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Global Cohabitation: UC Irvine Establishes an International Village

First Residence to Open this Fall

Starting this fall, the excitement, hubbub, sharing, and surprises of an international village will be part of the landscape at UC Irvine.

The new UCI International Village will be home to over 100 students, with 50 percent UCI students and the rest from abroad, with the international cohort a mix of both Education Abroad Program Reciprocal exchange students and international degree applicants.

Planners envision the village as a coherent, vibrant community that serves the needs of all students, faculty, and Irvine citizens who are interested in international affairs and in study overseas.

“This is a magnificent opportunity,” remarks Professor Keith Nelson, the Education Abroad Program (EAP) Faculty Director at UCI, “for Americans and international students to interact at a serious level over an extended period of their lives.

The village is the first step in UCI’s larger plan to establish a comprehensive residential, academic, and administrative center for international activities.”

A center of this nature will help the university to achieve its goal of enhancing international and area studies programs as well as “internationalizing” its curriculum and intellectual atmosphere in general.

“An international dimension is an increasingly essential part of every academic subject area and of every first-rate university,” says Professor Nelson. “We will all benefit from the tolerance, mutual appreciation, and insight that such encounter inspires.”

This project, which opens during the federally-declared “2006 the Year of Study Abroad,” coincides with federal initiatives to encourage and expand study abroad opportunities at U.S. institutions of higher education. A report recently released by the congressionally-created Commission on the Abraham Lincoln Study Abroad Fellowship Program deems it imperative that the country quadruple the number of American students studying abroad over the next ten years and strongly urges universities to encourage foreign students to come to the U.S. to study.

Indeed, the International Village will be called upon to serve many UCI students as a surrogate for study abroad. Since not all American students can afford financially to attend a foreign university, the International Village will provide a venue in which they can meet and learn from the very best foreign students, at the same time gaining awareness and greater understanding of current issues and foreign perspectives. In the process International Village will also bring visibility to UCI’s emerging role as a leader in international higher education.

Additional information about the International Village