On Wednesday the University will host its annual International Fair to introduce students to exchanges, internships, language courses and other diverse programs.
The Cornell International Fair began in 2009 to “provide students with a ‘one-stop shopping’” for everything international at Cornell, according to Heike Michelsen, associate director for assessment and grant writing at the Mario Einaudi Center for International Studies. The fair was initially jointly organized by the Einaudi Center and the Language Resource Center. Cornell Abroad, which is now the Office of Global Learning, joined the organizing partnerships in 2015.
According to Michelsen, over 110 groups comprised of departments, international studies programs and language programs are registered for the event, including 30 external providers of study abroad programs.
Language programs including those in French, Italian and Korean, as well as other programs like Engaged Cornell and the International Relations Minor, will be sending representatives to the event, according to Lisa Sansoucy, the coordinator of foreign languages across the curriculum at the Language Resource Center.
As one of the three organizing units, the Language Resource Center helped organize the representation of language teachers and language programs at the fair, explained Sansoucy, who is on the fair’s planning team. Sansoucy said when she has been to the fair in the past there has been a “good turnout.”
“When I go to the site, I also keep student insights, inquiries and ideas so we can follow up on,” Sansoucy said.
In an email Michelsen sent to The Sun, he described the International Fair as “the only event that brings all these C.U. units and key outside providers of study abroad programs together.” He also added that “for staff and faculty, the fair provides an opportunity to reach out to hundreds of students, learn about new initiatives and network with colleagues.”
Sansoucy said she hopes students will take advantage of the International Fair to meet with language teachers and students, and to learn about the huge variety of global learning opportunities available to them.
“Cornell offers instruction in over 50 languages. The International Fair offers students an opportunity to explore many different kinds of language study opportunities, from traditional classroom based language classes to one credit Foreign Languages Across the Curriculum (FLAC) sections to conversations hours hosted by the LRC and the Language House Program,” she said.
In addition to hosting the annual International Fair, the University also launched an internationalization initiative in 2012, according to the Einaudi Center website. A list of strategies, an Internationalization Council, an external advisory council, and several symposiums have since been created to advance the goal of then-president David Skorton to make Cornell a top 10 global school, according to the same page.
“Meaningful international experiences, understanding cultural practices, values, and beliefs, and learning to communicate across cultures, are essential to prepare students for leadership and service in an increasingly interdependent world,” Michelsen said.