College of Science program promotes global partnerships

April 11, 2014  


For dozens of international and domestic students in the College of Science, living, eating and hanging out together is as educational as it is fun thanks to the Global Science Partners program.

This multipronged program includes a residential component for first-year students, and mentoring roles, leadership opportunities and guided conversations on cultural issues for upperclassmen.

In conjunction with a residential learning community where domestic and international students are paired as roommates, first-year students participate in a course where they meet and dine with science faculty, most of whom are involved in global collaborations themselves. Junior and senior mentors support students as they integrate into Purdue, the College of Science, and their major.

"From freshmen to graduating seniors, the goal of Global Science Partners is to retain and graduate students who are equipped to compete in highly demanding global contexts," says Laura Starr, associate director for experiential learning and student success.

Whether it's learning each other's native dances or handing out Halloween candy at low-income housing as a service to the community, mentors and mentees alike enrich their cultural experience both on and off Purdue's campus. They participate in monthly dinner meetings and discussions, field trips and English conversation circles, where international students can practice their English in an informal setting with domestic students.

"The learning community has taught me to be a more worldly person and understand cultural backgrounds both through a classroom setting and living with a mixture of international and domestic students," says Himal King, a freshman studying computer science from Elkhart, Ind.

Another part of Global Science Partners is the Global Dialogues program, which is designed to deepen students' understanding of the varying life experiences and values of College of Science domestic and international students. It aims to transform communication and relationships leading to collaboration both in and outside of the classroom. 

"In the Global Dialogues program, I learned about other cultures, explored and developed my own personal views, ate some great food, and even made a few good friends along the way," says Jeremy Meyer, a junior in computer science from Fort Mill, S.C.

GSP puts on events open to the public as well. The next one is set for 2 p.m. Saturday (April 12), when the students will host "The Amazing Race – Purdue" in the Córdova Recreational Sports Center's Gold & Black Gym.

For more information about GSP, contact Laura Starr at 49-41764 or lstarr@purdue.edu, or Terry Ham at 49-41767 or hamt@purdue.edu.

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