Faculty Forum Opens Eyes About Internationalization

By Manuel Carrillo III

The College of the Extended University’s International Center
hosted a study abroad information seminar on Wednesday at the
Bronco Student Center.

The conference was part of the center’s annual international
education week which promotes intercultural awareness.

The faculty forum, led by Dr. Faiza Shereen, the International
Center Director, was a promotional seminar to further students’
knowledge of the international studies programs available at Cal
Poly, while also touching on the issue of internationalization
versus denationalization.

Shereen is concerned with the fact that some students may feel
reluctant to study abroad due to a sense of national pride that
could make them aversive to appreciating other nations’ customs and
cultures.

“I thought the presentation was very motivating. I’m glad the
school is showing us that there is life outside the classroom,”
said Joey Browning, a fourth-year management and human resources
student. “There is so much that we can learn from other
cultures.”

For students unlike Browning, disinclination to exploration of
other cultures outside of the U.S. is viewed by Shereen as the
unnecessary and oppressive force of denationalization. Shereen
worries that students may be avoiding studying abroad because of
their interpretation of international study as an unpatriotic
act.

“There shouldn’t be any diminishment of who the student is and
their love for the country. It shouldn’t be, ‘I can only love one
and not the other,'” Shereen said of the feeling of prohibitive
patriotism. “Why can’t we just release that?”

Shereen stated that globalization plays a role in the way
students should view intercultural study.

“You must realize we’re at the beginning of the 21st Century,
and this century is going to be different from the last one, in
that all the advances that we have made technologically, have made
the world interdependent.

“We cannot live in isolation anymore and be able to survive as
independent, separate, enclosed people. We are going to have to
interact. From the minute you wake up every morning, to the minute
you go to bed at night, you’ll have touched things that have been
touched by people around the world: the alarm clock that wakes you
up, the clothes you put on, the car you drive, the books that you
read are all touched in some way by the lives of other people in
other parts of the world.

“Interdependence means that we have to see ourselves as citizens
of the world … and you need to prepare yourselves for this. We as
an institution of higher education would be failing if we didn’t
provide you with an opportunity to learn about the world you live
in,” Shereen said.

The International Center stresses that studying abroad is an
important part of learning. “Take advantage of these opportunities
while they’re before you,” said Thresa Ansley, the study abroad
adviser. “Take advantage of these opportunities while you’re young
and have got parents that will pay for it.”

Manuel Carrillo III can be reached by e-mail at
news@thepolypost.com or by phone at (909) 869-3747.

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