Our Opinion: IU creates global links
Editor's note: This story from The Bloomington Herald-Times is being published here as a courtesy for readers of IU in the News.
The IU Europe Gateway office is up and running in Berlin, giving the university a physical presence in Germany, the strongest country in the European Union. The office will give increased visibility to Indiana University, which can be only good news to the university and the state of Indiana.
As the world shrinks and becomes more interconnected, IU President Michael McRobbie has put a lot of emphasis on strengthening international programs and relationships. This office is one more concrete example.
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IU had two gateway offices — in New Delhi and Beijing — before the new office opened in Berlin, which is regarded as a thriving metropolis and a significant business hub in Europe. IU officials say that like the offices in India and China, the Berlin facility “will support scholarly research and teaching, conferences and workshops, study abroad programs, distance learning initiatives and alumni events.”
Put more simply, it could help IU attract students and both the university and the state attract business investment and connections.
Study abroad opportunities afforded IU students offer them experiences that were much rarer just a generation ago. Students are able to learn first-hand about other nations and cultures, be immersed in another language and make international connections that will serve them throughout their lifetimes. It’s really not a stretch to say these international experiences can be life-changing and develop a core level of intercultural understanding that could pay dividends well beyond what’s gained by the individual student in terms of global understanding.
International students who attend IU expose students here to many of the same benefits.
Along with the recent opening of the School of Global and International Studies, this new office in Europe is a major advance for IU in the global arena.