In honors of International Education Week 2018, Virginia International University organized a week-long series of events including an interactive panel discussion focused on the importance of global engagement.
The panel discussion speakers included Dr. Zelalem Chala, VIU School of Business, and Choice Ogbuchi, Nigerian graduate student in VIU’s School of Business. Both panelists presented international faculty and student perspectives in a lively discussion centered around the importance of global engagement.
Dr. Chala discussed his background as an Ethiopian graduate student who chose to study in the U.S because he realized the importance of getting an overseas education to prepare for the global economy. After receiving his PhD, Dr. Chala worked as an instructor in the Mid-West before becoming an adjunct professor and then full-time faculty at Virginia International University. Currently he is teaching for the School of Business at VIU in the areas of business statistics, international finance, import/export management, microeconomics, macroeconomics, and introductory statistics. Dr. Chala’s advice for international students is “word hard and you will succeed”.
Choice Ogbuchi, a graduate VIU Business student from Nigeria described her learning experience in dealing with the cultural differences between Nigeria and the United States. Choice described the Nigerian and U.S educational and professional systems as very different and she is grateful to have learned to successfully navigate both cultures. Choice’s words of advice to fellow students are to develop communication, cross-cultural and emotional intelligence skills in order to successfully engage globally.
Following the presentation, international students in the audience shared some their own experiences with a common theme of appreciation for the ability to nagivate different cultures and the opportunity to study in the United States to further their education and global engagement.