The Office of International Programs (OIP) is one of the many offices and services offered at Meredith College, and it is important to look at what these offices, like OIP, have to offer the Meredith community as a whole. OIP plays a role in a myriad of events and programs, including helping students’ in the study abroad process as well as aiding students from around the world apply to Meredith College. OIP is there to help with questions and find solutions to the needs of these students. After reaching out, The Herald wishes to share what students can look forward to from OIP and the many ways they can learn more and become involved.
Dr. Brooke Shurer, Director of International Programs, shares that OIP not only offers “opportunities for students to earn academic credit on study abroad programs throughout the world” but also acts as a support for students from international backgrounds. Additionally, Dr. Shurer notes how the offices “promote intercultural learning on campus through programs and outreach with partners, such as the Meredith International Association (MIA), the Department of World Languages and Cultures and other campus units.”
This year, OIP is offering a variety of events that students can look forward to and attend. With study abroad programs being a major component of OIP, the timeline is rapidly developing, with application deadlines set for February 15. In preparation for this, OIP hosted a “Taste of Study Abroad” event in Belk Dining Hall (BDH) West from 10:00 a.m. until 10:50 a.m. on Jan. 25 for all prospective students. Dr. Shurer also encourages students to be on the lookout for MIA events, including “monthly coffee houses featuring global snacks, coffee (of course), and stories.” Furthermore, MIA hopes to see the return of their fashion show which will be hosted this April.
With big events come big goals for OIP for the 2023 year, Dr. Shurer shared a long list of goals for the office pertaining to both international students as well as those looking to study abroad. This included “improving [OIP’s]website and online resources for international students” as well as “continuing to offer safe and successful study abroad programs amidst the ongoing pandemic and its impact on international travel.” There are also major goals aligned with cultivating more resources to offer students, such as “piloting a new model of study abroad with a spring on-campus course that includes a spring break study abroad program”. This is part of [OIP’s] goal to increase the financial and academic accessibility of study abroad programs.” In addition, Dr. Shurer looks to continue a “multi-year comprehensive review of Meredith Abroad programs through lenses of diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging.”
Those who are interested in learning more about what OIP has to offer and how to get involved, there are a variety of platforms available. MIA and OIP updates can be found on their respective Instagram pages or in the OIP office in Lux 124.
By Shae-Lynn Henderson, Features Editor