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James Madison University ISC Opening Ceremony Points to Success

01 October 2010


Along with ISC staff members and over 30 new students, representatives from James Madison University and Study Group inaugurated the new academic ISC on September 30 2010.

The event was held on campus at Memorial Hall, the home of the ISC, and was followed by an Open House event.

The inauguration coincided with James Madison University’s International Week, which is dedicated to the celebration of cultural diversity. Study Group’s endeavor to create opportunities for international students lines up well with JMU’s approach to expanding their international student base. JMU President Linwood Rose said the relationship between Study Group and JMU is consistent with the university's mission to enhance diversity on campus.

Festivities commenced with an impressive line-up of speakers: Center Director Adam Copeland welcomed all and introduced students Leo Shuoda Wang from China and Sojin Kim from South Korea, who spoke of their experiences at the ISC. 

Sojin expressed her appreciation of the program: "I started my life in America with Study Group to improve my English skills and to prepare for my life at JMU. In the first year here, I have lots of trouble with study, friends, or even in life. Now I can use many school resources properly including library and writing center and I met many international students who undergo similar situation as me."

Commemorative speeches were also made by President Linwood Rose; Dr Linda Halpern, Dean of University Studies; and Nick Rhodes, Study Group Managing Director, Higher Education – North America and China. Speaking about the inception of the ISC’s Foundation Diploma and Pre-Masters programs, Dr Halpern mentioned her initial conversation with Nick, "Right away I was excited that this was a comprehensive program that emphasized academics, culture transition and language acquisition for international students."

Nick Rhodes reiterated that all parties benefit from the co-mingling of cultures that is inherent to the ISC: "The way the world is moving it is becoming imperative that students have an international perspective."

Director of international student and scholar services at JMU, Delo Blough, describes the opportunity offered by the ISC to students as, “Their ‘study abroad' experience, except that it lasts four years. International students understand that with a US degree from an excellent institution, along with the experience of being completely culturally fluent, their lives are vastly improved."

The afternoon ended on a note of camaraderie; students, faculty and staff all enjoyed a cake decorated with the JMU logo, Study Group logo, and a map to represent the increasing global society that we strive for.

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