CICE Takes On Global Education Amid Pandemic

Mula LayStaff Writer

The Center for International and Cultural Education (CICE) is responsible for study away programs, both domestic and international, international student and scholar services, multilingual student, global learning and programming, global professional development, and global program development here at Gustavus.

However, with the onset of COVID-19, the CICE’s mission shifted. They worked to bring abroad students back safely and then worked to find options for international students. Some faculty at the CICE also picked up roles working as COVID-19 case managers.

“We’ve been helping the college by, you know, calling students who have been close contacts and helping them through the process of figuring out what their next steps are as far as getting tested and being in quarantine and just being a resource for them,” Bryan Messerly, Director of International and Cultural Education, said.

The CICE, after having to navigate through COVID-19, is currently working to find programs that could potentially be offered again and ways to promote abroad programs.

Junior Kendall Harvey, a psychology and pre-occupational therapy major, works as one of the social media interns to provide virtual information rather than in person meetings.

They are also using this time to make improvements to the program. Reine Ndayisaba, class of 2021 political science major with a minor in economics, works as a student assistant in the office.

“[I’m working on] two research projects of looking at how other schools help multilingual students and international students, as well as how they run their host family program so that we could compare and see how Gustavus is doing,” Ndayisaba said.

After Ndayisaba is finished with her research, she will make a presentation to point out what she thinks Gustavus is doing well and what needs to be improved.

Looking into the future, the CICE is optimistic about opening programs for the summer and fall of 2021. The summer programs provided are two domestic ones, one is offered in Washington, D.C and the other in the Twin Cities. The program in D.C. is the Washington Institute Internship and the one in the Twin Cities is offered by Higher Education Consortium for Urban Affairs
(HECUA) called Race in America.

In the fall, programs that will be offered are contingent to travel conditions, COVID-19, availability, and college approval.

Some exciting programs are also being developed as well. Such as, virtual international internships, where students can virtually from their own home connect with a company in a different country, and a program led by Matthew Hirman, the study abroad coordinator at the CICE, which will be a course offered in the spring of the 2021-2022 school year.

“The idea is to create another option for students to explore international education here on campus that could either be a great follow up for study away experience or a kind of a lead into a study away experience that they’re preparing for,” Hirman said.

The course will look into the history of international education and what its aims and purposes are. It will also focus on developing intercultural skills within students to help aid them professionally and societally. The course hopes to provide to a wider variety of students with a meaningful experience and hopefully improve social conditions for both the students and society.

Exciting things are afoot and to know more about things happening at the CICE, contact Matthew Hirman or Bryan Messerly.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *