|First Lady Encourages Students to Join the Global Community
Damien T. Frierson, M.S.W., graduate assistant, Office of University
with Chinese President Hu Jintao's state visit to Washington,
D.C., First Lady Michelle Obama visited Howard last
month, urging students to take advantage of study-abroad
opportunities and join the global community. Her visit
was part of a student panel discussion on study-abroad
programs in China. She was joined by Madame Chen Naiqing,
the wife of China's ambassador to the United States,
and Mary Kaye Huntsman, wife of the U.S. ambassador
to a capacity filled auditorium, the first lady encouraged
students to view studying abroad not simply as a way
to expand their own education, but as an opportunity
to broaden their perspective of the world. "Getting
ahead in today's workplace isn't just about the skills
you bring from the classroom," she said. "It's also
about the experiences you have with the world beyond
our borders with people, languages and cultures that
are very different from our own."
a recipient of the Department of State Critical
Language Scholarship, Nicole Baden, a senior in
the School of Communications, is studying Chinese,
Arabic and Spanish. Baden was one of the panelists
and reflected on her initial reasons for study abroad
"Once I went abroad, I understood
why things are the way they are and how different
and how similar we are to each other."
a recent visit to Howard, First Lady Michelle Obama encouraged
students to view study abroad as an opportunity to broaden
their perspective of the world. (Justin D. Knight)
professor Julie Chang Andrist would always tell me that
it is good that you are mastering the language, but
you need to get to the country to put it to use,"
Baden said. "Once I went abroad, I understood why
things are the way they are and how different and how
similar we are to each other."
The first lady
also acknowledged that misconceptions still exist about
who is eligible for study abroad and how relevant these
opportunities are to a student's future. She highlighted
the Obama administration's 100,000 Strong Initiative, a program focused on increasing the number and diversity
of American students who travel to and study in China
The fact is, with every friendship you make and every
bond of trust you establish you are shaping the image
of America that is projected to the rest of the world,
she said. So when you study abroad, you are helping
to make America stronger.
takes pride in our historic preparation of students for
involvement in the world community," said President
Sidney A. Ribeau, Ph.D. "We are working vigorously
to ensure that we expand our international footprint so
that every Howard student has an international experience.
This is one of our institutional priorities and one that
we will fulfill."