Lots of international activity among St. Thomas students

When you study abroad you'll see colorful sights such as Megan Christensen photographed on the Ganges River, in Varanasi, India.

Lots of international activity among St. Thomas students

The University of St. Thomas this week is celebrating International Education Week. It is a celebration of the university’s geographical and international diversity. 

The  St. Thomas student community has a wealth of international experience: from students studying abroad to students arriving with a wide variety of international backgrounds. 

When you study abroad you’ll see smiling faces and make new friends, as Jessica O’Neill did during her Catholic Studies in Rome. She photographed this Egyptian guide as he carried his son on his shoulders and led her group on a desert/mountain trek near the city of Dahab on the Sinai Peninsula.

Study abroad continues to be an important component for undergraduates, with 829 total study-abroad students for 2004-2005. The top destinations of these students this past year were Italy, England and Spain, as they have been for the past several years. Australia and New Zealand also continue to grow in popularity for study abroad; however, St. Thomas students study all over the world, including nontraditional destinations such as China, Egypt, Madagascar, Mali, Morocco and Venezuela. 

Most international students at St. Thomas, meanwhile, come here from Asia and the Indian subcontinent. This fall, the top 10 countries represented at St. Thomas are: India, Nepal, Bangladesh, China, Pakistan, Colombia, France, Canada, Kenya and Uganda.   

While most undergraduate international students come to St. Thomas to major in business or economics, this year several have chosen to major in engineering. 

Rounding out the international student presence on campus are the English Language Services (ELS) students who come to St. Thomas to learn English. Most ELS students arrive here from Japan and Korea. This fall, however, ELS has students from as far away as China, Hungary, Poland, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Thailand and Vietnam. 

The university’s vision statement calls for “ … responsible engagement with the local community as well as the national and global communities in which we live.”  

Helping to foster that engagement are the International Admissions Office, Office of International Student Services, International Education Center and, as noted above, the English Language Services program.

A Japanese Tea Ceremony is a traditional International Education Week activity. The event will be held from 4 to 5 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 19, in Room 160, Murray-Herrick Campus Center.