International Education Newsletter
What is new in the world?
International Education at Salisbury University in the Time of COVID-19
In mid-January 2020, staff at the Janet Dudley-Eshbach Center for International Education (CIE) began counseling Chinese students about COVID-19 as students returned to campus from winter break at home in China. and they had to leave their families behind under rigorous public health quarantine. It was a frightening time for them as they left their families behind under rigorous public health quarantines in China at a time that COVID-19 was still just a vague notion here in the U.S.
From that point on, international education at SU has not been the same. The university began evacuating global interns from Italy in February and study abroad students from around the world in March as the university suspended all spring 2020 study abroad programs. Summer 2020 study abroad and the large Summer 2020 English Language Institute in Salisbury that hosts nearly 100 international students from around the world were the next to be suspended. Study Abroad for Fall 2020 has now been suspended. The number of international students for fall 2020 will be smaller than usual and some foreign students will be completing their semesters from their home towns all around the world.
As we begin the 2020-21 academic year, the university introduces this new publication that will keep Gull Nation informed throughout the year about how SU is staying engaged with the world far beyond the Eastern Shore during the Time of COVID-19. You will find stories about how current students are still engaging with the world in their learning, how SU alumni have continued to live their lives engaged with the world after graduation, and how the university prepares for more and better global learning in a post-COVID-19 world.
Brian N. Stiegler, PhD
Assistant Provost for International Education
Director, Janet Dudley-Eshbach Center for International Education
Collaborative Online International Learning (COIL)
Cultural Identity in Caribbean Colombia
A Student Art Exhibit from Institución Universitaria ITSA, Barranquilla, Colombia
As Salisbury University prepares to welcome students back to the fall 2020 semester both on campus and in a variety of hybrid, remote, and online learning experiences, the Nabb Research Center presents a compelling student art exhibit created by students from the School of Graphic Design at the Institución Universitaria ITSA in Barranquilla, Colombia. The student art show will be hanging on campus in the main lobby of the Guerrieri Academic Commons and will be available to enjoy online at Events and Exhibits | Salisbury University Nabb Center.
The current exhibit is an introduction to Afrocolombian and Indigenous Colombian communities. In the process of creating the exhibit, the intent at all times was to raise up these communities, replacing standard stereotypes of beauty established by current society that has displaced them by not allowing these identities to fit that notion of beauty. The graphic representations in these works refer to other works of art that have established the aesthetic norms of all works of art and that celebrate cultural identity through colors, textures, and other elements representative of each one of these cultures. The protagonists in the works are Afrocolombian and Indigenous Colombian leaders. All of the work was created by student artists in the School of Graphic Design at ITSA.
La Institución Universitaria ITSA is the public municipal university of the city of Barranquilla, Colombia. Barranquilla is a port city located at the mouth of the Magdalena river on the Caribbean Sea. It is known world-wide for its culture and history. The novelist and winner of the Nobel Prize in Literature, Gabriel García Márquez, describes Barranquilla in the pages of his novels and short stories; the singer and international star, Shakira, shares the rhythms and sounds of Barranquilla with the world; the Barranquilla Carnival is considered along with that of Rio de Janeiro and New Orleans as one of the most historic and culturally rich in the world.
Salisbury University and ITSA signed an agreement of collaboration in 2017. Former SU president, Dr. Janet Dudley-Eshbach, visited Barranquilla in 2017. Dr. Sarah Surak from the Department of Political Science and Environmental Studies was invited by ITSA to present at an international conference in Barranquilla in 2018. The president of ITSA, Emilio Armando Zapata, visited Salisbury in 2018 and was the first representative from an international partner to be received by the new SU president, Dr. Charles Wight.
The installation of the exhibit, Cultural Identity in Caribbean Colombia, is the most recent cultural exchange between the universities. The exhibit was originally planned for spring 2020. The artwork arrived in Salisbury the week before the suspension of in-person university activities in March. Finally, we can share with the Salisbury University community this celebration of the diversity of Barranquilla through the artistic vision of student artists at ITSA.
A Love Story from the Two SU’s
Kaley Booth (Class of 2017) did not travel far from home to go to college. A resident of Salisbury, Kaley stayed in her hometown in the capital of the Eastern Shore and decided to major in Communications with a specialization in Media Production . But like thousands of SU students before her, Kaley used SUs global network to spread her wings to fly from coastal Maryland to the world. She spent a full-semester studying abroad in 2016 at SUs partner in London, England Brunel University. While she loved her semester studying in one of the world's greatest capital cities, it was not destined to be her most important global engagement during her time at SU.
After her semester abroad, Kaley continued her studies of Communications back in Salisbury with courses in Beginning Audio Production and Television Product in the spring of 2017. SU professor Mike Camilo, partnered Kaley for a class assignment with a visiting exchange student from the other SU -- Stirling University in Stirling, Scotland. More than three years later, that partner project continues.
Cory Thomas, who graduated from Stirling University in 2018, also had not traveled too far to go to college. Having grown up in the town of Kelso, Scottish Borders, Cory stayed close to home in the city of Stirling and also declared a major in Media Production. He was interested in having a study abroad experience during college but was not sure where he wanted to go. Several of his advisors and professors recommended he try Salisbury University. Past Stirling University students had reported great experiences and especially Communications students from Stirling seemed to really thrive during their exchange programs in Salisbury.
I loved everything about SU - loved the facilities, all the people, the excellent study abroad program who helped us do fun activities and get settled in. I felt there was a real community there, according to Cory. [Also,] I loved being close to Assateague.
What Cory did not expect to find at Salisbury was Kaley, but then came Prof. Camilo's Television Production class. By the end of Corys semester in Salisbury, things with Kaley were going pretty well. Kaley stayed in Salisbury to finish her final semester the fall of 2017 and to graduate in December 2017. Then, she moved to Stirling to be with Cory during his last semester at Stirling University until his graduation in May 2018.
I loved being around the beautiful campus, the quaintness of the city and the small town and tight knit community. I liked being close to Edinburgh and Glasgow, according to Kaley.
Since graduation, Cory has produced and directed a 30 minute documentary on mixed martial arts. Kaley worked at Lifetouch Photography as a lead photographer. They were not done traveling the world yet. On a visit to Canada the couple was engaged. Then the couple set off to South Korea where they are teaching English and continuing their exploration of the world.
The Salisbury - Stirling partnership is really important to us obviously because without it we wouldn’t have met, said both Cory and Kaley. Stirling and Salisbury are close to our hearts.
Congratulations Kaley and Cory!
Spotlight on Global Partner
Salisbury University signed the first memorandum of understanding (MOU) with Stirling University in 2013. The partnership was proposed and promoted by Dr. Kristen Walton, Professor of History. Dr. Walton, a scholar of Scottish History, identified Stirling University as a potentially good partner for Salisbury because of its comprehensive academic portfolio, the character of the city of Stirling, Stirling University's strong support for visiting study abroad students, and other factors. Salisbury president, Dr. Janet Dudley-Eshbach signed that first MOU in 2013 and the exchange of students began immediately.
Over the past seven years, dozens of Salisbury students have spent semesters studying in Stirling and dozens more students from Stirling have studied in Salisbury. Salisbury students from many majors have participated in the exchange and courses in many departments have received exchange students from Stirling. One of the majors most engaged in the exchange both receiving and sending students has been the Department of Communications.
Salisbury University students beginning in their second year can spend a semester at Stirling University. In addition to coursework in Communications, Stirling University is also a European leader in Sports Sciences with exceptional opportunities for students in Physical Education, Exercise Science and other sports related fields. Students can take coursework in History, English, Psychology, business disciplines and many other fields. Salisbury students in their second year can find courses that satisfy general education requirements while students in their third and fourth years can have courses approved for their majors and minors.
Most years there are two exchange slots each semester for Salisbury students. These exchange slots mean that Salisbury students pay their regular tuition and fees at Salisbury University and study tuition-free at Stirling University. Housing costs are very similar at both universities and students can apply all of their financial aid to a study abroad semester in Scotland. If more than two students apply for the exchange slots the Janet Dudley-Eshbach Center for International Education selects the exchange students in a competitive process based on criteria that include GPA, academic year, and a written application essay. Students who are not selected for the two exchange slots may still study on the program but pay a higher fee. All financial aid continues to apply and students may be able to expand their financial aid package to cover the higher costs.
For students who cannot spend a full semester in Scotland, Stirling University runs an active summer program. Salisbury students can spend either four or eight weeks during the summer studying in Scotland. A particularly exciting option is an eight week summer program that includes a traditional academic course during the first four weeks and an internship in Scotland during the second four weeks.
You can learn more about study abroad opportunities for Salisbury students at Stirling University. To make an appointment to meet with a study abroad advisor.