UCSD’s International Center grows by leaps and plans and students

By Emily DeRuy

Contributor

It’s widely known that UCSD has established a reputation for innovation and scientific research over the past 50 years. Less well known but equally compelling, the university has also been fostering international exchanges among students and faculty alike for the last half century.

The school’s International Center, intended to promote intercultural interaction on campus, assists international students, scholars, and their families, as well as UCSD students pursuing study programs abroad. It is ranked seventh in the nation for the number of students it serves.

For Lynn Anderson, Dean of International Education and Director of the International Center, looking to the future offers a clear indication of how much the center has grown and evolved since its inception. She recently received notice of approval for the construction of a new $13.5 million facility.

“We have dramatically outgrown the current center,” Anderson said. “It’s very exciting. It shows that there is clear support from the campus and community for international activities. We were recently told we had the best International Center in the UC system.”

International Center director Lynn Anderson

In 1984, the International Center had eight staff members working with about 600 students. Now, a staff of 36 works with nearly 6,000 students, including some 2,400 international scholars and another 2,400 international students and UCSD students studying abroad.

The scholars, at UCSD as faculty or researchers, often bring their families. They come from places as diverse as Korea and Afghanistan, and while they are experts in their fields, they often need assistance understanding Southern California culture.

So while the International Center provides academic advising and career counseling, it also helps global members of the campus community with everything from the logistics of trick-or-treating to the process of buying and cooking local foods.

The International Center offers ongoing programs like Wednesday Morning Coffees, and Mommy and Me classes, to foster interaction between international scholars and the local and campus communities.

Several times a year, the center offers a popular Cooking in America class.

Each Friday, the center hosts an International Café – a lunch sponsored by community organizations and clubs that draws together between 200 and 350 domestic and international students.

An English in Action program offers international scholars and their spouses one-on-one tutoring with a volunteer each week.

Judy Bavasi, one such volunteer, tutors scholars and helps with other programs as a member of The Friends of the International Center, a non-profit organization dedicated to fostering friendship and understanding within the international community.

“I’m hosting a book club. The wives of some of the scholars chose to read “Eat, Pray, Love,” so we’re going to be discussing that,” she said.

Bavasi also tutors a Korean student studying International Relations and Pacific Studies. He hopes to be able to speak with American politicians, and asked her about some terminology he found confusing, specifically phrases like “close the deal” and “beat us to the punch.”

“He was fascinated and it was fun for me,” Bavasi said.

Students studying abroad send photos back home to the International Center.

Officially founded in 1973, The Friends of the International Center actually dates back to the 1960s, when the local Zonta Club was seeking a service project. The club members, all female executives in business and the professions, rented a cottage on Eads Avenue to provide badly needed housing to foreign students, scholars and faculty.

Over time, they developed various programs and the cottage became a meeting spot and social space for the international community. Although it no longer houses students, the organization and its members continue to serve the International Center.

Lynn Anderson said she appreciates the work of The Friends of the International Center, particularly the scholarship events the organization hosts.

“They fundraised for building schools in Afghanistan,” she said. “They partner closely with us and run a retail shop on campus that raises $20,000 in scholarship money each year.”

On the Web: icenter.ucsd.edu

Related posts:

  1. Always on call: Hospital continues ‘Miss Ellen’s’ legacy of giving
  2. Preps come out to support author’s new poke at traditions
  3. Time to register for Underwater Pumpkin Carving benefit in La Jolla Shores, Oct. 30
  4. La Jolla students light up the night
  5. LJ Shores underwater photo contest takes off

Short URL: http://www.lajollalight.com/?p=5970

Posted by Susan DeMaggio on Nov 11, 2010. Filed under Featured Story, La Jolla Life, Life. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

Leave a Reply

La Jolla Community Calendar

Facebook

Bottom Buttons 1

Bottom Buttons 2

Bottom Buttons 3

Bottom Buttons 4

Bottom Buttons 5

Bottom Buttons 6

RSS North Coastal News

  • ‘Downton Abbey’ Spring Tea to be held by Del Mar Community Connections April 18, 2014
    All things “Downton Abbey”— from ‘20s tunes to exotic teas — will be featured as Del Mar Community Connections holds its annual spring tea on Wednesday, April 23, at St. Peter’s Parish Hall, 324 14th St., Del Mar. The 2-4 p.m. event includes music from the “Downton” era performed by entertainers “Janet and Jay” and piano music provided by Lori Ritman, who al […]
  • Week in sports for Carmel Valley, Solana Beach and Del Mar April 18, 2014
    Cathedral Catholic extended its winning streak to 11 games as the Dons opened Western League play with a 7-2 victory over Patrick Henry on April 9. The victory followed a 7-4 nonleague win against Mater Dei Catholic two days earlier. Will Law had three hits including a home run and a double and drove in four runs to lead the Dons in the Patrick Henry game. […]
  • Man pleads guilty in fatal Del Mar hit-and-run case April 17, 2014
    A man who drove drunk and struck a marine biologist in a crosswalk in Del Mar, then fled the scene, pleaded guilty April 16 to gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated and a hit-and-run allegation. Christopher ``Chip’’ Stockmeyer, 41, faces between nine and 15 years in prison when he is sentenced June 20 for the March 28 death of Rachel Morrison. […]