Ever since I joined the International Visitors Council of Los Angeles as an intern, I have always wanted to meet with the visitors that I usually write proposals for, or, after I have become a part-time project assistant, draft the itineraries for. Unfortunately, I was never able to find time for it in addition to juggling school and work. Finally, this August, when the fall semester had just begun at USC, and I was still relatively free, I had the opportunity to meet with some university professors and administrators from Iraq.
These international visitors were invited to the United States by a professional exchange program run by the U.S. Department of State under the topic “Promoting University Linkages.” The program IVCLA designed for them in Los Angeles includes visiting USC, UCLA, and West Los Angeles College, etc. As a Trojan, I was very excited to meet them at USC and show them around my campus. Eleven accomplished scholars all with Ph.D. degrees; I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t stressed before meeting them. But they turned out to be very approachable and friendly professors. While I was taking them on a tour of the USC campus, we talked about things ranging from my experiences being an international student here in the United States to my opinions of the US-China relationships, from my studies in International Relations to my future plans and ambitions.
The visitors had two meetings at USC, one with the USC Rossier School of Education and another with the USC Office of Global Initiatives. I learned so much from the information session Rossier gave at the beginning. Did you know that there are 18,000 undergraduate students and 22,000 graduate students in USC? I had always thought that we had more undergrads!
During the meeting with USC Office of Global Initiatives, the visitors got a chance to explore programs in the Sol Price School of Public Policy and the Viterbi School of Engineering and spoke with a representative from the office of Graduate Admissions.
I was surprised by the sophistication and popularity of Rossier’s online graduate studies program, and the visitors were amazed as well. The online graduate programs recruit a large army of Trojans, and that’s why there are more graduate students than undergraduate students. The Iraqi professors were very enthusiastic about partnering with Rossier to set up customized programs especially for students in Iraq. Although there are only two Iraqi students studying at USC currently, one of the visitors said, “Our goal is two thousand!”
Rossier also did a write-up of this meeting: