Gregg Orifici, director of global initiatives at the UNH Center for International Education and Global Engagement, recently talked with UNH Today about his program and how donors help make it successful.
What is the mission of the Center for International Education and Global Engagement (CIEGE)?
Helping students access the world as their classroom, encouraging diversity on campus, engaging global faculty and scholars, welcoming more international students to UNH — these are just some of the ways the CIEGE embraces the vision for an internationalized UNH.
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Seems like a big undertaking — what keeps the CIEGE staff motivated?
We believe that internationalizing the UNH campus and creating meaningful global experiences for our students is more critical now than ever. Exposure to different cultures and perspectives is an essential component of a university education.
What were some of your major accomplishments this year?
Our international student population grew, as UNH was home to 1,170 students from 74 different countries and 180 exchange scholars. We saw a 5.6 percent increase in the number of undergraduate students studying abroad. For the first time, we awarded the new diversity scholarship that helps four students study abroad.
How has donor support helped you achieve CIEGE's goals?
Donor support of all levels helps to fund scholarships to make study abroad more affordable for low-income and first-generation students. The (603) Challenge funds from this year will help launch the much-needed UNH International Student Emergency Fund to assist students in managing unforeseen events like medical emergencies or hardships as a result of changes in national policies affecting U.S. diplomatic relations with other countries.
What do you want donors to know about their gifts to CIEGE?
That their gifts, of whatever amount, inspire us to keep going, to work harder, even in these challenging times, and under significant financial constraint, knowing that our mission is shared.