Mesa Community College has negotiated and signed academic agreements with four more international universities in Peru, Japan, New Zealand and Ireland within recent months to expand upon the current universities offered in the International Education Program.
The agreements allow MCC to collaborate with these partners to arrange academic and cultural exchanges for students and faculty to encourage global awareness in study abroad and research.
“Generally the idea of collaboration is that there’s some kind of common interest involved and we like to collaborate to work on internationalization of curriculums to provide research opportunities and connections for our faculty, and to organize and work together on study abroad,” said Aziz Alhadi, student services director of International Education at MCC.
The International Education Program is always looking to establish relationships with universities abroad that have programs of common interest with MCC, according to Alhadi.
One of the new international universities added to the program, Cayetano Heredia University in Peru, specializes in medical sciences and has an exceptional nursing program. By partnering with this university, MCC is able to establish a level of cooperation with them in the field of medical services.
MCC has also signed agreements with Kansai Gaidai University in Japan, Otago University in New Zealand and The Technological University of the Shannon in Ireland.
There is currently one MCC student already studying at the international business program at Kansai Gaidai University in Japan, completing their bachelor’s degree.
When MCC is looking at collaboration agreements, the school is looking at study abroad programs as well as exchanges between MCC’s faculty and the faculty of other collaborators.
MCC and its collaborators work to schedule visits for faculty to see and experience their ways of teaching internationally, and even work out international internships to allow faculty to gain work experience in other countries.
According to Alhadi, the International Education Program is constantly working to diversify their study abroad destinations around the globe. The program looks to expand outside the typical destinations that are offered frequently within Europe, as this year, MCC has programs in Namibia, a country in southern Africa, and Costa Rica.
“Primarily we want to promote global awareness and cooperation in study abroad, research, and the internationalization of curriculum and programs,” said Alhadi. “We have these fabulous programs and opportunities for the universities to learn from us, and for us to learn from them.”
The new agreements supplement the existing agreements that MCC has with universities in Turkey, Jordan and India.