective.

"International enrollment is up at every level – undergraduate, graduate, exchange and intensive English, even the number of Marianist religious who come for study," said Amy Anderson, director of the University's Center for International Programs. "A record number of UD students is studying abroad."

For 2008-09, the total enrollment of international students on campus is expected to rise to about 115, she said.

The University has received commitments from students in Canada, China, Ghana, Indonesia, Korea, Kuwait, Lebanon, Malawi, Mauritius, Saudi Arabia, Serbia, Togo and the United Kingdom.

Headed in the other direction, more than 600 UD students are expected to participate in study abroad, service learning and immersion programs this year, she said. For example, six UD engineering students traveled to Cameroon this summer to help construct a water system for one village without clean water.

Internationalization has been a key initiative of the University for the past five years, emphasizing the importance of developing a global perspective for students, Anderson said.

International ranking systems are also helping, she said. For two straight semesters, UD has ranked first in international student satisfaction, according to an International Student Barometer survey, the largest study of international students in the world. UD ranks as the fifth-best university for Chinese students studying abroad, according to AOJI Study Abroad, a student-recruiting agency.

Anderson said the University has been aggressively recruiting overseas, primarily through developing strong partnerships such as the joint engineering program with Shanghai Normal University, now in its third year. Enrollment has nearly tripled with 31 students joining UD's senior class to earn degrees from both universities.

Yong "Adam" Zhou is one of those Shanghai Normal students whose family made the investment to send him to UD for his final year. Zhou, a manufacturing engineering major, said students from previous years had high praise for UD.

"They said when they first came here, the school set up a course on how to study, how to do time management and how to succeed. They had special programs and special lessons and when they met with difficulty, they told us that professors met with them and were very helpful and willing to help," Zhou said.

And he said the students told him that UD was a very friendly, welcoming place. Zhou, who arrived in early July for orientation and intensive English classes, said he's found that to be true.

"They told me the students and the professors here were really kind, and they are all waiting to help," said Zhou. "I've seen that."

Anderson said a variety of initiatives and on-campus programs are bringing more and more students to UD. Some of those initiatives are:

--The Intensive English Program, which helps international students improve their English skills and navigate U.S. culture, has grown from eight to 60 students in the past four years, Anderson said.

-- International partnerships with universities in other countries are yielding students. As a result of partnerships eight students are coming from Korea University; one from Ireland; three from the Netherlands; and six from France.

--An emphasis on connecting to Marianist partners is paying off. Three students from international Marianist high schools, including one from Malawi, attend UD on full-tuition scholarships. An increased number of Marianist brothers from around the world are coming to UD for graduate, undergraduate and intensive English education.

--A summer program for 13 high school students from Singapore brought them to campus for two weeks for classes and an introduction to life on a U.S. campus. 

-- UD is ramping up international recruitment efforts in India, China, Southeast Asia and the Middle East, including participation in the first recruitment trip by a group of U.S. institutions to Israel and the West Bank.

For more information, contact Cilla Shindell, director of media relations, at 937-229-3257 or shindell@udayton.edu.