February 2011
 
First Lady Encourages Students to Join the Global Community
spacer
 
By Damien T. Frierson, M.S.W., graduate assistant, Office of University Communications

Michelle Obama

Coinciding 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 China. 

Speaking 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."

As 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 in China. "Once I went abroad, I understood why things are the way they are and how different and how similar we are to each other."
During 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)


"My 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 by 2014.

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.

"Howard 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."


Howard University
, All rights reserved. 2225 Georgia Avenue, NW, Washington DC 20059
Raven Padgett, Editor; LaShandra Gary, Publications Specialist | Phone: 202-238-2330 | Email: ouc@howard.edu

Contact Webmaster - Disclaimer

Home Features Excellence at Howard University News History Quiz Campus Life Voices from the Hill