University of Wisconsin-River Falls

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Last updated: Friday, 21-Feb-2003 19:45:53 CST

July 18, 2003

UW-River Falls Chancellor Visits Japan

UW-River Falls Chancellor Ann Lydecker and Director of international programs Brent Greene visited five institutions of higher education during a weeklong visit to Kyushu, the southern most island of Japan, to discuss student and faculty exchanges.

While there, they visited the cities of Miyazaki, Kagoshima, Fukuoka, Saga and Nagasaki. They met with faculty and staff and make presentations to student groups.

Lydecker was hopeful about the effect of the visit.

"It was an extremely rigorous schedule, but very productive. We discussed many intriguing opportunities for student and faculty interaction and exchanges, including both Japanese students and faculty to UW-RF and our own students, faculty and staff to Japan."

UW-RF has extensive relationships with Japan through Guy Healy Japan, an educational and cultural exchange agency in Nagasaki. The agency brings students to UW-RF each April through August for an English immersion program. If students attain an acceptable level of English fluency, they are eligible to apply for admission to UW-RF. Seventy percent of the international students at UW-RF are Japanese.

Lydecker said the University is working hard to develop and strengthen its international programs. Asia, Japan in particular, will serve as a focal point.

Greene said, "We want to gain a better understanding of where a large portion of our international students come from. We want to strengthen recruiting efforts of Japanese students to UW-RF. We want to explore ways to send UW-RF students, faculty and staff to Japan. We were successful on all counts. Many interesting opportunities will come from this visit and our continued relationship with these Japanese colleges."

The University of Wisconsin system has challenged each institution to send 25 percent of its students on an international experience at some point in their college career. UW-RF only sends five percent.

Greene said the university is moving quickly to meet the challenge. There are many ways for students to have an international experience, from full semester or year-long programs to shorter faculty-led trips between fall and spring semeters, during spring break or summer study tours.

Lydecker believes these exchange experiences are beneficial to everyone in the community.

"These international opportunities are obviously good for our students, faculty and staff, but they are equally beneficial to River Falls, the St. Croix Valley and greater Wisconsin. We truly live in a global world and an important part of the University’s mission is to internationalize our campus culture and the surrounding community and region."

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