Congratulations on reaching the end of the fall 2022 semester at SJSU! As I reflect on 2022, I must acknowledge that 2022 was a pivotal year for the Study Abroad and Away (SAA) team, as the COVID-19 pandemic took more of a “back seat” and we were able to resume student mobility across borders, enabling students and faculty to experience international opportunities in person. However, the virtual study abroad experiences continued to be an option. More specifically, over the past two years, the Virtual International Partners (VIP) program allowed many SJSU students to continue their meaningful cultural exchange experiences virtually. Through this program in 2022, we connected 586 SJSU students with 570 international students attending our partner institutions.
Spring 2022 marked the slow relaunch of study abroad opportunities. In the 2021-22 academic year, we sent 194 students abroad, which encompasses 43 students to 6 countries on exchange programs, and 151 students on 11 faculty-led programs (FLPs) in summer 2022, after two years of hiatus. In fall 2022, we sent 47 exchange students to 14 countries for the semester and 19 students for the academic year. In January 2023, we will be sending 97 students to 6 different countries on faculty-led programs. And in spring 2023, we will be sending 85 students to 18 countries, bringing our total number of exchange students for 2022-2023 to 151, a record number and an increase of 25% since before the pandemic.
As for the SAA team, the year 2022 offered all of us ample opportunity to continue to pivot, to rethink, and to finetune our efforts to support all of you. We have a new team member, Courtney Anne Jackson, who has joined the small but mighty SAA team as a Program Specialist. I am delighted to report that we have an amazing team of advisors who are very student-centered and all of whom have had a wide range of intercultural experiences and backgrounds, making them even more motivated and dedicated to work toward your success. You can read more about our entire team by going here.
Both new and seasoned SAA team members have worked tirelessly and diligently to serve and support all of you. We continued to think innovatively to engage you and to ensure that we were providing opportunities to continue to promote global learning for all. Just to list a few accomplishments in 2022:
- We continued to provide advising in a hybrid mode within an expanded time frame, giving you the choice to meet with us either in-person or via zoom throughout each weekday.
- We continued to streamline our processes and policies and further developed the information on our website, easing the access to step by step information on deadlines, procedures, etc.
- We have continued to strengthen our partnerships with campus constituents and partners, essential for the success of our students and our goals for campus internationalization.
- We have continued to offer our events in a hybrid mode with a transition to a lot more in-person events this year, as we strive to build a robust community to support all of you here at SJSU. Our International Education Week (IEW) events this year were well attended by all.
- We are grateful for all of your generous support for our new Dr. Ruth Huard Study Abroad Scholarship which launched on SJSU’s Day of Giving. The funds will support our equity-focused scholarship and programming. To date, we have raised $1,900. Donations are still being accepted here so please consider a contribution.
- Finally, we are thrilled to be able to continue to offer the Louie Barozzi scholarship. Please look for announcements in February 2023 about the application period for the 2023-2024 academic year. In addition, we continue to promote and guide students in applying for the Fulbright, the Gilman and the Boren scholarships.
As a reminder, SAA will be closed for the holidays from December 26th, with the last advising appointments (both in person and virtual) taking place on Thursday, December 22nd. We will resume normal business hours on Tuesday, January 3rd. We look forward to our continued engagement with each and every one of you, in the new year and look forward to meeting with many of you in person.
On behalf of all of us in SAA, enjoy a restful and peaceful holiday season and break. I sincerely hope that the time will allow you to rest and recharge with renewed energy to conquer all your goals and ambitions in 2023. Congratulations again on finishing the fall semester and for all you have accomplished in 2022!
Wishing you joy, peace, and hope in 2023!
Interim Director of SAA