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Season's Greetings from the UCIE! As the year draws to an end, I am reminded of the many talented and gifted students who have made up our international program at Wright State. Many are going abroad for the first time and braving a rapidly changing world with the dream of an education and adventure in another country.
For our international students in particular, we are thrilled to have you here during a time of great change in our country. Know that you are valued, so much so that Wright State came together to reach out to all current and prospective international students in a video entitled, #YouAreWelcomeHere. Thank you to all the students, faculty, and staff who energetically participated in this effort.
UCIE is busily preparing for prospective students to arrive this Spring Semester and have many programs and activities planned throughout January. We also want to encourage you to promote our many study abroad programs and opportunities to students. Our Ambassador Programs have several deadlines coming up in January and February. Don't lose your chance to be awarded a $500 scholarship to participate in a program abroad!
You Are Welcome Here at Wright State University
You can follow additional #YouAreWelcomeHere efforts on social media by using the hashtag, #youarewelcomehere.
Happy holidays and best wishes for the New Year!
Pradeep Paladugula grew up in Karnataka, India. Although he currently speaks five languages, he wrestled with English when he arrived in the United States.
“The language barrier was a major drawback for me at first,” he said. ”I could read and write, but I struggled to communicate with others, which affected how I interacted with people.”
While at Wright State, Paladugula sharpened his English-speaking skills by waking up early, reading newspapers and compiling a vocabulary list. He also practiced speaking English at Wright State’s University Center for International Education, where he volunteered and later became the international check-in coordinator. He was also president of the center’s International Cultural Exchange, which exposes international students to American culture and fosters friendships between international students and their American counterparts.
While in India, Paladugula played organized competitive volleyball at a high level and later became a member of Wright State’s first men’s volleyball club. He is also in Student Government, a member of the Student Conduct Panel and a brother in the Beta Phi Omega fraternity.
“At every stage of my accomplishments, I was developing new qualities,” he said. “The person who arrived at Wright State had no personal-development skills, but the person going out has a lot of them. I had a lot of opportunities and support at Wright State.”
Paladugula will receive his master’s degree in electrical engineering and has a 3.0 GPA. He and research partner Agasthya Ayachit are writing a journal on “flyback converters” under adviser Mariam K. Kazimierczuk.
Paladugula says he is grateful for the research opportunities at Wright State and the work ethic the university instilled in him. Following graduation, he hopes to work in the electronics industry.
Meet Emma Sobolik Peterson. Emma is an International Studies major that just got back from studying in Santiago, Chile. While in Chile for a semester, Emma got to really work on her Spanish skills, live with a host family, and spend her weekends traveling. Check out this picture of Emma with her friends climbing an active volcano. Prior to spending a semester in Chile, she participated in the Costa Rica Ambassador Program over the summer.
We are so proud of Emma. She have truly taken advantage of our motto, "Travel, Learn, and Explore." Did we also mention that Emma is preparing for her third study abroad program to Lyon, France for this upcoming spring semester? Way to go Emma!
This month we are highlighting another member in our host family program, Ginny Davis. Ginny currently works at Dayton Children’s Hospital as a nurse in Pediatrics. She recently received the prestigious DAISY Award, which acknowledges and celebrates the extraordinary care and compassion a nurse shows to his or her patients. The DAISY Award is featured in over 2,000 hospitals around the world and is very competitive. Out of the thousands of nurses that work for Dayton Children’s Hospital, only 4 nurses receive it every year, and Ginny is one of them.
When asked why she wanted to be a part of our host family program, Ginny said, “In college, I became friends with someone whose family was friends with many international students from Ohio State University. They had them over for dinner once when I was over. In talking with one of the international students, he mentioned to me that he had been in the USA for a year but that this was his first time visiting an American home. Ever since then, I wanted to be that person that had international students over to their home. I want them to experience my culture. The reality is you don’t get the full experience of a culture just staying at a university. Getting connected with the locals plays a major role in your experience of that country. If I was in their country, I would want to experience their culture just as much as they want to experience mine.”
Ginny has greatly enjoyed being a part of UCIE’s Host Family Program. “I have really enjoyed the deep and meaningful conversations we have had and trying different foods. She cooks for me and I cook for her. It has been such a good exchange of cultures, recipes, opinions, and customs. Being a host family to an international student really broadens your horizon and helps you understand the world from a different perspective. You will not regret it because you get more than you put in!”
The University Center for International Education would like to recognize the following students from the Kno.e.sis Center for their extraordinary achievements. Way to go students!
- Vinh Nguyen receives Best Resources Track Reviewer Award at the International Semantic Web Conference 2016.
- Kalpa Gunaratna was a co-organizer of the second international workshop on summarizing and presenting entities and ontologies(SumPre16) as well as ENSEC entity summarization challenge at European Semantic Web Conference 2016 in Anissaras, Crete, Greece.
Host a WSU international student in your home next semester!
- Foster friendship, cultural exchange, and hospitality.
- Have a global experience in your own home.
- Experience cross cultural relationships.
- Encourage language skills.
The UCIE Host Family Program fosters friendship, cultural exchange, and hospitality between international students and American families by encouraging the sharing of meals, holidays, and other activities. Join today: http://bit.ly/ucie-host