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international partnerships that create, for the university at large, in depth relationships with universities around the world that enhance its research, teaching and service missions. The initiative sought to make the partnerships institutional in scope and to be developed as long term relationships. The University of Córdoba was one of VCU’s original fifteen international strategic partner universities established by VCU president emeritus Eugene Trani, Ph. D. In 2010 former VCU Provost Beverly Warren convened the Task Force on Comprehensive Internationalization which, in part, examined the structure of VCU’s international partnerships.

with their counterparts at UCO. Six years ago, Katie Williams and Deborah Me participated in the exchange and credit their experience with helping them now as students in medical school.

my classmates. The students at UCO were so friendly, that I did not find that difficult at all.”

“The fact that VCU and UCO already had a partnership made the process of applying for study abroad much easier,” said Me. “I enjoyed the immense diversity of students at UCO, and there were students not only from there, but from all around the world in the classes I took.

For Katie Williams, who pursued VCU’s undergraduate Certificate in Spanish/English Translation and Interpretation, studying abroad at UCO provided an opportunity that could not be found at any other university. “UCO was one of the only universities that offered the courses I needed, and Córdoba was the only location abroad where I could study to fulfill the requirements,” said Williams.

“Cultural acclimation is said to be the hardest part of studying abroad, but honestly I had such a great time getting to know

Both students were double majors in biology and Spanish. After returning to VCU, both applied, and were accepted to

Upon the recommendation of the Task Force, in 2012, three partnerships emerged as “University Strategic Partners.” These include UCO, Fudan University in China and the University of KwaZulu–Natal in South Africa. “University Strategic Partners” afford relationships that involve multiple units on both VCU campuses, support a variety of activities and coincide with strategic directions of the university. SHAPING STUDENT EXPERIENCES The VCU Schools of Medicine and Nursing host thriving student exchange programs

Deborah Me ‘02 (l) and Katie Williams ‘02 (r) credit their study abroad at the University of Córdoba with helping to shape their experience now in the VCU School of Medicine.

Spring 2017

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Global Connections, issue1vol1  

A magazine created by the Global Education Office featuring stories of how VCU is connecting our students, faculty and staff to the world.

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