Several vital components are critical to the process of internationalization at MVSU:
Study Abroad Program: The goal of the Study Abroad Program is internationalize our students and faculty by allowing them to broaden their intellectual and cultural horizons by experiencing educational opportunities in foreign universities and centers. Our students must be prepared to meet the challenges of an increasingly connected, but continually fragmented, world through exposure to the broadest possible knowledge in their area of study. Part of that preparation must consist of an understanding of the responsibilities inherent in a more integrated world, along with the opportunities and challenges it presents. The University must prepare students to be competent in diverse settings. Competence requires that students have not only the requisite understanding of subject areas and language skills, but also a deep respect for different cultures, approaches and forms of knowledge, and ability to integrate the two. See also: Kazakhstan State Women's Teacher Training University (KSWTTU) at http://kazmkpu.kz/en and Knowledge Exchange Institute at http://www.keiabroad.org/
Faculty Exchange Program: The Faculty Exchange Program is important in its on right but is also critical to the Study Abroad Program. Faculty exchanges are important to the University’s efforts to develop, strengthen, and diversify its academic linkages with partner institutions abroad. Faculty research must be informed by knowledge from around the world. Whenever possible, our international research should be collaborative, pursued through effective partnerships and the results shared or made available in the societies and locales in which that research was carried out. The University must adopt deliberate measures to ensure that research finds its way back to the classroom. Exchanges are intended to provide MVSU faculty members with the knowledge they need to help integrate study abroad into the curricula, while providing them with collaborative research and teaching opportunities. Exchange visitors also gather information and provide advice to Office of International Programs about the programs and courses available at host institutions, as well as student welfare issues. OIP’s efforts to move the University along the internationalization pathway include several programs/activities. See also: Kazakhstan State Women's Teacher Training University (KSWTTU) at http://kazmkpu.kz/en and Knowledge Exchange Institute at http://www.keiabroad.org/
Foreign Languages: OIP has undertaken efforts to increase and enhance the University’s language offerings in order to increase the marketability of its students. While French and Spanish are commonly taught languages, these are not considered critical languages. In order to better prepare our students for employment in the global economy we must provide greater language options,which, in our case, has resulted in the development of two programs:
- Critical Languages Program: As the global interdependent economy continues to expand, especially in Asia,the foreign languages literacy needs of the University and of the Mississippi Delta must be met. Currently a focus on Chinese, Spanish, Arabic and Russian language studies facilitates our internationalization efforts and better enable our students to navigate the international system.
The teaching of these languages coupled with immersion opportunities, at home and abroad,contribute immensely to MVSU’s internationalization efforts.
- Institute for the Study of Languages and Cultures: The Language and Culture Institute is designed to offer foreign language instructions 2 hours on Wednesday and 4 hours on Saturdays for local elementary students during after school hours from January-May, August-December and 4-6 hours daily from June-July. The Language Institute offers MVSU students enrolled in Spanish, French, Russian, Arabic and Chinese courses a dynamic laboratory, which enables them to practice and enhance their language skills. MVSU students serve as teaching-assistants and tutors for the elementary school program. Each language is taught by a native-speaker, who is a trained linguist and/or certified language teacher. A cultural component, includes lectures, films and cultural excursions relevant to the target languages, which enrich the learning experience. The entire University and wider-community participate in lectures and film events.
Other Programs and Services:
Gateway Leadership Ambassadors Program (GLAP): Mississippi Valley State University welcomes international students from different countries. The GLAP program was established to help new international students connect with U.S. students. International students arrive in the United States only days or weeks before school starts. Once they arrive, they are confronted with language barriers, culture shock, loneliness, and study stress, among other worries. GLAP seeks to ease international students integration into the University. Thus, newly arriving international students are paired with U.S. students to participate in one-on-one and group activities throughout the school year. International partners learn about the university and the community, as well as cultural customs of the area. U.S.partners also benefit from the partnership by learning about other cultures,customs, values and traditions. The Program provides an opportunity for cultural sharing and exchange on the MVSU campus.
Participating in Program does involve commitment. GLAP partners must commit to meeting seven times or more throughout the year. GLAP partners compare schedules and decide when to meet throughout the year. OIP provides a list of suggested activities and events that partners can participate in or attend. GLAP participants are also required to keep a short journal and write about their experiences and activities with their partner.
International Student Services: Issuance of I-20s for International Students; Registering Students with USCIS each semester;Daily monitoring of the Student and Exchange Visitors and International Scholar’s System and Responding to Request for Information; Certification of International Students for Circular and Optional Practical Training; Responding to Students’ who encounter entrance/border patrol problems; Tracking and Monitoring Students’ Academic Progress as well as activities that impact theirF-1 Visa Status; Assisting International Students with acquisition of Social Security Number and resolving tax issues; Housing and Travel assistance,especially during holidays and beginning/ending of each semester; and Planning extra-curricular programs.
International Scholar Services: Ascertaining Prevailing Wage Documents; Filing Labor Certification H-1B Visa and Permanent Resident Applications for International Faculty and their Dependents; Obtaining J-1Visas for visiting Scholars/Researchers;
Support for Other Units: Advise and Assist Office of Admissions and Graduate Program with review of transcripts and other required documents; Provide transcript evaluations for Office of Admissions and various academic units and Athletic Department; Advise HR and Fiscal Affairs on Employment and Tax issues for International Faculty, Visiting Scholars and International Students.