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The Growing


CHC attracts increasing numbers of international students as it becomes ever-more global in scope. BY BRENDA LANGE


nly a few short years ago, Chestnut Hill College was a small, private, Catholic liberal arts college in the Philadelphia suburbs. Today, it is still all that, but with an international presence and dozens of students who come here to study from other countries and many who leave here to study elsewhere. Since the hiring of Trachanda Garcia, director of global education, in 2012, the College has increased enrollment of international students – those with an F-1 visa that allows them to study in the United States. This year, 83 international students are enrolled. The College also has signed partnership agreements with 15 institutions of higher education around the world. Garcia would like to ultimately see up to 25 such partnerships. The College has been globalizing, all according to plan and in keeping with long-range goals and CHC’s mission. Internationalization of an institution is a two-way street, and Garcia has been working hard to keep increasing the comprehensive scope of the program.

PARTNERING FOR SUCCESS An added emphasis on study abroad programs and the creation of international partnerships also is part of the mix.

“There has been an overall global change at CHC,” she says. “Now it’s helping faculty guest lecture, create shortterm programs and welcoming faculty and staff from our new partner institutions. That never happened before.” And yet there is still more to be done. Garcia would like to see about 10 percent of CHC students studying abroad, with opportunities for all students in all majors to do so. She would like a few more partnerships in English-speaking countries, especially Ireland and Scotland. A lot of hard work goes into creating such partnerships. Garcia makes connections at conferences led by NAFSA: Association of International Educators, where she discusses student advising, study abroad and issues such as health insurance and more. “This is typically where institutions that are looking to internationalize go,” she says. “They are all members and you know you’re dealing with reputable organizations. You look for commonalities.” Once a partnership is created — the hardest part — CHC advertises at that institution and recruits our students to go there. Students can travel for one semester or one year. Our students pay tuition here and room and board there; the

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Chestnut Hill College Magazine Fall 2015  
Chestnut Hill College Magazine Fall 2015