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Going Places Center


International Education

FALL 2012

Baylor University


a Letter from our President As you well know, our University’s motto, Pro Ecclesia, Pro Texana – for

Baylor and for the world – has long guided Baylor University. Now, we expand that historic motto as we launch our new strategic vision for the University – Pro Futuris. As one of its five aspirational statements, Pro Futuris calls us to “Informed Engagement” in our communities at home and abroad. We are called to serve the needs of what our Lord called “the least of these” in nations around the world. As a Christian institution of higher learning in this, the Global Century, this mission is as important as it ever has been.

Baylor President Ken Starr at the 2011 Homecoming parade. Photo courtesy of Debra Gonzalez

The opportunities that the Center for International Education offers are shining examples of global outreach. This year, our faculty and students will travel to more than 30 countries. This affords our students the extraordinary opportunity to immerse themselves in other cultures and learn from colleagues around the world.

CIE also offers valuable services to international students who choose to study at Baylor University. This fall, Baylor welcomed 587 new and returning international students to campus, representing 73 countries. They bless us by calling Baylor their second home. At the dawn of the Pro Futuris era, our University’s commitment to global education is as strong as ever. We are grateful for the important work of the Center for International Education in fulfilling Baylor’s lofty mission. Yours sincerely,

Baylor University President

Going Places | Center For International Education

Table Contents of

3 5 7 9 15 17 19 21 23

Former Congressman on International Education Starrs Shine Bright in China Phi Kappa Chi Spreads the Word Around the World, Through the Lens Baylor Students Flourish in St. Andrews Thriving in Your Community “The Bobo” Lives It Up on Tuesday Nights Islam in America: Finding a Middle Ground Conviction & Compassion: A Reason to Help

25 27 39 31 33 35 37 39 41

An African Ambassador Speaks Out Opportunities Abound for Iranian Student Cultural Experiences Imported from Abroad A Tragedy Not Forgotton From Fjord to Flatland Bridging the Gap Jenny Barroso Gannaway New Study Abroad Programs About the Going Places Staff & CIE

On the cover (left to right, top to bottom): Mariam Sabir, Shehan Jeyarajah, Samuel Odutola, Jason Osei,Viveka Yan, Mohammad Reza Abedi, Jonatan Lenells, Waqqas Iftikhar and Jessica Foumena. Photos by Ambika Kashi Singh and Ashley Pereyra.


Former Congressman on International Education by Linley Pisano

As a national and local representative, former Democratic

Congressman Chet Edwards believes in the power and influence of international education – hosting international students on campus and sending student representatives to learn while immersed in another culture. As a former member of the United States House of Representatives, Edwards represented the Waco, Texas district from 1991 to 2011. Prior to that, he served in the Texas Senate from 1983 to 1990, the youngest member of the Texas State Senate when he began at age 30.

lectures on political science, economics and leadership. Edwards encourages leadership development, and he visits with Baylor summer interns in Washington, D.C. Edwards is known as an advocate of education, high technology economic development, veterans, and Texas seniors. Texas Monthly named him “One of Ten Outstanding Legislators.” He currently serves on the U.S. Army Secretary’s Arlington National Cemetery Advisory Board and the Board of the Military Child Education Coalition.

“While the United States is an economic and military superpower, we increasingly live in an interdependent Edwards graduated from Texas A&M University with a B.A. world,” Edwards said. “The more Baylor students network in Economics and went on to receive his MBA from Harvard with and understand the culture of students from other Business School. nations, the more effective leaders they will be in both the private and public sectors.”

“Other cultures offer us a better insight into the strengths and weaknesses of our own culture, a recognition of the common bonds of all cultures and a better understanding of ourselves as individuals.” This past year, Edwards was appointed as the W.R. Poage Distinguished Chair for Public Service, a scholar position named after former Texas Congressman Bob Poage. By doing so, Edwards agreed to spend several weeks each semester on the Baylor campus speaking to classes and delivering

As a college student, Edwards experienced international education when he spent a summer studying abroad in Europe. “Other cultures offer us a better insight into the strengths and weaknesses of our own culture, a recognition of the common bonds of all cultures and a better understanding of ourselves as individuals.” Edwards’ focus on national security as a congressman allowed him to visit Iraq and U.S. military installations throughout the world. “I will never forget the powerful emotions of visiting the U.S.

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military cemetery in Normandy, France, where thousands of Americans the same age as Baylor students, gave their lives in the D-Day invasion to liberate Europe and save the world from the tyranny of Hitler.” Edwards encourages American students to reach out to international students and people of new cultures because we have fewer differences than we sometimes think. He believes we share basic values and the desire for a life where

Former Congressman Chet Edwards speaks at Baylor University.

we are able to be secure, healthy and free to pursue their faith and dreams. “Don’t wait for a formal meeting. Reach out to international students in your classes and at the lunch table,” Edwards said. “Go outside the comfort zone of your close personal friendships and get to know students from across the world—it will open up your world and your future.”

Photo courtesy of Matt Hellman and The Baylor Lariat


Starrs Shine Bright in China by Logan Angel

President Kenneth Starr and his wife Alice have quite the

reputation on Baylor’s campus for being generous, engaging and friendly to all those they contact. Students, faculty and staff alike love to sing their praises and rival at the opportunity to get to discuss their favorite topic as well, Baylor University. The Starr’s carry this mentality and positive attitude with them wherever they go…even if it means to the other side of the world. And from June 19 to June 29 that is exactly what they did on their 10-day journey to China and Hong Kong. Upon arrival, the Starrs immediately had their hands full with places to see and people to meet.

University of Macau and Renmin University. “The i5 program is a hands-on learning, project based program, and thus needs to connect with industry leaders and government agencies that are promoting joint economic development with the U.S. and entrepreneurial activity,” said Leman. In addition to trying to expand business school prospects, some nursing schools were visited including the Chinese University of Hong Kong and Peking University Nursing School, which was interested in discussing exchanges with students and faculty. Dean Shelley Conroy of Baylor’s Nursing School, Dr. Lori Spies, and Anita Jones accompanied Alice Starr in visiting the nursing schools.

When the Starrs weren’t busy visiting universities they had some time to enjoy the culture. The first stop was to an Their initial reasoning for wanting to go on this trip was ancient church in Macau and then a tour of the Temple of to meet with close friend and guest lecturer at Baylor, Heaven in Beijing, finishing with a memorable climb on the Ian Vickers, chief executive director of the nonprofit Great Wall of China. organization Global Partners in Hope. “Beijing is a vibrant, green and modernized city, I thoroughly Global Partners in Hope’s purpose is to inspire community enjoyed my time there and would love to go back one day,” development with the government and business leaders in said Mrs. Starr. countries like China.

In addition to getting a taste for the local culture, their visit was enriched even more by getting an insight to the evergrowing Baptist influence in the area.

Greg Leman, professor and faculty advisor to Baylor’s i5 program, encouraged the Starrs to come with him as he attended universities trying to build partnerships to expand the program in the near future. This provided them with They first got the privilege of attending a Sunday service the opportunity to visit the City University of Hong Kong, in English at the Haidan District Church. They later visited

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Mrs. Alice Starr Standing on the rooftop of a restaurant in McCau after visiting with the Rector and Chairman of the University of Macau.

the Religious Affairs Bureau where talks were held with the deputy minister of religious affairs. They met with Dr. Linus Xiao Wunan and his foundation, the deputy minister of the state administration for religious affairs, and the Global Partners in Hope team to discuss ethics and religion in China today.

Photo courtesy of Alice Starr.

While Alice Starr admitted that the trip was a little jam packed, she had nothing but positive things to say about the people she met and the places she saw.

“It was an enlightening trip, and Baylor sees a lot of potential for future partnerships. The people are so generous and gracious with their time. They are very intrigued by Baylor’s Dr. Xiao extended his hospitality by hosting a reception mission and are eager for more visits in years to come,” said honoring Baylor University and the Global Partners in Hope. Mrs. Starr. This event followed A Global Partners in Hope Conference, which highlighted a talk from Judge Starr and an opportunity Greg Leman’s time spent in China over the summer meeting to meet with high-level Chinese officials. with business leaders and universities was also successful, and he is excited about the future prospects. Despite being very busy traveling and having scheduled appointments, the Starrs still had time to recognize some “If this can gain the support it will need on both sides it will esteemed Baylor alumni including Dr. James S.W. Wong, be a great chance to show off Baylor’s unique capabilities. who Judge Starr had the privilege of awarding with a Baylor One of the most heartening aspects of this invitation to Distinguished Achievement Award. work together is that they specifically want us to bring traditional Christian values into the program,” said Leman.


Phi Kappa Chi Spreads the Word

by Logan Angel

Phi Kappa Chi fraternity at Baylor University prides itself on its mission of Christian fellowship and community service.

Everyone who comes in contact with members of the chapter can see this through the way they present themselves and their love for Christ and furthering His kingdom. Every spring break, a trip is planned to do some sort of mission work domestically and this time around it was to help a camp in Tennessee clean up and prepare its property

for summer school. This summer from May 14 to May 25, nine members and alumni sponsor and director of Student Activities, Craig Willie, went on a mission trip to Uganda. Phi Chi had made the summer Uganda trip a tradition, starting in 2004, but had to take a few years off before continuing again in 2011.

Members of Phi Kappa Chi pose for a photo in Uganda.

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Photos courtesy of Wesley Bryan

Members of Phi Kappa Chi pose with Ugandan children on a summer mission trip. Front row (left to right): Christopher Thompson, Wesley Bryan, Nick Price. Back row (left to right): Ryan Anderson, Kyle Howerton, Ryan Andrews, Cameron Bohls, and Rob Hartland

Partnering with Arise Africa, a non-profit organization dedicated to spreading the gospel through helping individuals spiritually, economically and physically, Phi Chi was able to partake in many activities with the locals while in Uganda. They visited an orphanage to which many alumni personally donated. Time was also spent at a secondary school helping paint and fix up the building. While in the classrooms, they gave presentations through song and skit, and added a different message each time. Hut to hut evangelism was also a part of the trip, in addition to taking part in a church-planting mission. “It was a humbling experience to do all of these different things. Visiting the orphanage was incredible and so much fun,” senior Wesley Bryan said.

“It was amazing to see the Ugandans singing and praising Jesus,” Bryan said. “When we were speaking from the Bible it genuinely felt like the Holy Spirit was there with us.”

After the sermon, the Phi Chis were invited back to the pastor’s home to thank them and to share his future plans of expanding his congregation to more believers in the area. “Deciding to go on this mission trip was a one of the best choices I have made during my time at Baylor,” Bryan said. “I will always have fond memories of my time spent there, and I hope it is something Phi Chi continues to do for years to come.”

Bryan had another experience that not many others can possibly begin to comprehend.Alongside Nick Price, another Phi Chi, they were given the chance to preach a sermon during a Sunday service.


by Christian Smith

Around the World, Through the Lens The last day in Kenya, we had the opportunity to wash the feet of the

children. We sat them down and washed 220 little feet. I will never forget the feet of one sweet girl, Dorcas. As I took her foot in my hand, I noticed a callused scar from the top of her foot crossing diagonally to the heel. It was so deep and had received little to no medical attention. It was absolutely heartbreaking to realize the problems I will never have to face for, so luckily, being placed where I have been placed in the world. “Little Feet” by Christian Smith Kenya Women’s Leadership Team, May 2012 Overall Winner of BU Missions Photo Story Contest

by Madeline Mohr This precious face is of an elementary girl at a school in

Kibera, the largest slum in Western Africa. This picture was taken during their lunch hour, which is usually the only meal that the children will receive that day. The school that she attends has over 200 students, however, all 42 languages and all of the Kenyan tribes are represented at the school. “Eyes of Curiousity� by Madeline Mohr Nairobi, Kenya, June 2012 1st Place: People winner of BU Missions Photo Story Contest

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After a long day’s work out in the field, it is refreshing to

see that even hardship cannot dampen the spirits of this little guy - William. Running up the road barefoot with clothes much too big, nothing could impede his determination to grab the treats from my waiting hand. When suffering ravages a community like a disease, even happiness cannot be extinguished so long as there is hope. WIlliam was a reminder to me of our role in bringing hope to our friends in Africa.

by Robert Guidangen & Sonya Thomas

“William” by Robert Guidangen and Sonya Thomas Kenya Medical Team, 2012 2nd Place: People winner of BU Missions Photo Story Contest


by Christian Smith This is Edward. Not many people in this world could be so special. Ed-

ward was our driver for the two wonderful trips I was so privelaged to be a part of. This photo was taken while on safari in the Maasai Mara. Edward so lovingly was the greatest tour guide for a bunch of young ladies from Texas. We probably drove him crazy with all of our loud laughter and millions of quesitons about each and every thing. Along with the Sic ‘Em, we tought him how to say yeehaw, which usually came out as “EE AH”, with his Kenyan accent we loved so much. He brought so much joy and laughter to our days to make them that much more special. He was always so encouraging and happy about the work God was doing in the lives of people we were meeting. His memory will forever be engrained in our hearts. “Edward” by Christian Smith | Kenya Women’s Leadership Team, May 2012 1st Place: Baylor Pride winner of BU Missions Photo Story Contest

Baylor Students Flourish in St. Andrews by Ashley Pereyra

“It is like a battleground… They light fires on the beach with anything they can find, “ said Katrina Cheesman, a former study abroad participant, describing the Lord of the Rings type preparations for the May Dip at St. Andrews. Every year academically ambitious and adventurous students from Baylor University participate in the prestigious fall and spring study abroad program at St. Andrews, the first university founded in Scotland.The university’s motto,“Work hard. Play Hard,” is representative of the opportunities to be found at St.Andrews.The university has two main traditional events each year, May Dip and Raisin Weekend. The May Dip is a spring semester event that takes place at dawn on the first of May. Students stay up all night in order to wash away the curse from stepping on the cobblestones of Patrick Hamilton, the first Protestant martyr of the Scottish Reformation—otherwise, they will fail all their classes. Fires line the beach, illuminating the crowds. Many are clad in bathing suits or warmer attire. And as dawn hits, everyone rushes into the ice, cold sea.

students may have to sing the Gaudie, an academic song on the brevity of life. The weekend finishes with an epic shaving cream fight on the quad. For the last two years, other celebrations have joined the St. Andrew’s academic calendar. The university is celebrating its 600th anniversary. The founding date of the university is a bit ambiguous but it is assumed to be between 1410 and 1413. Celebrations for the anniversary started in 2010 and are set to continue into 2013. Such events are as simple and fun as the Papal Bull Relay where the university will organize six teams of cyclists to “re-trace the journey of the Bulls of Foundation issued by Pope Benedict in 1413” (

However, it’s not just the events on campus that makes this study abroad program great. With the program, students receive a Britrail pass for the semester. And the university’s location is prime for traveling and hiking. Everything is close. Transportation services like the train or bus are well connected to the university. Some truly spectacular hiking spots are within half an hour bus ride or in walking distance Raisin Weekend is a fall event that traditionally occurs in of St. Andrews. The hike from Crail to Anstruther is meant mid November. First year students are assigned Academic to be gorgeous. The nearest airport is an hour away where Parents, third and fourth year students, to guide and mentor students can fly on the cheap with Ryan Air. Flights are them. During Raisin Weekend, Academic Parents entertain sometimes as cheap as 30 euro a flight. With no class on and throw parties. ‘Children’ are expected to give their Friday afternoons, students can easily take weekend trips to Academic Parents a gift of thanks that is traditionally raisins. London, Paris, Dublin, Rome or Vienna if their course load In return, the parents give a receipt in Latin. On Monday at permits. To top it off, each semester students are also taken midday, the first years gather in the Quad of St. Salavator’s on a seven day trip to experience London and receive one College to compare their receipts. If errors are found, free week to travel where they want.

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Many students create blogs to document their time at St. Andrews. For example, Kat Davis, a current fall 2012 participant, intends to put together a photo blog for her travels and experiences at St. Andrews. Her experiences at the university have been positive and thought provoking. In particular, she has found that students have a different attitude toward education than U.S. college students. “The students here have a very different approach to their education. They view learning as something they do for the sake of learning, not for the sake of success. I think it might have to do with the pressure that gets put on students in the U.S. and the amount of money we pay for our education, but most students in the U.S. view their education as a means to an end. High school, university, job, and maybe a masters degree. Here they come to school because they want to learn something,� said Davis.

Baylor in St. Andrews is a group study abroad program held during the academic school year. Each semester a different member of the Baylor faculty heads a group of students. Students must have a GPA of 3.2 or higher and completed 30 hours at Baylor to participate. Applications for Fall 2013 should be submitted online no later than March 1. For further information on Baylor in St. Andrews or to apply online visit: BAYLOR.EDU/STUDY_ABROAD You can also find Baylor in St. Andrews on: FACEBOOK Baylor in Saint Andrews TWITTER @BAYLORSTANDREWS

Student dorms in St. Andrews. Photo by Kat Davis at

18 16

Thriving in your Community by Valonia Walker


is not often that students get the opportunity to be immersed in a language of their choice in their own dorm. The Global Community Living-Learning Center was created so that international and residential students would be able to live together and explore different cultures and languages as a community. The Global Community Living-Learning Center consists of about 40 to 50 residents and about six to 12 international students in the program. “The numbers change each year,” Program Director Holly Joyner, said. “It all depends on the students who apply and their interests.” “One of the most important aspects of a program like this is that it provides a place for people from different backgrounds to interact.There are international students like myself, local Texan students and also students from all over the country and we each have our own different aspects and opinions,” says Evan Choi.

committee for the Global Community. “I knew well before going to college that I wanted to study languages, and in January of my senior year I went to Baylor’s Invitation to Excellence and happened to be seated at a dinner table with Rosalie Barrera, the GC-LLC Faculty Director,” Jester said. “She found out about my interest in languages, told me about the opportunities offered by the program, and after finally deciding to attend Baylor it was really the only place I considered living.” This program has a lot to offer to Baylor, the Waco community, and the rest of the world. The students are placed in themed suites that focus on a certain language or topic. There are different types of suites, Current World Affairs, Language Immersion, and Mission.

The Current World Affairs suites are for students who are more interested in global current events. The Language Immersion suite is the more popular suite. These suites consist of three students who are studying a specific language and one native speaker of that language. The languages each Choi is a senior international student from Hong Kong. year are decided by the applicants and their interests. Some This is his third year in the program, and he is currently the of the languages that they have had in the past are German, Japanese, Korean, Arabic, Russian and Spanish. The students service chair of the Global Community. who chose to live in a language immersion suite will be The GC-LLC is a unique way for students interested in life paired with a faculty liaison to help them during their foreign outside America to be plugged into a community interested language acquisition. The Mission suites are for students interested in doing mission work abroad or at a local level. in some of the same things. Charles Jester, a sophomore from Cypress,Texas, is currently serving as a Peer Leader and is a member of the service

As a member of the Global Community, students must attend a class that meets once every other week, where

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they are able to discuss different global topics. The students also participate in Global Community programming where they are able to work with their cohorts and lead an event that the Global Community will be invited to. Each student is assigned to a leadership team at the beginning of the year, led by returning GC-LLC members. Every month there is a community dinner. The students come together to cook dishes from another culture. Each year the GC-LLC also takes field trips to surrounding cities to experience a different culture. “The Global Community is important to me because I have a long-held desire to serve abroad doing mission work, and while spending my time being educated in Waco, Texas, it offers me the best opportunity to be globally engaged and to improve my communication in a language like Spanish which I am unable to add to my course load,� says Jester. The Global Community Living-Learning Community has much to offer to the Baylor community. The program combines extracurricular activities and academics.

The Global Community partners with The Center of International Education to help international students transition easier by placing them in a living-learning community with a global focus. They also participate in philanthropy services to help here and across the world, like the tsunami relief in Japan. The Global Community tries to understand all aspects of different cultures and lifestyles of others. The Global Community Living-Learning Center hopes to inform more people about their program and their purpose. For more information, contact Alejandra Mendoza Munoz, Program Coordinator or you can visit their website: Apply Now.

Students painting at the Global Living-Learning Center.

Photo courtesy of Holly Joyner


“The Bobo� Lives it up on Tuesday Nights by Ashley Pereyra

Students playing kickball at a Tuesday Game Night. Photo by Ashley Pereyra.

Every Tuesday night there is something going

on at the Bobo Spritual Life Center on campus. What was once an international student dinner every other week has transformed into a rotation system. One week dinner is held and the next a game night is hosted. Most people just attend the dinners. But the real fun is on the game nights. And hey, there is still food at the game nights!

Students carving pumpkins at a Fall Tuesday Night dinner. Photo by Ashley Pereyra.

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Name:Viveka Yan Country: China Major: Accounting


Why did you pick Baylor? “It had a bigger campus and I am interested in Christians.” Why do you come to meetings? “I came to make friends and learn more about culture.”

with Tuesday Night Regulars Name: Jonatan Lenells

Name: Emmanuel Roldan

Country: Sweden

Country: United States

Occupation: Math Professor

Major: Divinity

Why did you pick Baylor? “It was an all encompassing school. Both a research and Christian school.”

Why did you pick Baylor? “They offered good scholarships. And God called me to Baylor.”

Why do you come to meetings? “I enjoy meeting people from different countries.”

Why do you come to meetings? “I wanted to find a place to serve.”


Islam in America: Finding a Middle Ground

by Ambika Kashi Singh

International student Waqqas Iftikar was walking back to his house from a friend’s graduation party when four white males in a car approached him near 8th Street. Waqqas is Muslim.

“I figured they were drunk because they were yelling, but then they started making racial comment,” Iftikar recalls. “I told them leave me alone I’m just trying to make my way home. We got into an argument, which was in retrospect foolish of me. They parked their cars and came out. They said to apologize, or else. I said you’re being racist— why should I apologize? It was to and fro and then eventually basically they just started beating the hell out of me. I was kicked to the ground, kicked in the head.”

Photo of Waqqas Iftikar by Ambika Kashi Singh.

What everybody needs to realize is that there are idiots in every faith, caste, creed, any sort of identity you want to put His shoulder was injured and he had to go to therapy for on people and you can’t let a bunch of idiots, no matter how about a month. His roommate reported it to the police. ridiculous they are, to color your perception of the people as Some Baylor students nearby helped him up, although he a whole. In my experience of having lived in different places was actually knocked unconscious and lost memory at that and interacting with different cultures all over the place, I’ve point. The police never found the boys who beat him up. learned that almost everybody wants the same things. They “That was possibly the only time I’ve had that sort of want nice things, a nice family, a nice house. Nobody really experience here in Waco,” says Iftikar. “They didn’t go to except for a certain lunatic fringe wants world domination Baylor because I expressly asked them: I was like I don’t of some sort. People are just trying to make a living, that’s know you? Who are you? Are you from Baylor? Can we all,” says Iftikar. talk this out? And they said ‘No, we’re not from Baylor, you brown b******! You need to go home!’ After I realized they Although Iftikar has lived in different countries, including weren’t going to let me pass I figured I might as well defend Nigeria and the United Kingdom, and travelled throughout myself.” his life, coming to the United States and living away from home for the first time when he was 17 was truly an eye “If I were to let this effect me I would be doing the exact opener. same thing that we’re trying to get the media and the people who portray me and my kind as a certain type of people. “The way that my faith was taught to me it wasn’t easy and

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it has not been easy—especially for the first couple of years, struggling with various decisions,” says Iftikar. There are certain social norms here and certain ideas of having fun that maybe I wasn’t prepared for back then, but eventually I’ve been able to find a middle ground between having fun and being comfortable with the fact that I don’t follow certain tenants of my faith down to the letter. Sometimes I feel that I’m more of a spiritual person now than I was before because of the way I’ve been able to balance having a life and having some semblance of faith. I think culture plays a big part in how people end up practicing their faith. Even within Pakistan there are huge differences.” Freshman neuroscience student Mariam Sabir is from Dubai and agrees with Iftikar. She explained that there are some aspects of the culture here that she would never see at home.

many are Anti-American is because America has come in and tried to tell them that their way is wrong.The American way of life is one that I choose to live, but it’s not one that’s for everybody. It’s definitely something that you have to choose, you can’t have it forced upon you—that’s what fosters resentment, and that’s why you see people fighting back in the Middle East, and that’s why Al Qaeda is growing. Because we’re going and trying to change their ways and they just want to live their lives,” says Jeyarajah. Jeyarajah is Christian, but he recognizes that Islam is not very different from his own faith, that Muslims are normal people. He explains that through daily interaction with Muslims people might realize this more.

“Muslims who come to America are here to further themselves in society to live their lives. They’re not here to rise up and destroy the American way and think that’s true of “There are a lot of things that are different here,” says Sabir. every immigrant group here,” says Jeyarajah. “In Wisconsin, “I try to pray at least two or three times a day. I try my where the Sikh temple shooting happened I think more than best. The rest of it I just have to manage. It was difficult anything that shows that people first of all don’t understand in the beginning,” says Sabir. She‘s also adjusted to eating what Muslims are. A big majority of them don’t wear turbans non-halal meat here and getting asked about her faith. “I’ve and all of that. They’re people, just like us.” been asked so many times why I don’t cover my hair, but people should know that it’s a matter of personal choice,” Iftikar agrees and says that often when people find out that says Sabir. “The other day my roommate came into the he is Mulsim, they are surprised. But he is glad because this room. She’s an International Studies major. She asked me creates good press for his faith, for people to meet and why Muslims kill in Pakistan. I understand that happens, but become friends with normal Muslims. they can’t stereotype like that. The first two weeks were really hard for me, but I’m liking it here.” “We like to have a good time, contrary to popular opinion. We don’t spend all of our time burning American flags or Shehan Jeyarajah, a second generation Sri Lankan from protesting. We have jobs. We have multinationals. We have Coppell, Texas, reflects on his interaction with international the same sort of lives that everybody else has. Everybody students and Muslim students in particular. hates the traffic,” says Iftikar. “I figured they were drunk because they were yelling, but then they started making racial comment,” Iftikar recalls. “I told them leave me alone I’m just trying to make my way home. We got into an argument, which was in retrospect foolish of me. They parked their cars and came out. They said to apologize, or else. I said you’re being racist— why should I apologize? It was to and fro and then eventually basically they just started beating the hell out of me. I was kicked to the ground, kicked in the head.” The biggest issue is that I don’t think Americans understand the Muslim mind set. In the Middle East, the reason why

He says that Pakistan, his home country, is one of the largest exporters of textiles and sporting goods. Pakistan has a huge coastline and some of the world’s nicest beaches. All these things about Pakistan aren’t really portrayed. Unfortunately, the security sometimes is bad, but sometimes the risk is overblown. “Out on the street Pakistani people are some of the most hospitable people you will meet,” says Iftikar. “Most people consider it their duty to represent Pakistan properly, especially to foreigners because they feel like having a guest and treating them nice is pleasing God. To Muslims, having guests is a blessing from God. Not a day passes when I don’t miss a certain aspect of being at home.”


Conviction & Compassion: a Reason to Help by Debra Gonzalez

Sometimes, the best way to grow up is through experience.

“Through the Bible clubs and through camps that I went to as a child, I think it just helped me grow spiritually and to Abuya Olonde, a Baylor international student from Kisumu, know about God and to look up to Him,” Olonde said. “I Kenya, was sponsored by Compassion International, a faith learned who God was and what he meant.” based program which helps release children from poverty. It was that passion for Christ that brought Olonde to Baylor Olonde was brought into the program at the young age of in 2010. Sometimes compassion can lend a hand.

nine years old after a church elder talked to his grandmother about it. Olonde, who is working on his master’s degree in social work at Baylor University, graduated out of Compassion last year.

“I was working with Student Life,” Olonde said. “They do Christian camps in the summer and I came in through Compassion to share my testimony and just travel. We had a camp at Baylor. That’s where I met my sponsor. He’s from New York, called Donald Livingston.”

“Normally they have a child until they’re 22 years old,” Olonde said, “But when you qualify to go into university, you can stay in the program as long as you’re in school.”

A year later, as Olonde was looking for a place to continue his education, Baylor came back up.

Olonde believes that one of the most important things he learned from Compassion is the knowledge of God, and their Christian values were very important to him.

Though Olonde feels accepted, he has found that differences can make America feel very lonely.

“I didn’t know Baylor had a social work program,” Olonde said. “I called my friend and I was like ‘Hey I’m looking for a Olonde hopes to help others with his degree. school for my masters,’ because we don’t have a masters in “After my experiences working with people in Kenya, social work in Kenya. So I was like, ‘Do you know a school especially children and families, and children who are needy where I could do my masters?’ and he was like ‘Oh, Baylor and in poverty, I feel that God has called me to advocate has one.’ And that is how I was connected with Baylor’s for them in the areas of education,” Olonde said. “I want to School of Social Work. They have a program called GML, have a school for them and take care of the needy and the Global Mission Leadership. Their passion is to educate, orphans. I don’t have a direct plan, just thinking about it, but equip leaders globally and to send them back to begin to implement the change.” I know it’s working with children and families.”

Going Places | Center For International Education

“Coming from another country that celebrates community, and coming to a system where they celebrate individuality, it changes a lot,” Olonde said. “You can easily feel it. If you grew up in that system, you don’t feel that there’s anything wrong. You just want to go off and be independent, but it’s not the same for me. I want to be in a sense of community. In Africa, generally, families are together. Descriptions of families aren’t the same. If you ask someone in the west who their family is, they’re thinking nuclear. If you ask me who my family is, I’m thinking extended.” Olonde had to leave behind a huge part of his life to come to America.

“I don’t know if things would be another way,” Olonde said. “I know that the first time I came here was because of Compassion, and because of my exposure and connection and God, I had another chance to come here and do my masters.” Olonde’s passion to help is unrelated to his upbringing through Compassion. “For me, it was growing up and seeing the need around me and desiring to effect change,” Olonde said. Olonde believes he has a role to play in helping his community. “The desire that I have in my heart to help a child who is an orphan, is one because of my experience and people living around me, and wanting to do something about it,” Olonde said. “It doesn’t have to be something big; a small thing is still doing something.”

“I had to sacrifice my girlfriend, and my family,” Olonde said. “I love my family.” Saying goodbye was hard, but Olonde was ready for what was coming. “It’s one of those things that you prepare yourself in advance for, because I knew what to expect coming to America for the second time,” Olonde said. “I knew what it meant to be in a place all alone, far away from home.This time I prepared myself and just put my focus back. I miss them.” Technology helps Olonde keep in touch. “On the weekends I use my phone,” Olonde said. “I talk to my girlfriend on Skype. Technology’s fantastic. If I’m feeling lonely I can just call someone.” Olonde feels that through it all, Compassion has remained a blessing in his life. “I had a chance to access school, which I don’t know how that would look if I didn’t have Compassion,” Olonde said. “If you have education, your chances of making it are easier. You can get a good job, start earning and you can help your family. The difference is, that child who doesn’t have the program, they could have education but not to the highest level. Maybe healthcare could be a problem to them, because it’s expensive. All those components of Compassion helped me a lot.” Without Compassion, Olonde doesn’t believe he would be in America.

Olonde with his dog Ava in Kenya.

Photo courtesy of Olonde.


An African Ambassador Speaks Out by Ambika Kashi Singh

“Africa is not what you see on TV,” Cameroonian graduate

Foumena explains. “They are in your home. They are your guests. Make them feel welcome.”

Foumena, who describes herself as a citizen of the world, is studying international journalism and maintains a blog “Women & Africa” in the hope of enlightening people about Africa. She has felt welcome at Baylor University and appreciates Baylor’s diversity. At Baylor University, she has had the opportunity to develop friendships with white Americans, black Americans, Chinese students, and other African students from Mali and Nigeria, to name a few.

Bilingual blogger Foumena, who actively seeks change in her continent, calls on young Americans and the international scene to question why there has not been much change in some African countries.

“At home, I would never dream of studying or becoming friend with an Indian or a European student” Foumena says. “Americans are blessed to have so many diverse people around them. This is a blessing for them and it is all about how one uses it. In this sense, international students are definitively gifts for Baylor and the U.S.”

“As much I want people to think the African continent is in a better place than it used to be, I think we could go even faster if African governments were held strictly accountable for the foreign aid their countries receive every year,” Foumena says.

student Jessica Foumena says.

“Through the Center of International Education staff, Baylor is doing a great job making international students feel welcome. However, there is so much they can do,” Foumena says. “American students need to reach out to their fellow international classmates. Unfortunately, most of them miss out because they don’t give them a chance to become their friends. She explains that although she has been blessed with positive experiences here in America, some other international students may not feel that way. They might leave with a negative impression of America and bring it back in their home countries. These students could be very well tomorrow world’s leaders. “I encourage American students who haven’t yet reached out to the international roommates or classmates to do so,”

[Note: I am not saying there are no changes, just that some countries in Africa still fall behind, despite the enormous amount of foreign aid they receive.]

According to Foumena, some African nations are still poor despite the international financial assistance and their own resources. “This is very frustrating. Some leaders in Africa are taking advantage of Africa’s poverty in many ways. Americans need to know that their tax money is being misused by them,” Foumena says. “Many of them actively support the continent’s development but wonder why some countries are still falling behind.” Foumena strongly believes that foreign aid is hurting Africa. We should question ourselves and wonder if Americans do not feel somehow responsible for what it is happening in Africa. She brings out the case of conflicts in developing countries such as the last one in Ivory Coast where some locals were able to own weapons.

Going Places | Center For International Education

“Some of my people’s sufferings such as the unsolved health issue of malaria are partly due to the rest of the world’s ignorance and disinterest,” Foumena says. “Americans interested in brighter future for Africa will gain from listening and working with Africans themselves.” You can read Foumena’s blog Women and Africa at:

Photo of Foumena by Felicia Wong,


Opportunities Abound for Iranian Student by Linley Pisano

After more than two years in Waco, Iranian Ph.D. candidate

Abedi enjoys traveling and photography, both of which he Mohammad Reza Abedi has adjusted and taken advantage of can enjoy when he is invited to present his research and papers around the country. He has had the opportunity to the opportunities America has presented him. present at Auburn, Los Angeles, Chicago, Denver and San Abedi is a third-year engineering student, pursuing a Ph.D. Diego, among other cities around the country. in electrical engineering. He expects to finish the four-year Baylor program in just over three years. A Persian-Turkish, originally from Tehran, Iran, Abedi earned his undergraduate degree in Electrical Engineering Power Systems from Iran University of Science and Technology and his master degree from Sharif University of Technology in electrical engineering, focusing on power electronics, a top university of its kind. Following his master’s degree, Abedi worked for two years as an electrical engineering consultant for Aftab Bahar Lighting Industry in Tehran, before relocating to Waco in pursuit of a higher degree. After two years of working, Abedi realized the importance of higher education, the credibility of a degree from another university and the invaluable opportunity of living abroad. Aside from engineering, Abedi appreciates art. “I really like art,” Abedi said. “Whenever I have some free time I take pictures. I take my camera everywhere I go. I’m still learning, and I really enjoy photography.” Abedi’s favorite pictures to take are portraits and landscape photographs.

Abedi presenting at Auburn University. Photo. courtesy of Abedi.

He has published two journal papers, ten conference papers, and written two dissertations. He was the recipient of a full scholarship and assistantship as a research assistant for Ph.D. studies through Baylor and was ranked 15th among 15,000 participants in a nation-wide entrance exam for graduate electrical studies in Winter 2006. Abedi was also selected to receive the National Science Foundation award to attend the 2011 IEEEE Vehicle Power and Propulsion Conference. Since Abedi has finished his course work, he spends between 30-40 hours per week in his office researching instead. “He is an outstanding student from Iran,” Dr. Ben Song,

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Abedi’s has a passion for photography. Above are examples of his work.

Abedi’s advisor and professor, said. “With his strong academic knowledge and experience, he is doing very well in his research.” Since Abedi enjoys traveling and learning about different cultures, he adjusted within a month to the Baylor student lifestyle.

Abedi said religion is less of a problem now because people know him better and have accepted his beliefs. He still chose the private Baptist institution with the best program in his field of study over eight other schools in America and Canada. Abedi expects to graduate summer 2013. He is writing his dissertation in green energy.

When available, Abedi will stop by events hosted by the Baylor Center for International Education to say hi, but he stays busy with his studies. He is thankful for the Abedi is most interested in a job in renewable energy and organization that welcomed him to Baylor and made the electrical charging within the automotive industry, especially transition smoother. with the rising popularity of hybrid vehicles. Abedi was a bit surprised by the size of Waco. He said he expected a much larger and busier city since he has mainly experienced megacities. “I love Baylor,” Abedi said. “I like the friendly nature, pretty campus, the relationships with my professors and classmates and that it’s a private institution.” When asked about his religious background, Abedi says he was raised Muslim but is open-minded to religions. “Christianity was pushed on me my first semester,” Abedi said. “I couldn’t fit my belief of God into it.” Before transferring to Baylor, Abedi read the Bible so he would better understand the religious beliefs of his peers and the Waco environment.

Post-graduation, Abedi hopes to work in America for a few years before returning to Iran to be closer with his family. Despite the distance, Abedi stays close with his family in Tehran. He talks to his mother about three times per week. Eventually, Abedi would like to return to his hometown to be closer with his mother and sisters, especially after his father passed away months before his move to America. Abedi realizes the importance of family and his cultural obligation to care for his family as the oldest son and without his father. After so many years of schooling, Abedi wishes to stay closely associated with a university, perhaps as a professor, teaching a day per week. Since engineering seems to continuously evolve, Abedi wants to stay current.


Cultural Experiences Imported from Abroad by Valonia Walker

African Student Association’s team dancing at the annual ASA weekend performance. Photo Courtesy of Eclipze Photography.

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First place dance team Abihnaya at the 15th Gateway to India Culture Show.

Photo courtesy of Florence Francis.

The Indian Subcontinent Student Association and African

African Student Association also has a dance team that puts on a good show, making the audience want to get up and dance with them.

ISSA’s dance team is primarily for the freshman members of their organization and for those interested in learning about the Indian dance culture.

The ASA dance team has tryouts for their dance team every year during the fall semester. Most of the girls trying out have experience with different dances. Each year there are about 15-20 girls on the team.

Student Association are two of the many multicultural dance groups on Baylor’s campus.

Most of the girls on the team come from a classic Indian background. This means that they grew up with the culture, “We are accepting of everyone.” “However, the girls on the dance team are mostly African and African-American,” said the music and the food. sophomore Edosa Osemwota. “The girls come together to help choreograph dances for their different performances throughout the year,” ISSA Vice President Florence Francis said. Francis, a senior, is a Culture Show Chair and was on the ISSA dance team her freshman year. The girls get to choose which songs they dance to and choreograph.The girls who like to choreograph or have been dancing for a while will volunteer and work together to help create the dance moves. This brings the girls together and they are able to form friendships. “After the awkward stage of meeting everyone, dance practices become more of a family atmosphere,” Francis said. The group has several performances throughout the school year.They usually perform at events like Global Village, ISSA’s Masquerade Ball, Asian student associations, Asian Fest, and upon requests of local churches.

Osemwota, Maureen Okafor, and Caresse Duru are the team’s co-chairs this year and will be leading the dance team. The girls will be in charge of choosing the performance music and choreographing the dances. However, they are open to movement suggestions and modifying moves for those who are not as experienced. “The most important part of the dancing is that you have to have rhythm,” Okafor said. “To embody the African culture you must feel it.” Dancing in the African culture is popular and requires using your whole body. The upbeat and rhythmic music itself will make you want to get up and dance with the team. “You might not understand what the music is saying, but you just can’t stay still,” said Osemwota.

Another element of the performances are the outfits they wear. Ankara is the material print used to sew different dresses and skirts that the dancers wear. The prints are Their biggest performance will be the ISSA Culture Show, usually bright tribal patterns to match the dances. Gateway to India in March. This will be ISSA’s 18th year to put on the Culture Show. The event will take place in Waco The culture alone brings the members closer together, setting ASA apart from other dance groups on campus.They Hall. are like a big family. The show includes food, talent, fashion and tradition. Other universities’ ISSA groups come to participate in the competitive show.


a Tragedy Not Forgotten by Debra Gonzalez

Imagine standing on a barren, empty piece of land. Nothing

The earthquake occurred late in the afternoon, as people were getting out of work.

That piece of land used to be your home, the home where you grew up and the home where your children were to grow up. Now, it’s gone.

“Most of the people commute by trains or buses, so they couldn’t go home,” Prefume said. “People started walking, trying to walk home. Many people walked many hours trying to get home.”

stands there and nothing will stand there in the future.

Hundreds of thousands of people experienced this terrible feeling after Japan’s tsunami last year. Dr. Yuko Prefume, senior lecturer at Baylor University, was visiting her mother in Japan at the time of the earthquake.

About half an hour later, devastation struck in the form of the tsunami. Prefume’s sister, nephew and family lived in the coastal area.

“[My nephew] was actually working near the airport,” “Japanese people in general are used to earthquakes, Prefume said. “His company went under the water. He had because Japan gets earthquakes all the time,” Prefume said. to evacuate on top of the company building and wait to be “Most of the people I talked to said ‘I felt the same way. An rescued. He had to wait for 24 hours. A lot of people went earthquake hit.’ Just, ‘Oh, here comes an earthquake again.’” under the water, and he was lucky he survived. After he escaped on top of the roof, he called my sister and she was When the earthquake started to grow, they realized it was able to talk to him and he told her he was okay. But she said the cell phone went dead after that. She heard he was OK, no ordinary tremor. but after that she didn’t hear from him for a week, because “That earthquake was really long, longer than normal and all of the electricity and everything just went down. He was it was really big,” Prefume said. “We started thinking we rescued by Japanese Defense Force and he was taken to the needed to do something. We need to escape or we need shelter and he waited until his wife came to look for him to go hide under the desk. That’s what we are trained to and they were reunited.” do when there’s an earthquake, so you don’t get hit by the falling building. Where I was, it was a big earthquake, but it The country stuck together throughout the tragedy. stopped eventually and people started coming outside. My mom had a little bit of stuff that fell down, but there was “Over 20,000 people lost their lives. Over 200,000 no major damage. When I turned on the TV, that’s when I households were destroyed,” Prefume said. “Even foreign networks broadcasted and they were just so surprised at realized it was really a major earthquake.” how calm Japanese people are. People were hungry. People

Going Places | Center For International Education

didn’t have a place to go. Even if there were stores open, they didn’t have enough food. But everyone was saying that Japanese people were patiently lining up and waiting for their turn. They didn’t go chaotic. Everyone was so calm. I’m sure they were worried, but at least in public… they didn’t lose control. People were helping each other.”

“When we went, we were actually able to meet people who were in the tsunami,” Prefume said. “Almost everyone you meet there, they lost their house or family members. One of the ladies, she lost her husband and she lost her parents. They were in the water and she was trying to grab on to her mother’s hand. They were swallowed up in the water and she couldn’t hold on. She had to let go. Everyone has a story like that.” Russell Donevant, a sophomore Neuroscience student who was part of the group, said the scene was haunting. “We walked through the ruins of the city and found fragments of people’s lives all around us, such as broken plates, dirty silverware, even a small shoe,” Donevant said. “There was also even a giant fishing ship that had been washed inland several hundred feet from the shoreline. The atmosphere while we were there was intense. There was a large feeling of somberness and sadness, and the air felt heavy despite being sort of breezy. It was very powerful to see the memorials that people had set up for the deceased, and I cried more than a few times.”

Photos courtesy of Yuko Prefume

The tragedy, though it happened a year ago, is still very real in Japan today, and they don’t want the world to forget.

Many of those who lost their homes were forced to shelters. “They would find anywhere to house these people,” Prefume said. “Sometimes a gymnasium, or people would take strangers in if their house was OK. Temples opened up doors. Now, if those who lost their houses were lucky, they’d find an apartment to live somewhere else, but many people still live in temporary housing. A lot of people had to stay in shelters for a long time. But one by one they were able to move into the temporary housing.”

“You don’t hear about what’s happening anymore,” Prefume said. “When it happened, the network and TV stations came in and reported it. Everyone in the world knew about it and talked about it and they brought in assistance and support. But now, after a year has gone by, they don’t even talk about what’s happening over there. There are still a lot of people living in this temporary housing. Suicide rates are going up. They don’t want people to forget about them.There are still thousands of people trying to get back on their feet.”

However, the loss of closeness had a huge toll on communities. Michael Newton, a senior Film and Digital Media student who participated in volunteer work on the trip, agreed. “These country towns, they grew up together since they were little,” Prefume said. “They knew each other, so they “Even though we didn’t do a whole lot to help out, just those had a community going. When they moved to the shelter little things had a huge impact on the community,” Newton and the temporary housing, especially the old people, they said. “I feel like Minamisanriku and Japan as a whole really didn’t know anybody, and they became isolated. They were enjoy even the littlest things when it comes to helping out already emotionally devastated. They lost everything. They with the tsunami destruction. It just reminds them that the were depressed and they didn’t have anyone to talk to. They world has not forgotten about them. I learned that it’s really didn’t know anyone anymore. They didn’t have a community the little things that make a huge impact on a community.” support system anymore.” In a 2012 summer trip to Japan, Prefume and her students visited Minamisanriku, a town that was damaged in the storm.


from Fjord to Flatland by Patrick Frey


a seven-hour time difference. The major geographic feature is a fjord: a long, narrow, deep inlet of the sea between high cliffs. The highest temperature ever recorded was 96.1 degrees.To compare,Waco experienced eight days with temperatures above that temperature in September 2012 alone. Needless to say, the transition from Norway to Central Texas has been an interesting one for the latest wave

of Baylor Bear athletes from the Scandinavian Peninsula. “The biggest difference here is that everything is big and you need to have a car to get around,” said Andreas Gjesteby (YEST-uh-bee), a freshman business major from southeast Norway.

Baylor freshman Andreas Gjesteby. Courtesy photo.

Going Places | Center For International Education

Former Baylor golfer Joakim Mikkelsen. Courtesy photo.

You know what they say about Texas! While everything may not be bigger, the differences between the two countries are evident even down to the sport of choice.

have played a bunch of golf together. We are from the same town, members at the same golf club and have traveled around to the same tournaments a lot,” said Mikkelsen.

“College golf so far is way different from the golf I’m used to playing and the courses are also different from what I’m used to,” said Gjesteby when asked about his playing time with the Norwegian national team.

Although Mikkelsen had already graduated before Gjesteby had stepped foot on campus as a student, both expressed a common motivation for attending Baylor: academics. Gjesteby listed getting a good education as one of the top things he is looking forward to as a Baylor student along with learning a new culture and meeting new people. Mikkelsen “learned that [Baylor] was an excellent school academically, as well as a place that took athletics very seriously.”

Gjesteby was born in Drammen, a town of roughly 64,000 located about 40 minutes southwest of Oslo, and attended high school at Norges Toppidrettsgymnas (Norwegian College of Elite Sport). Interestingly, Gjesteby is not the first golfer to attend Baylor from the school. Another notable Baylor Bear attended the same high school and was crucial for recruiting the freshman. I heard about Baylor through Joakim [Mikkelsen]. He is pretty much the reason I chose Baylor,” said Gjesteby of his long-time friend. Joakim Mikkelsen graduated in May with a degree in communications and is currently playing in PGA Tour qualifying tournaments to earn the chance to compete with the best players in the game.

Mikkelsen’s continued success on the course as well as his time as a Baylor student is a story that current and prospective student-athletes can learn from. He improved his game each year, eventually winning a Big 12 championship as well as earning All-American honors. But it’s not just his success as an athlete that is paying dividends for him. “Being a Baylor graduate has been valuable to me in many ways. Not only do I have a degree from one of the best schools in the nation,” Mikkelsen says with a chuckle.“I know I’m biased, but being able to represent Baylor as a student athlete for four years is something I will never forget.”

“I have known Andreas since he was a young kid, and we


Bridging the Gap by Patrick Frey

Baylor’s newest (and one of the biggest) football player is

than the other kids,” admitted Osei with a laugh. not your usual commit. He’s not a Texas-born, Texas-raised, Osei’s father and uncle played professional soccer in Ghana, longtime player of the unofficial state sport. Actually, he and although he admits his father would have loved him to wasn’t even born in America, and he’s currently in just his play soccer, he also saw it was not the sport for Jason. sixth year playing the sport. Osei has only been playing American football since 2007, London native Jason Osei (pronounced oh-say) is the only but he trained in England with the Sussex Thunder, as well foreign-born player on this year’s Baylor football roster, and as the Helsinki Wolverines in Finland in 2009. That year it’s a distinction that he embraces. At 6-foot-3 and weighing he finished second in the league in sacks, and admits the in at 310 pounds, it comes as no surprise that he would increased training and different style of play has taken some end up in a sport so dependent on size in the trenches. getting used to. However, his impressive stature seems to fade just minutes into our conversation as his incredibly friendly personality begins to emerge. It’s one of the qualities he has noticed he shares with the rest of Baylor, even after being here for such a short time. “The environment is very friendly. Regardless of if you know them or not, they are really welcoming both on the team and in the classroom,” said Osei through his thick English accent. As if moving nearly 5,000 miles away from his hometown wasn’t enough, Osei hadn’t even made a trip to the United States prior to arriving in mid-August just days before classes began. Osei grew up in Tottenham, a suburb just north of downtown London, a town heavily dominated by the other type of football. “I played soccer when I was 14 or 15, but realized maybe this might not be my kind of sport. I was a little bit bigger

“I was restricted to training two days a week, so arriving in Waco in the middle of summer, and working out twice that amount, was a major adjustment,” Osei said. “At first the heat was brutal but it has definitely gotten better as time has gone on.” Offensive Line Coach Randy Clemens was the coach who was initially impressed with Osei’s abilities after watching footage of Osei. Clemens has established a pipeline of offensive linemen from Baylor to the NFL over the past four years as Baylor has had five offensive linemen selected in the NFL draft, including two first-round picks. This recent success has helped to confirm Osei made the right decision to play under Head Coach Art Briles and his staff. “Getting to play in the NFL would be a dream come true and at Baylor I know I’m in a good place to succeed if I put in the hard work,” says Osei. “[Coach] Briles really makes me feel part of the team—part of the program. Playing for him has been my best experience so far.”

Going Places | Center For International Education

Osei is not the only one learning from his new surroundings, teammates and coaches. The 25-year-old brings a sense of maturity to the field and has a different perspective on things than some of the other players. “I am kind of looked up to—to step into a leadership role and it’s really cool to see these guys younger than me asking for my older perspective,” Osei said. “Back home, there are no opportunities like this. I thank God everyday that I get all these opportunities.” Jason knows his work is cut out for him if he wants to accomplish his goals by the end of this season. Being new to the game, the culture and the environment, Osei looks forward to tackling the obstacles put in front of him.

“Working with the team five days a week, from 2-6 p.m., there is a sense of accomplishment when you finish the workout,” says Osei. “When I’m hard on myself, I have to think to myself ‘I’ve only been here 4 weeks.’ I want to become part of the rotation and work on my hand and footwork. It’s going to be a learning process.” Ending the conversation on a lighter note, when asked about how his British accent affects his daily life around campus, he finished as easy-going as he began. “Let’s just put it this way: I don’t have a shortage of people who want to talk to me.”

Baylor’s only international football player, Jason Osei. Photo by Ambika Kashi Singh.


Jenny Barroso ganaway by Logan Angel

As a child growing up in Caracas, Venezuela, Jenny Barroso

seemed to have it all. With two brothers, she always felt like she had something to do or somewhere to play.

That man,Terrance Ganaway, is a former Baylor Bear football player and one of the stars of the 2011 season.

“Terrance and I were neighbors at the apartment complex When she attended a Roman Catholic school, Barroso loved we both used to live in. We soon became friends after to participate in sports, including swimming and gymnastics. meeting, and our relationship kind of progressed from there,” Barroso said. “My family also loved to travel. Once or twice a year we’d go to a different location in Venezuela. My favorite destinations were always the ones that included beaches. I was so lucky for getting to see almost every state in the country,” Barroso said. Barroso had other interests and dreams other than just staying in her home country of Venezuela her whole life. So in March of 2006, she came to the United States to take an English course to see if she could pick up the language. Being in Houston, some of her Venezuelan classmates were eager to venture into other places in Texas to see if they could further pursue their education. “I knew a few people who were interested in applying to Baylor for their PhDs, so in 2007, I decided to do so as well and was admitted to study Chemistry for the fall semester,” Barroso said.

When asked what it was like dating someone so well known by Baylor students and fans, Barroso had a great explanation. “Terrance is an amazing guy who just happened to play football,” Barroso said. “I always supported him on the field, but never thought of him as just a player, because he is so much more than that to me.” The couple became engaged in September of 2011 and later married in April of 2012, just days before Ganaway’s dream of being drafted into the NFL became a reality. As a sixth-round draft pick of the New York Jets, his wife and the rest of his family were excited for the opportunity he had been given, but were also cautious of the responsibility and expectations that came with it.

This was first seen as Ganaway was waived from the team in August, after having signed a four-year contract a few What she didn’t know though, that while at Baylor, she months prior. Fortunately another team, the St. Louis Rams would find more than just a furthering of her education. were interested, and claimed him off the waivers the very Because during her time spent at the school, she would be next day. introduced to the man with whom she would spend the rest “God opens and closes doors that no man can undo. We of her life.

Going Places | Center For International Education

were grateful for the opportunity in New York, but are happy and excited that St. Louis is our new home,” Barroso said.

as a couple, Barroso replied, “Someone once told me that tomorrow is the busiest day of the week. Terrance and I currently love where we are and trust where God leads us.”

When asked what she thinks the future holds for them

Terrance Gannaway on the football field (left), with his wife (top right). Terrance and Jenny Barroso Ganaway on a mission trip together (bottom right). Photos courtesy of Jenny Barroso Ganaway.


New Study Abroad Programs

Instituto Conversa In the summer of 2013, Baylor students will have the opportunity to complete SPA 2310 and SPA 2320 courses at the Instituto Conversa in Santa Ana, Costa Rica. Instituto Conversa, originally a Peace Corps training center in the 1970s, integrates a full-immersion approach to Spanish languages studies. All students choosing to study abroad at Conversa will live with host families in the town of Santa Ana, commute to the language center during the days, and have the weekends off to explore the wonders of Costa Rica. Students can study at Conversa in either the Summer 1 or the Summer 2 terms.

FIE Dublin Baylor University’s Center for International Education is excited to announce the expansion of its relationship with the Foundation for International Education (FIE). FIE’s London program has emerged as an integral study abroad program here at Baylor, and FIE Dublin will prove to be a staple in Baylor’s study abroad program in the future. At FIE Dublin, students will have the choice of studying for a semester or academic year at one of two campuses: Dublin Business School University College Dublin

by JJ Ilseng

Photo taken at Conversa University in Costa Rica.







Logan Linley

Public R elations


LOGAN ANGEL Public Relations, 2013 Ridgefield, Connecticut

ASHLEY PEREYRA International Studies & PR, 2013 Austin, Texas

PATRICK FREY Public Relations, 2012 San Antonio, Texas

LINLEY PISANO Public Relations, 2013 San Antonio, Texas

VALONIA WALKER Public Relations 2014 Humble, Texas

DEBRA GONZALEZ Public Relations, 2013 Alice, Texas

AMBIKA KASHI SINGH Public Relations, 2012 Houston, Texas


Going Places | Center For International Education

About the Center for International Education The Center for International Education consists of the International Student and Scholar Services and Study Abroad.

To contact the Center for International Education, please use the following information:

The International Student and Scholar Services provides orientation and immigration services for incoming international students and scholars, as well as facilitation of and advocacy for Baylor’s Study Abroad and Exchange programs. During 2012, over 587 international students and scholars from 73 countries were present on the Baylor campus, and during the past academic year, more than 820 American Baylor students participated in Baylor’s over 104 outgoing study abroad and exchange affiliate programs for academic credit.

Jo Murphy Chair in International Education Baylor University One Bear Place #97012 Waco, TX 76798-7012 Phone (254) 710-2657 Fax (254) 710-2690 E-mail:

The Center is dedicated to the support and success of all Baylor students, abroad and here on campus. The Center’s mission of “bringing the world to Baylor and sending Baylor to the world” starts with the individual student. Each day, the Center’s staff strives to encourage the growth of tolerance, understanding, respect and compassion within each student by actively seeking to create opportunities for international and American students to interact. The Center works to provide the most positive experiences for international students and faculty, and to emphasize the contributions of our international guests to the student body. By attracting top students from all over the world, both international and American students’ horizons are broadened beyond their immediate culture.

Bringing the world to Baylor...

Sending Baylor

to the world.


Going Places Fall 2012  

Center for International Education PR Agency Fall 2012

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