CSI Welcomes Aisin AW Trainees

CSI recently hosted visitors from Japan's Aisin AW company.

For the second straight year, trainees from one of Japan’s leading manufacturer of automotive parts, Aisin AW, toured the College of Staten Island campus recently in a visit planned by CSI’s Center for International Service along with the Japan-America Academic Center. 

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Nearly 100 Aisin trainees made the trip, which is part of a larger tour meant to introduce the young trainees to U.S. culture and education as well as visit the company’s facilities in the U.S. According to Center for International Service Interim Executive Director Barbara Clark, the visit was a “chance for these young people to take part in the American college experience.” 

The visit to CSI was part of Aisin’s increasing efforts to familiarize its employees with the English language and U.S. culture.  The CSI visit was one stop on a week-long tour of U.S. institutions in various cities.

These trainees are part of a program meant to cultivate the young employees—many of them were no more than 18 years old—into management positions within the company, so it was imperative that they experience “mingling with people of other cultures,” according to Clark.

“Aisin is a traditionally Japanese company,” explained Clark. Their employees are basically employees for life, entering the company right out of school and growing as employees within, making it important for the company to find exciting ways to experience other people’s practices and cultures.    

The trainees were welcomed by Clark, Study Abroad Advisor Satoko Fukai, and Special Programs Assistant Winnie Brophy before taking an extensive campus tour that introduced the trainees to the CSI Library, Campus Center, Center for the Arts, and the Sports and Recreation Center.

“The trainees loved the Rec Center,” said Ms. Fukai, “it really made them feel like they were visiting a traditionally American campus.”  

Several members of the CSI community were involved in making the visitors feel welcome, including 34 student volunteers who took part in everything from the campus tour to the activities planned in the Recreation Center.  Several of the activities, facilitated by the Coordinator for Student Leadership Programs from the Office of Student Life, Robert King Kee, involved the trainees and the CSI student volunteers discussing their names and nicknames and their potential meanings as a conversation starter. 

“The Kendama presentation was the best part,” said Center for International Service Peer Advisor Daniel Giorlando, a junior Computer Science major who was one of the volunteers. A kendama is a traditional Japanese toy that is sometimes referred to as the classic cup and ball game in the U.S. “The trainees were incredibly dexterous.” 

Giorlando, who recently returned from a studying abroad in China, also took part in the calligraphy and origami exercises and was struck by how friendly and outgoing the trainees were, “We really hit it off,” he said. “I even met some of the Japanese students living here and really got to know them.”

Like most of the staff and student volunteers working for the Center, Giorlando believes that exposure to people from other countries is important to one’s own development. “It’s important to see how other people go about doing things.  You learn that we are all the same in many respects, but you also learn that there are so many other ways to go about doing anything.”

As is tradition, before the Aisin trainees left, they presented the Center for International Service with a plaque that had a single Japanese character  志 (“kokorozashi”) engraved on it that is loosely translated as “aspiration.” 

“As a company, Aisin wants to foster this mentality that personal interaction is vital,” acknowledged Barbara Clark, who accepted the plaque on the Center’s behalf. “This trip is recognized as one of the perks for working for the company. What they may not realize is that their visit is one of the perks of being a part of CSI as well.”

More information about the Center for International Service and its exchange programs is available online.

CSI Bids Farewell to Japanese Students

Visiting students Lijie Kong and Kai Tateishi from Meiji University in Tokyo

In the third year of College of Staten Island’s English Language Institute (ELI) ambassador program, 26 students from Meiji University in Tokyo, Japan spent four weeks living with host families while studying U.S. culture in New York City.

Recently, the students had a chance to celebrate in the Green Dolphin Lounge with their host families during an evening of food and stories of their time in New York.

Although the students spent much of their time studying English and learning about the various aspects of U.S. culture, there was an emphasis on one aspect of our culture that we sometimes take for granted: volunteerism.

The idea of doing something without desire of personal gain is one that is very American and the students from Meiji learned about it by performing community service at Clove Lakes Rehabilitation Center in Staten Island. There, the students participated in arts and craft activities with the elderly residents and even helped to tend the facility’s greenhouse.

“We wanted to introduce the students to the volunteer component of our culture,” said Eileen Bardel, the Volunteer Coordinator for the Rehabilitation Center. Bardel, whose son is teaching English in China, is a veteran of partnerships between visiting CSI students and her Center’s residents. “This program is wonderful for the residents and also helps the students participate in something they may have never experienced before.”

Of course, that is not to say that the students did not take out some time to enjoy themselves during their stay. Most of the students assembled in the lounge toted large shopping bags and excitedly discussed their purchases with each other and their host families. “Everything is so much cheaper here,” said Lijie Kong, otherwise known as Krystal to her host family and ELI staff, while proudly displaying her new Mac laptop to a small crowd.

Goki Sakata (center) with his American host family, Sigrid Biscocho, left, and husband Noel, right.

The students also spent much of their time exploring the city, both with CSI staff and on their own. The programs consisted of expeditions to sites within all five boroughs in order to give the students, according to Winnie Brophy, Special Assistant for the Center for International Service at CSI, “a taste of all of New York City, not just what they may see on television.”

When asked what his favorite experience during his visit was, Goki Sakata answered, quite succinctly, “Times Square.”  The Tokyo native, who is studying Global English, said he was amazed “by the amount of people out at any one time,” and studying all of the iconic sites in Atlantic City; Washington, DC; and Boston was “really the reason I wanted to visit,” he said.

Kai Tateishi, another visiting student, echoed Goki’s sentiment. “Times Square was so impressive. Everything was tall and the streets were so crowded,” he said. Kai went on to explain a couple of interesting distinctions between our two cultures. “American shopkeepers are not so polite,” he joked. “I learned that the hard way.”  He was also surprised by the amount of card swiping shoppers did. “In Japan, we mostly pay with cash.”

What should not be forgotten is that the students are not the only ones positively affected by the visit, most of the host families were also in attendance and they were happy to share some of their memories with each other and the ELI staff.

Sigrid Biscocho, along with her husband, Noel, is a veteran of these types of ambassador programs, with Goki being the fifth student they have hosted. “We like to expose our family to other cultures,” she explained.  “It’s a great learning experience for all of us.”

Barbara Clark

As the introductions came to a close and everyone was gearing up for a hearty dinner before the students had to board a plane for Tokyo in the morning, Barbara Clark, the Deputy Director for the Center of International Service, finished her goodbyes by telling all those assembled, “The memory of your visit will be in our hearts forever.” It was obvious that the feeling was mutual as the potluck was underway and the students and their hosts made one last effort to create an everlasting memory of their visit.

[gallery] Sigma Beta Delta Holds Inaugural Induction Ceremony

The Sigma Beta Delta honor society recently held its inaugural induction ceremony.

The College of Staten Island (CSI) recently held its inaugural induction ceremony for its chapter of the Sigma Beta Delta International Honor Society for Business, Management, and Administration.

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The society’s main function is to reward upper-class or graduate Business students who have achieved academic excellence and placed in the top 20 percent of their class.

“CSI now has a way to formally recognize its students that transcends institutions and even countries,” said Dr. Susan Holak, Associate Provost for Institutional Effectiveness and Professor of Marketing, addressing the importance of having a chapter on the CSI campus.

The 53 CSI student inductees hold majors in a variety of fields—including students from The Verrazano School and the Macaulay Honors College—such as Accounting, Finance, International Business, Management, and Marketing.

“Being a part of Sigma Beta Delta is a huge accomplishment. To know that I am in the top 20 percent of my class makes me feel like all my hard work during college really paid off. I am honored to be part of such a great honor society,” said Adejoke Adegoke, Accounting major and President of the Accounting Club. Francesco Cirillo, an honoree majoring in Marketing and International Business added, “I would have never thought I would achieve such a prestigious honor…I dedicate this award to my parents for sacrificing themselves to give me the opportunity to achieve the unimaginable.”

Along with these exceptional students, 12 faculty and members of the administration were also inducted for creating the learning experiences that are at the heart of the Sigma Beta Delta mission. The inducted professors include Soon Chun, Daniel Gagliardi, Patricia Galletta, Rosane Gertner, Jonathan Peters, George Wang, and Alan Zimmerman.

“Having a chapter on campus is “a great way for the Business Department to recognize the outstanding academic achievements of our students. Students receive lifetime recognition as well as other benefits such as networking opportunities and the eligibility to compete for the society’s fellowship awards,” said Professor Deepa Aravind, Assistant Professor of Management.

President Tomás D. Morales and Provost William Fritz were also inducted as honorary members.

The CSI Business Department is the largest department on campus in terms of enrollment, and its students now have an academic honor for which they can strive as they pave their way toward success. Sigma Beta Delta gives the highest-achieving students further accolades to use as they build their network bases from CSI and its environs to members across the globe, giving Sigma Beta Delta members a leg up in the extremely competitive world of business. “Our chapter of Sigma Beta Delta is another reflection of the growth of our school and the progress of our students,” said Professor Thomas Tellefsen, Professor of Business at CSI.

The inaugural induction ceremony of this 372nd chapter of the society was also a way to honor the hard work of those who helped to establish the CSI chapter of Sigma Beta Delta— Chapter President Holak,  Chapter Vice President  Tellefsen, and Chapter Secretary-Treasurer Deepa Aravind, when they were formally inducted on April 26.

The honor society’s principles are imbedded in its name: Sigma, which means wisdom, is meant to remind students that wisdom is not merely information but is the acknowledgment of information and the ability to incorporate it into one’s own life.  Beta, which signifies honor, demands that students respect others and are willing to provide leadership to the benefit of humankind. Finally, Delta signifies the pursuit of meaningful aspirations.

“As members of Sigma Beta Delta, (CSI students) will join thousands of other individuals who have excelled in business-related studies and have promised to uphold the tenets of the honor society,” said Dr. Holak as she addressed the inductees.

The CSI Business Department will be listing all of the Sigma Beta Delta honorees on the Department Website as a way to further honor the hard work of its members.

 

Students Present at International Conference in Morocco

Students dressed in traditional Moroccan kaftans for a special dinner event during their visit. Photo by Melinda Gooch.

Many college students spend spring break relaxing on one of Florida’s famous beaches, soaking up the sun while preparing themselves for the late semester push that can make or break so many college undergrads.

However, some spend the break presenting at scientific conferences, as was the case with 38 CSI students who attended the 18th International Taurine Conference in Marrakech, Morocco.

The group of 38 students, consisting mostly of CSI undergraduates, included students in the C-STEP program and The Verrazano School. There were also graduate and PhD students who participated. Students joined faculty from all over the world, many of them experts on the amino acid and its effects on different organ systems, as well as its effects on a wide variety of diseases.

Several of the undergraduates, including Evelyn Okeke, who was highlighted in a recent CSI Today student profile, presented their research on Taurine along with several hundred faculty presenters at the conference. CSI Graduate students were also among those who presented their work. All of the students were science majors, earning one or two independent study credits for the trip. Drs. William L’Amoreaux and Abdeslem El Idrissi organized the conference, developed the study abroad courses, and mentored the students. Many of the students had worked and studied in the professors’ research labs since they were freshmen.

“We had a huge number of students take part in this study abroad program,” said Dr. Deborah Vess, Associate Provost for Undergraduate Studies and Academic Programs, who assisted the professors in implementing and organizing the study abroad arrangements. The Morocco program is an example of CSI’s faculty-led course abroad initiative, which is now in its second year. The program was so popular that Dr. Vess even went so far as to say that it was CSI’s “most successful faculty-led study abroad program thus far.”

While the point of the trip was to attend the conference, “these students learned so much by just traveling to Morocco and taking part in the culture,” said Debra Evans-Greene, C-STEP Project Director. She also called the program a chance for underrepresented and disadvantaged students “to experience something wonderful and become a major part of the College community.”

Evans-Greene also proudly pointed out that within a week of returning from Morocco, Angelica Grant, one of CSI’s C-STEP students, won first place in the social sciences at the annual statewide C-STEP conference at the Sagamore in New York, presenting in the field of psychology.

The trip to Morocco was not all business, however. This was spring break, after all. The students spent time on excursions such as visiting the Djemmaa el-Fna market place in Marrakech’s medina quarter.

As Victoria Papazian, one of the students who traveled to Marrakech, wrote in her “Dolphins Across the Seven Seas” blog, “It was amazing to see so many people selling different goods and the children running around together and playing games.” The students also visited a huge carpet store and were introduced to the Hassan II Mosque, near Casablanca. The highlight for many of the students seemed to be the Cheez-Ali dinner night, which reminded blogger Papazian of “Medieval Times and Aladdin,” with camel rides and belly dancers.

The program, and the conference, was part of a larger course experience with funding provided for several of the CSI students. Although the cost of the trip (flight, room and board, and conference fees) totaled approximately $2,000 per student, many students received funding from the approximately $25,000 total in scholarships awarded to students this year to conduct research and study abroad.

“This is a model we want to continue,” said Vess, adding that the student’s success at the conference was “a real tribute to our faculty and staff.”

The opportunities presented to the students who joined the program were only half of the equation. It is a tribute to the quality of CSI students that so many of them applied for the study abroad program and spent their spring break leaving their comfort zones in order to take advantage of this once-in-a lifetime experience.

[gallery] Phi Beta Delta Honor Society Second Annual Induction Ceremony

The College of Staten Island (CSI) recently held its second annual induction ceremony of students, faculty, and staff into the Phi Beta Delta Honor Society for International Scholars.

The Eta Lambda chapter at CSI—the first ever for a CUNY campus–inducted 59 scholars from all walks of life, but the tie that binds them together is their commitment to spreading their knowledge and experience across the globe, eliminating cultural and geographic borders.

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“The emphasis of the honor society is to bring a unique, international quality to CSI,” commented Ann Helm, Executive Director of the Center for International Service and the coordinator of the Eta Lambda chapter.  “We are dedicated to extending the boundaries of the campus.”

The reciprocal nature of CSI’s multiple international exchange and ambassador programs ensures that the CSI campus community will grow well beyond Victory Boulevard and reach out to nations across the globe.

The honor society’s goals break down into four categories: (1) to recognize the scholarly achievement of students and scholars who come from other countries to study at CSI or who study abroad while enrolled here; (2) serve as a vehicle for the development of academic-based international programming; (3) provide a network on campus involved in international endeavors; and (4) extend this network in chapters across the world.

“It is important to recognize people who help students earn an international education as well as the students themselves,” said CSI Professor of Business, Alan Zimmerman of the value of having a chapter on campus.  The newly elected president of the Eta Lambda Chapter also spoke about why international education is more important now than ever before. “Many corporations are looking for international experience in students,” said Zimmerman.  “In order to be a fully rounded student you must be exposed to other countries.”

Each student, faculty, staff, visiting scholar or alumni member was nominated by the Eta Lambda Chapter Board based on his or her work in supporting an international community.  Students who were inducted all had international experience either as international students attending CSI or as domestic CSI students studying abroad.  The faculty and staff all must show some evidence of performing international research, teach internationally, or provide a comparable service to the international community.  No matter the requisites, all inductees must show a dedication to spreading their wealth of knowledge internationally.  “The honor society stands for excellence and requires excellence,” said Helm.

The success of CSI’s international programs was validated during the induction ceremony as 34 students were inducted this year, all from different cultural as well as academic backgrounds.  The students were joined by 20 members of the CSI faculty or staff, all of whom added valuable international experience to this culturally rich and vibrant campus.

Having a CSI chapter of the Phi Beta Delta honors society “shows CSI is making its ‘world class, right here’ slogan a reality,” said Meagan Derbyshire, Political Science and Philosophy major and honors society inductee.  The class of 2013 Macaulay Honors College student was inducted for her study abroad work in the Galapagos and London as well as for her coursework as a Political Science major with a heavy international focus.  As a student hoping to pursue a career in global medicine, Meagan believes having the Phi Beta Delta honors society on campus “further emphasizes the importance of global education.”

The induction ceremony was sponsored by the CSI Alumni Association, the Student Government, and the CSI International Business Society.

PHI BETA DELTA is an organization dedicated in recognizing scholarly achievement and is comprised of 168 chartered chapters worldwide.  It is the first honor society dedicated to recognizing scholarly achievement in international education.

Students Celebrate at Spring Culture Day

CSI’s English Language Institute recently held its Spring Culture Day, which is a celebration of diversity.

CSI’s English Language Institute (ELI) held its Spring Culture Day in the Campus Center Green Dolphin Lounge. The event is a celebration of the diverse heritages of the students participating in the Institute’s intensive English program.

Over the years, CSI has hosted thousands of students from all walks of life seeking degrees in hundreds of different majors. One often overlooked yet quite significant function of the College is to serve as an ambassador to people from around the world. CSI’s ELI welcomes students from around the world to learn English within a U.S. cultural context.  The CSI campus, its faculty, facilities, and even students are all part of the English language learning process with the purpose of training the ELI students in not only English usage but also in what it means to  live in a U.S. city as vast and diverse as New York.

The English Language Institute’s Culture Day is an event steeped in cultural enrichment. Diversity is celebrated as students from around the globe provide a meaningful learning experience as they share their native customs, traditions, and more. Culture Day is an excellent forum for cross-cultural exchange between ELI students and CSI students. The event allows ELI students to showcase their English-speaking skills to each other and the ELI faculty and staff.

In this and many other ways, the CSI campus community is enriched by the inclusion of these bright, young individuals.  “ELI students enrich all of our lives,” said Joanne Riggio, the ELI Academic Coordinator. “Their contributions to the campus community are innumerable.”

“I have so much more confidence now,” said Lisbeth Chionchio, ELI student and emcee of Culture Day event. “These teachers are so great; I can speak so much more fluently than I could before I attended the ELI.” Chionchio began attending the ELI in 2010 when she was in Staten Island visiting a friend. She says that her fondest memory of the ELI is of meeting her American husband while studying here. Chionchio, who graduated May 4, says she is “sad to leave ELI  but excited about what the future will hold.”

The Culture Day event is the perfect culmination of all of the hard work that the ELI students, faculty, and staff put in throughout the semester. The interactive nature of the program is obvious during the presentations as students consistently offer support to each other, as well as share a few laughs. There was an extra bit of laughter as Soyean Park, one of the ELI students attempted to teach the attendees how to play “Yutnori,” the traditional Korean board game. Park even tested the audience with questions about the rules of the game after her presentation and handed out prizes to the winners.

During the presentations, the confidence of the students was impressive, especially since many of them had only joined the program a few months earlier.  By the time the presentations had ended, the audience had learned about Korean Wave music or K-Pop, Beijing architecture, and even food from Syria.

“We get a real sense of joy seeing our students succeed,” said Diane Viggiano, and ELI teacher. The ELI’s focus on lending support, developing one-on-one communications skills, and including conversational partners helps make CSI the go-to destination for learning English. It also does not hurt that CSI is located so close to such an international and vibrant city–an added advantage for ELI students who enjoy these opportunities through excursions throughout the semester. In addition, for many ELI students, the goal is entry to CSI.

[gallery] Studying in Hong Kong, I Made Friends from All Over the Globe

Katrina Hannon (right) with her friends, Caroline DeJong from Holland (left), and Nicola Bain from England (center) studied together in Hong Kong.

I had the amazing opportunity of spending the spring 2011 semester as an exchange student in Hong Kong. Hong Kong opened up my life to so many possibilities. Compared to CSI, City University of Hong Kong was quite small but it’s the location that matters. Hong Kong is such a fascinating city with very intriguing people and places. It’s a big city much like a New York. It reminded me of being in Manhattan all the time. There’s an underground train, lots of lights, big skyscrapers, and tons of people. There are 7 million people living in that small city! Ninety five percent of the people are Chinese and speak Cantonese. Less than half of the people speak English. Part of the excitement of living there was just trying to communicate!

View Katrina’s Photo Gallery.

There were over 200 other exchange students so I made friends from all over the globe. My best friends were a Dutch girl and an English girl. They taught me new things everyday. I plan to visit them in Europe sometime in the next year. I’m excited because I have never been to Europe and will have people to show me around. I also made friends with local students. Some locals were intimated by me (and other exchange students), but most of them were interested in getting to know exchange students. A few locals from my class took me for dim sum and showed me the best places to eat and go shopping.

I lived in the student residence halls which were right up the block from campus. I shared a bedroom with one roommate. My roommate was a local girl named Kaki. After living there for a couple of months, she confessed that she didn’t understand a word I said in the beginning! Fortunately over time (and with me speaking a bit slower) her English listening and speaking skills strengthened and communication became easier. It was fun having a Chinese roommate. Kaki has family in mainland China and I got to spend Chinese New Year with her and her family in Guangzhou, China! It was awesome. I learned Cantonese culture, Chinese culture, Hong Kong culture (which actually are all different) and all about the lunar new year. They even gave me lots of red pockets with money inside and I didn’t even know them! It’s considered tradition for married people to give red pockets to single people; they believe its good luck. Communicating with her family was interesting as they spoke only a few English words and I spoke only a few Chinese words. My roommate’s six year old brother taught me how to count to ten in Putongua (Mandarin). He speaks Cantonese and is learning Putongua as well as English in school. It is typical for all children in Hong Kong to be learning all three languages at five years old.

By the time I came back home, I knew how to say hello, goodbye, thank you and “Bring me to City University of Hong Kong dorms please” in Cantonese. I took a Mandarin Chinese (Putongua) level 1 course so I learned very basic conversational Mandarin.

Living in Hong Kong gave me so many new experiences. I visited many of the tourist hot spots such as the Big Buddha on Lantau Island; the 10,000 Buddhas monastery; LKF or Lan Kwoi Fung which is the clubbing district; Mongkok, the shopping district; Lamma Island, and Victoria Peak which took hours of hiking to reach the top! I have tons of great photos full of fun memories that I will never forget.

I was also able to travel a lot while I was abroad. Hong Kong is the perfect gateway for travelling Southeast Asia. I went to multiple cities in mainland China including Guangzhou, Shenzhen, Huizhou, and Beijing! I also went to Macau, Philippines, Singapore, Indonesia, Thailand, Laos, Cambodia, Vietnam and I stopped for a day-long layover in South Korea on my journey back to New York. I saw so many places and new things; I learned about various Asian cultures. I tried eating chicken feet, locusts, crickets, lots of strange Chinese food, Thai food, and drank snake blood. It may not sound appealing, but believe me it was all a great adventure! I pet tigers, rode an elephant, also rode an ostrich, and spent weekends watching the sunset (and sunrise) on beaches in many different countries. I made friends all over the world. I learned a lot about other cultures and people and about myself too. I had the experience of the lifetime studying abroad on exchange! Most people are very surprised to learn that travelling to Asia was actually my first time outside of the United States.

I am very lucky to have had all these wonderful experiences and am very grateful to CSI’s Center for International Service for providing me with such an exceptional opportunity. Visit the Center for International Service in 2A – 206 to learn about more fantastic international opportunities!

–Katrina Hannan ’12

(Katrina is a proud graduate of Susan Wagner High School.)

CSI Strengthens Relationship with Vietnamese University

Representatives from Thai Nguyen University of Technology recently visited the CSI campus.

Members from Vietnam’s Thai Nguyen University of Technology (TNUT) visited the College of Staten Island campus on October 23 through 26 as part of an effort to discuss English language training, two-plus-two programs, joint research, and other possibilities for cooperation. 

The TNUT contingent, led by Professor Dr. Nguyen Dang Binh, former Rector of TNUT and Assistant Professor Dr. Phan Quang, current Rector of TNUT, met with several members of the CSI staff and faculty including Dr.William Fritz, Provost and Senior Vice President of Academic Affairs and the official host of event, and Dr. Deborah Vess, Associate Provost for Undergraduate Studies and Academic Programs.  

The purpose of the TNUT visit was many-fold. This was one in a series of visits between members of the two campuses meant to solidify the relationship between the two schools. “This was a very effective visit,” said Dr. Vess, one of the many CSI staff members who are heading the TNUT-CSI collaboration. Vess, who will soon be meeting with TNUT officials inVietnam, believed there was “a clear interest on their part” in further collaborations and establishing a formal partnership to offer a two-plus-two program in engineering and possibly other disciplines. 

CSI, which is already collaborating with the Post and Telecommunications Institute of Technology (PTIT) inVietnam, is constantly seeking to extend its already impressive global reach. “We want more students to go abroad,” said Vess.  Currently, 130 CSI students are studying abroad, but Vess wants to one day double that number. “We (CSI) want to create more opportunities for our students and faculty,” she said, “…to expose more students to a global, multicultural environment.”  Similarly, the institution also wants to attract more international students, to enrich the diversity of the campus to expose our students to members of other cultures.  

The benefit for TNUT is that their students gain access to CSI’s approach to general education. In their first few years of undergraduate study, “Vietnamese students focus on a narrower area of expertise then we do,” Vess said.  “At CSI, we offer a world-class general education foundation as well as excellent resources for practical applications. There are some great fundamental skills to be learned through a Liberal Arts education.”  The TNUT students who enroll at CSI will also have access to New York City, a powerful intellectual and cultural draw.  

If the meetings are completed on schedule, and by all indications they will be, the collaborative program will begin in the Fall 2012 semester with a two-plus-two student exchange, a faculty exchange, and English training programs for both Vietnamese students and faculty.    

As soon as the final meetings are completed, CSI will begin preparation for the transferring Vietnamese students by offering them English training through CSI’s English Language Institute as well as advising them through the CSI admission process. At TNUT, they will be preparing their facilities for visiting CSI professors who will be using this opportunity to pursue research interests in Asia.  

This collaboration is in line with CSI’s pursuit of cultural and intellectual enrichment by offering students and faculty an opportunity to expand their cultural horizons. The world is getting smaller and “CSI is committed to contributing to a greater understanding of diverse cultures and their people,” said Vess.  The chance for members of the CSI community to travel to Asia is one few universities provide. Factoring that with TNUT’s desire to send students to our campus can only strengthen CSI’s standing in the global conversation.