On November 13, Mary Baldwin University will welcome visitors from India, Jordan, Mexico, Russia, and Rwanda interested in American college education. But these people are not potential students, they are representatives from EducationUSA, who advise students from their countries about study possibilities in the United States.
Mary Baldwin is the only women’s college on the advisors’ itinerary, which was coordinated and funded by James Madison University to include six colleges and universities in Virginia. Heather Ward, Mary Baldwin director of international programs, hopes the college’s signature programs — such as the Program for the Exceptionally Gifted (PEG) and Virginia Women’s Institute for Leadership (VWIL) — will intrigue our international visitors. Participants work for the state department in offices at U.S. embassies as college guidance counselors for students interested in higher education in this country.
The visit is more than a campus tour. Accompanied by Ward, visitors will attend a psychology class, learn about the benefits of attending a women’s college from a faculty member, hear about services offered for international students at Mary Baldwin, receive introductions to PEG and VWIL, and dine with international students and scholars.
Mary Baldwin currently hosts international students from Northern Ireland, Japan, India, Korea, Zambia, Pakistan, Bulgaria, Germany, and Jordan. The college enjoys exchange relationships with Doshisha Women’s College, Kansai Gaidai University, and Tokyo Jogakkan College in Japan; Lady Doak College in India; and a brand-new agreement with Sungshin Women’s University in South Korea. The opening of the Spencer Center for Civic and Global Engagement in October 2007 provided much-needed coordination for international studies and trips, as well as volunteer and service opportunities. The EducationUSA delegation represents many countries where Mary Baldwin does not yet have a presence, opening more possibilities for enriching interaction on campus.
*This article originally appeared in the November 4 issue of The Cupola , a monthly newspaper produced by Mary Baldwin University