Internationals @ Wayne State connects students studying abroad
Nurturing intercultural friendships is what it's all about for a new student organization, Internationals @ Wayne State, formed by German graduate student Constanze Sabathil to connect students from around the globe who are calling Detroit 'home' for a semester or more.
Through organized activities, like a recent visit to Pewabic Pottery to create ceramic tiles, Sabathil plans to highlight the culture of members' homelands through movie and game nights, simple language lessons and dance classes as they share their study abroad experience. Membership is open to all students.
With the guidance of Yuliya Harris, events and program coordinator of the Office for International Students and Scholars, a key unit within the Office of International Programs, the group builds upon the International Coffee Hours OISS holds in the living room of the Tower Suites.
"I love the coffee hours, and thought we could get together more often," says Sabathil, who hatched the idea last September with fellow German exchange student Andreas Krug, who returned home in December. The Dean of Students Office approved the request for the organization this semester.
Harris says she was excited when the students approached her for help creating an international student organization. She eagerly offered support to make it happen, knowing how much international students welcome the chance to connect.
"Constanze is an international student who embodies what it is to be a Wayne State Warrior," Harris says. "She saw a need for a group that allows international students to be more connected with each other and she built it."
Here through a graduate exchange partnership with the University of Munich, where she earned her bachelor's degree in American history, Sabathil says Wayne State was her No. 1 choice. Her master's is focused on African American studies and she has a wealth of Civil Rights Movement archival material at her fingertips in the Walter P. Reuther Library. She'll complete her thesis on the Black Lives Matter movement when she returns to Munich in May.
The Office of International programs leads Wayne State's global engagement by creating opportunities that foster international education and research, facilitate the exchange of individuals and ideas that promote global competencies and citizenship, and provide resources that support the expansion of the university's global agenda.