Samford hosts global education conference

The Consortium for Global Education or CGE-an organization that helps students safely travel abroad-was held last week on Samford’s campus.

During the conference, two keynote speakers from India and Egypt spoke, along with legal representatives from Birmingham. The subjects covered help highlight CGE’s value and investment in both studying abroad possibilities and in welcoming international students to U.S. campuses.

“(The goal is to) support the membership and to hear reports from academics and international education that are laced and integrated with faith and learning,” CGE President Carolyn Bishop said.

The CGE is comprised of 41 members from around the world,  in which 35 members were in attendance representing 11 countries.

“We bring in international speakers and partners from all over the world,” Bishop said. “We rejoice in what’s happened in the year before and we look toward all of the planning from the leadership perspective for the next year.”

Anil Joseph Pinto, a registrar from Christ University in Bangalore, India, discussed the history of India’s higher education system and opportunities for U.S. students to study and research on this campus.

“The world is going to be highly global and mobile, and studying abroad encourages engagement in the world,” Pinto said.

Christ University is the largest Christian university in India, and boasts global connections to schools in the U.S., U.K., France, the Netherlands and more. Pinto spoke to both showcase his school in India and to encourage college leaders in attendance to partner with Christ University in future study abroad opportunities.

The second speaker, Dr. Norris Ham, is a high school principal at The American International School in Cairo, Egypt. Ham shared his passion for his students in Egypt and their potential to thrive and feel welcomed in U.S. higher education systems.

He described the struggles, resiliency and ambitions that his students have in a pursuit for education after their K-12 years.

“(Students) desire to learn in an American system,” Ham said, also noting that only 5% of the students actually study in America during their college years.

Due to financial, political and safety concerns in the U.S. lead them to apply for schools elsewhere such as in Canada and the U.K.. Ham earnestly encouraged the leaders in attendance to open their university doors as not just places of study for international students, but as a home and place of well-being.

“We sometimes forget that (a college) diploma can mean everything,” Ham said.

CGE serves to connect universities with study abroad opportunities that enable students to explore an ever-connecting world. Just as importantly, this organization is moving to support more international students as they apply and search for college homes in the U.S.


Carol Graffeo, Staff Writer

Photo courtesy of Elizabeth Sturgeon, Photo Editor