Guest speakers spotlight international exchange

Guest speakers spotlight international exchange
Betty Ortiz shares the top 10 reasons why students should study abroad.

Amid the fun and games during International Education Week, Nov. 17-21, two lectures prompted the campus community to think about the benefits and significance of international exchange.

The university's first lady, Betty Ortiz, spoke on the top 10 reasons why students should study abroad. As attendees snacked on free ice pops, Ortiz used anecdotes from her two daughters' experiences abroad. She also highlighted several benefits of studying in another country, such as developing and strengthening personal and professional skills. Other top 10 reasons include improving intercultural communication and enabling students to feel independent and invincible.  

“Studying abroad allows (students) to have a clearer understanding of the world,” Ortiz said.

A second lecture on Nov. 20 was given by Tom Plate, a syndicated newspaper columnist who has worked for major media outlets worldwide such as Time Magazine, The Los Angeles Times and the South China Morning Post. Surrounded by photos of himself with global world leaders, Plate discussed the importance of being an internationalist and the ways in which students can impact their country.

He stressed that internationalism is a concept of the future and that nationalism is a concept of the past. “Internationalism is significant because it combats ignorance,” Plate said.

The lecture engaged students in discussions about worldwide politics and the actions of global leaders. Those who asked the best questions received a copy of Plate's book, “Confessions of an American Media Man: What They Don't Tell You at Journalism School.”