ECU: Partner institutions from around the world to meet this week

GREENVILLE, NC — East Carolina University is hosting its 10th annual Global Partners in Education Conference this week.

It’s taking place Monday through Wednesday at Gateway Residence Hall on College Hill.

More than 40 representatives from 24 academic institutions and 15 countries who partner with ECU to prepare students to succeed in a global knowledge economy will come together for the conference.

ECU is the only university in America that is a part of the program.

The program gives students the opportunity to talk to students in different countries, while learning more about other cultures. Jon Rezek, ECU’s Director of Global Affairs, said it gives a sense of studying abroad without having to pay thousands of dollars.

“Several hundred students have gone through the program, and a lot of them have gone on to decide they want to do study abroad somewhere or they want to have an internationally focused career,” Rezek said.

Eleanor Kane, representing the University of Shimane in Japan, said their students get just as much out of it as ECU students.

“For our students, going abroad is something financially difficult for them, so it’s been wonderful to be able to talk with students from North Carolina and to interact with them,” she said.

The conference will include keynote speakers Remedios Gomez Arnau, Consul General of Mexico, and ECU Provost Dr. Ron Mitchelson. A panel discussion will also explore the conference theme, which is the intersection of global education with regional economic development.

Several presentations from institutions in countries such as Japan, Turkey, and Algeria will also take place over the three-day conference. Research, collaborations, and faculty-led study abroad opportunity discussions will also take place.

“This conference highlights the value international education brings directly to the region and the tight relationship between global connections and regional economic development,” explained Dr. Jami Leibowitz, interim director for Global Academic Initiatives. “It also provides a forum for strengthening our collaborative relationship around the world and improving upon and developing new programs that will help our students gain the skills, knowledge, and attitudes necessary to thrive in a global knowledge economy.”

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