Center for Global Connections Encourages International Student Engagement
October 23, 2012
Robin Melavalin (top right) and Monica Johnson (bottom left) welcome international students to the Center for Global Connections.
There’s a new home for international students at Mount Ida College—and once they drop by for a visit they don’t want to leave. Located in Carlson Hall, across from the book store, the new Center for Global Connections provides domestic and international students with an on-campus hangout where they can share in each other’s cultures, languages and lifestyles. Robin Melavalin, the College’s new Director of the Center for Global Connections, is eager to meet the growing demand for international opportunities on campus.
Reaching Out Globally
“I’m excited to be a part of the Mount Ida College community and look forward to building on our already strong international foundation,” said Melavalin. “International students bring incredible diversity to campus and our global initiatives establish deep connections between all students to ensure they are prepared for the ever-changing workforce.”
Robin Melavalin comes to Mount Ida College after serving as the founding Director of the Global Education Opportunities Center for the Colleges of the Fenway in Boston. Melavalin is a cultural anthropologist and has a wealth of experience with the internationalization of college campuses. She presents regularly at conferences on global education with a focus on developing faculty-led travel programs.
At the Center for Global Connections, Melavalin internationalizes campus through a wide array of engagement efforts. For international students, the Office offers advising with regards to immigrating and adjusting to college life at Mount Ida. Along with international support, students learn about working in another culture by participating in faculty-led travel courses, spending time abroad, finding oversees internships, studying at host universities, and receiving Fulbright scholarships for research abroad. Additionally, international events, such as United Nations Day, encourage global collaboration among students and their peers.
As Mount Ida continues to expand its offerings, students are actively involved in nurturing our international relationships. Monica Johnson ‘13, an Interior Design major and Administrative Assistant for Admissions, for instance, initiated a pen pal program this past spring for newly accepted international students. The goal of the initiative is to help enrolled international students build relationships with domestic students before they arrive to campus. Pen pal exchanges comprise of helping with admissions questions, sharing news on campus life and more.
Monica Johnson ’13 talks about why this initiative is important, “My goal is to bridge the gap between international, ELS, and American students. I want every international student here to know members of the community before they arrive and for American students to develop an appreciation for international cultures and traditions outside of their own.”
If you are interested in increasing your global connections on campus whether it is meeting new friends from different countries or our international programming, please visit the Center for Global Connections in Carlson Hall. To learn how to be a pen-pal of an incoming international student, please contact Robin Melavalin at email@example.com or (617) 928-4624.