ISSUED: 20 July 2017
MEDIA CONTACT: Valerie Owens
SHEPHERDSTOWN, WV — Shepherd University will host a delegation of advisors from EducationUSA on Thursday, August 3. The 12 advisors will spend the day in the Eastern Panhandle learning more about Shepherd and the area before heading to Morgantown to visit West Virginia University.
“International students are a very important part of Shepherd’s academic and campus life and we are quite excited about the advisors’ visit,” said Dr. Charles Nieman, Shepherd’s director of international affairs. “Our hope is that they will see and experience a sampling of the many special things that make West Virginia and Shepherd University a great place for their students to study.”
EducationUSA is a U.S. Department of State network of more than 400 international student advising centers in at least 170 countries. The network promotes U.S. higher education to students around the world by offering accurate, comprehensive, and current information about opportunities to study at accredited postsecondary institutions.
The State Department approved a proposal by WVU to partner with Shepherd to host the delegation as part of EducationUSA Forum 2017, a management training program running July 31-August 2 in Washington, D.C. Nieman said the forum is sponsored by the U.S. State Department to serve as a convenient venue for advisors to share information and practices, and for university and college representatives to gain practical skills and explore strategies for utilizing EducationUSA. The advisors slated to visit West Virginia include representatives of advising centers in Australia, Benin, Bolivia, Iran, Korea, Kuwait, Nigeria, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Vietnam, and Zimbabwe. Together, these 12 countries account for 190,000, or nearly 20 percent, of the international students currently studying in the U.S.
Visiting Shepherd before heading to WVU will give the advisors a chance to see two distinctly different schools and two very different parts of the state. Nieman said the tour will include some local history along with information about the university and what it offers international students.
“We’ll meet the advisors in Harpers Ferry where they will receive a park ranger tour,” Nieman said. “At Shepherd we’ll talk about the university and how it offers an international student the opportunity to get to know America in a very intimate way.”
Nieman said the tour will include talks about Appalachian history and the Civil War by Dr. Ben Bankhurst, assistant professor of history, and Dr. Jim Broomall, director of the George Tyler Moore Center for the Study of the Civil War.
According to NAFSA: Association of International Educators, during the 2015-2016 academic year 1,043,839 international students studied at U.S. colleges and universities, contributing $32.8 billion and supporting 400,812 jobs. David Smith, executive director of recruitment and entrepreneurial programs at WVU who wrote and submitted the proposal that resulted in the visit, said the students also bring academic and cultural value to campuses and local communities.
“The value to our schools is obvious and we were very pleased to learn that ours was one of only four proposals that was accepted,” Smith said. “Both schools are working hard to make the visit to West Virginia a valuable one for the advisors.”
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