#FSUglobal: President Thrasher, FSU community celebrate International Education Month 

President Thrasher meets with students during the opening reception of International Education Month.
President Thrasher meets with students during the opening reception of International Education Month.

Florida State University President John Thrasher welcomed students, faculty and staff at the opening reception of FSU’s International Education Month Tuesday, Nov. 5, celebrating the benefits of international education and exchange.

“Florida State University is a leader in international education and research,” Thrasher said. “Building global and cultural competencies in the FSU community is so important to us that we made it part of our strategic plan — and it’s reflected in all of our major goals. That’s because we know providing international opportunities and nurturing a rich multicultural environment is key to both student and faculty success.”

Following the opening reception, FSU students presented about their experiences abroad at the 13th Annual Going Global Showcase. The event featured student posters about various international experiences, such as Beyond BordersGlobal ExchangesGlobal ScholarsInternational Programs and the Moellership Program, as well as other independent travel.

FSU junior Morgan Geck, who studied in Hong Kong last spring through one of FSU’s Global Exchanges, shared how studying internationally has shaped her future career path.

“This experience changed my opinion of what I wanted to do in the future because when I went abroad it made me realize how little I knew about the world,” Geck said. “Originally I was studying fashion design, and now I’m pursuing Asian studies with an emphasis in business so that I can learn more about other cultures and compete in an increasingly globalized market.”

Students also presented about their experiences in Bolivia, Costa Rica, England, France, Germany, Ghana, Greece, Hong Kong, S.A.R. China, Kenya, Italy, Israel/Palestine, Mexico, Morocco, Panama, Senegal and Vietnam.

FSU senior Aura Esterling, who presented at the Going Global Showcase, studied abroad with FSU’s International Programs office.

“This program was a one-of-a-kind opportunity for me,” Esterling said. “This was the only program where I could be completely immersed in a tropical environment. Not everyone gets to call the rainforest their office. It was a really unique opportunity to go to another country, be completely immersed in the culture and improve my communication skills, both with my FSU cohort and Panamanians I met.”

Patricia Mehaffy is an FSU junior studying chemistry who went to Africa through the Global Scholars program.

“In the STEM field you have to keep in mind that you’re working for the betterment of the whole world and not every culture has the same needs,” Mehaffy said. “This experience broadened my perspective about the types of needs around the world and how that varies from culture to culture.”

Several international students also attended the reception.

Cihan Can, an international student from Turkey, is pursuing his Ph.D. in math education and will graduate from FSU this December after having spent the last several years here.

“I chose FSU because the professors from our department were really welcoming, and the community I found here has helped me succeed,” Can said. “In my career, I would like to focus on multiculturalism in math education because it’s really important to be aware of the cultural identities of students in your classroom, even with a topic like mathematics that is supposed to be universal and devoid of cultural influence.”

Center for Intensive English Studies (CIES) students Renata Moreira and Zayed Almalki, from Brazil and Saudi Arabia respectively, expressed their enthusiasm to study English at FSU through CIES as they prepare for graduate study.

“I hope to study law after CIES,” Moreira said. “Every day I have an amazing experience at FSU. I love my professors here. I really enjoy meeting different people, and I really like to speak English because I want to communicate with people from different countries.”

International Education Month events run throughout the month of November. For a full list of events, visit cge.fsu.edu/iem.

For more information about how FSU is making connections around the world, visit global.fsu.edu.