Bethany Galipeau-Konate, Director
Cooley Hall, International and Cross-cultural Center,
Room 120, (540) 542-6285
Explore Education Abroad on our university website.
Purpose and Vision Statement
Part of Shenandoah’s mission is to “educate and inspire individuals to be…compassionate citizens who are committed to making responsible contributions within a community, a nation and the world.” Among Shenandoah’s core values are the ideas of respect for diverse cultures, experiences and perspectives; cultivation of leadership to advance positive change and growth; and dedication to citizenship, professional service, and global outreach. The university’s focus on global awareness encompasses a variety of initiatives, inside the classroom, around campus, in the local community and around the world.
The Center for International Programs (CIP) at Shenandoah University fosters transformative intercultural experiences by leading the integration of global learning throughout the university community. The Center for International Programs consists of two offices: the Office of International Student Services and the Office of Study Abroad.
Office of International Student Services
Shenandoah University welcomes over 150 international students to its campuses each year from over 40 different countries. The Office of International Student Services provides an array of programs and services in support of international students including handling immigration requirements, advising on transition issues, supporting orientation and learning needs, facilitating social programming and supporting employment immigration requirements to advance learning.
CIP staff work closely with the International Student Association, a student organization that organizes events and advocates for international students.
Office of Study Abroad
Shenandoah University encourages all students to seek opportunities to become globally engaged citizens. In facilitating this effort, the Office of Study Abroad provides a range of programs and resources to assist students in meeting their international learning objectives. These include SU’s notable programs such as the Global Citizenship Project (GCP), the Global Experiential Learning (GEL) program, and International Student Exchange Program (ISEP).
Global Citizenship Project (GCP)
The Global Citizenship Project (GCP) was created in 2005 to send members of the SU community on all-expenses-paid trips abroad during spring break.
The application process is open to all full-time members of the SU community, with a selection focus on campus members who have had no or limited international travel opportunities. Five groups for five destinations are selected and are limited in size to maintain intimacy of experience, 10 to 12 participants, composed to represent the diversity of Shenandoah and result in the unexpected benefit of cross-disciplinary networking. Undergraduate and graduate students from all schools within the university have traveled in a mixed group with administrators, including the president and vice presidents, deans, faculty, maintenance workers, housekeepers, accounting personnel, and even members of the board of trustees.
The GCP program experience was designed to be a limited travel experience, approximately 10 days during spring break, and utilize a group oriented and faculty led approach. Its purpose is to whet the appetite of learners for longer-term learning abroad. The program removes the boundaries associated with first-time travel, mainly time and financial restraints.
Applicants must sign on without prior knowledge of the destination to which they might travel and study. Participants must be willing and able to travel anywhere in the world with the intent to examine a theme, such as global citizenship (2005), power (2006), time (2008) or sustainability (2010). GCP has traveled to locations on six continents, including Costa Rica, Peru, Mali, India, Taiwan, Oman, Denmark, Romania, Australia, Vietnam, Morocco and Burma. Participants share their international experiences with the rest of the community in unique ways upon return.
Global Experiential Learning (GEL)
The Global Experiential Learning (GEL) Program offers Shenandoah students a short-term, faculty-led, study-abroad experience for academic credit. Since the program’s inception in 2000, students have traveled to countries around the world, including Argentina, China, England, France, Ireland, Italy, Poland, Russia, Spain, and Thailand. The GEL program aims to make the world a learning laboratory for students, providing deep exploration into individual fields of study, the opportunity to understand where the United States fits in terms of the world viewpoint, and the ability to enhance skills in cultural sensitivity, flexibility, and capability to adjust and adapt.
International Student Exchange Program (ISEP)
Shenandoah University is a member of the International Student Exchange Program (ISEP), a global network of 300 universities. This partnership allows students to study for a full semester or year abroad at other member campuses. By working closely with their academic advisors and the study abroad advisor, students can take advantage of the opportunities to take general education and major classes taught in English abroad and to receive transfer credit at their home institution. A full list of courses and campuses available can be found at www.isep.org.
Additionally, many other international learning programs are also supported with coordination and information services for students, faculty and staff while traveling abroad.
All offices in the Center for International Programs along with the director’s office are located in the International & Cross-cultural Center of Cooley Hall on Main Campus. Further information can also be found at www.su.edu/cip.