Global Spartan Month: A Deep Dive with Namrata Shukla

by | Mar 28, 2023 | Campus Life

San José State’s International House on S. 11th St. is home to students from 20-35 countries. Photo by Jim Gensheimer.

During the month of March, the College of Professional and Global Education (CPGE) leads the celebration of Global Spartan Month. Interim Dean Namrata Shukla provides insight into the events for the month as well as how studying abroad has changed as we move out of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

What is Global Spartan Month and how do we celebrate it at SJSU?

Namrata Shukla (NS): Global Spartan Month is a celebration of international education and exchange throughout March. Students, staff, and faculty have opportunities to learn about new cultures, discover opportunities to study abroad, make global connections and expand their worldview. Notable events include cultural showcases, games, international career workshops, and more. Celebrate Global Spartan Month by attending these events and engaging with people from different backgrounds. Come share your own stories and experiences as a global citizen.

As we are continuing to transition out of the COVID-19 pandemic, how has studying abroad changed for students at SJSU, if at all?

Namruta Shuka

Interim Dean Namrata Shuka.

(NS): Studying abroad offers many benefits for students who want to expand their academic, personal and professional horizons. SJSU Study Abroad and Away (SAA) is committed to supporting students throughout their journey abroad and providing them with resources and guidance to ensure a successful and memorable experience

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, there have been some changes. All students must be fully vaccinated for COVID-19, unless they have been approved for an exemption. Students must follow the travel advisories and restrictions issued by the U.S. Department of State, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the host country authorities.

Students must complete two pre-departure orientations, one of which covers health and safety topics related to COVID-19. Any changes in their health status or emergency contacts must be communicated with SAA staff.

Additionally, students are expected to comply with the SJSU Student Code of Conduct and the SAA Student Agreement while abroad, including all COVID-19 protocols established by SJSU and SAA.

Our international student population is integral to the fabric of our campus community. As the college that most closely works with these students, what are some important facts or things about our international students that the campus community should know?

(NS): I’m pleased that our international student population contributes to our campus community’s diversity and excellence. With over 3,100 international students from 104 countries, SJSU is honored to be the top choice for international students in the California State University system. For 2023, our top five countries of origin for international students are India, China, Vietnam, Taiwan and South Korea.

Students who make the decision to travel thousands of miles to SJSU will find support from the International Student and Scholar Services (ISSS) office, which helps them with immigration advising, orientation, cultural adjustment, academic success and employment authorization. International Gateways (IG) helps students improve their English, take classes, and prepare for English tests. International students can live on campus at the International House (I-House), a coed residence for about 70 U.S. and international students that fosters friendly interaction among students of many cultures.

What is new and exciting at CPGE this semester, and how can students get involved?

(NS): CPGE will host a plethora of student-focused, multicultural events during the Fall 2023 semester where students will have the opportunity to connect, engage and thrive in our dynamic Global Spartan community! These events include:

  • An International Welcome at the start of the semester and a Speed Friending event to help students make new friends from around the world.
  • An Internationally-inspired pancake event at the I-House this fall which will feature captivating cultural performances by our international students.
  • A series of cross-cultural workshops where students can share their reflections and experiences on a broad range of socio-economic topics through the lens of their own culture.
  • Weekly global connection events where students get a chance to immerse in a rich tapestry of cultures at SJSU and broaden their worldview. This month, as a part of global connections events, CPGE celebrated Holi and Nowruz, to ensure a welcoming and inclusive space and to drive further CPGE’s mission of cultivating a global ethos.
  • A series of career workshops where students can gain tips on how to improve their professional skills, enhance their career portfolios and learn about immigration and visa policies.
  • Several in-person Admitted Spartan Support Events overseas (i.e. India, Vietnam, China, etc.) where admitted international students will get the chance to connect with CPGE representatives, SJSU faculty members, and alumni who live in each country. They’ll get to learn about our career prospects, campus resources and how SJSU can help them maximize their potential. This week, there is a series of support events happening in three of the cities in India in which our faculty member Chemical and Materials Engineering Professor Claire F. Komives will share her valuable insights and SJSU experience.
  • Besides these, we will also be celebrating the International Education Week (IEW) in November, featuring a series of events on study abroad and exchange opportunities, job hunt tips, cross-cultural workshops, food tours of different cuisines in the world etc.

Both current and prospective students can learn about these events and much more through CPGE website and our social media handles.

San José State was recently named an inaugural Fulbright HSI Leader. Why is a distinction like this important?

(NS): As one of only 43 academic institutions recognized as a Fulbright HSI Leader for 2022, SJSU is committed to international education and cultural exchange. By hosting 152 Fulbright Scholars, SJSU has been named a Fulbright Top-Producing institution, a notable commendation in the U.S. government’s flagship international education exchange program.

CPGE is pleased to be an integral component in transforming students for a changing world with global citizenship and social responsibilities.

Learn more about the College of Professional and Global Education.