NOVA is spreading the message of the value of the community college model of education throughout the world. NOVA’s Office of International Education and Sponsored Programs hosted three international delegations—two from China, with 12 vocational school vice presidents visiting from Hebei and 22 higher education administrators visiting from Jiangsu. In addition, OIESP hosted 21 journalists from 21 countries across the globe through the U.S. Department of State’s Foreign Press Center. The delegation included journalists from Jordan, Croatia, Peru, Suriname, Cambodia, Costa Rica, Papua New Guinea, Nigeria, Bulgaria, Uzbekistan, Angola, Mexico, Guatemala, Fiji, Japan, Romania, Algeria, Eswatini (formerly Swaziland), South Africa, Kazakhstan and Vietnam.
This is the second visit since 2018 from the State Department’s Foreign Press Centers, an outreach effort to help foreign media cover U.S. issues with depth, accuracy and balance by providing access to authoritative American information sources.
The 21 FPC journalists spent roughly six hours at NOVA, learning about the U.S. higher education system in general and the increasingly important place community colleges play in this structure. They learned from Associate VP of OIESP Syedur Rahman and Associate Director of International Education Stacey Bustillos of the 2+2 model, where students complete two years at a community college and then transfer for the final two years at a four-year institution. They also learned about pathways directly from community college into the workforce from NOVAWorkforce Vice President Steve Partridge. To drive these messages home, there was a three-student panel, each student from one of the countries represented by the delegation. The students had an opportunity to share what brought them to NOVA, why they have appreciated the education they have received here and their plans going forward. The group wrapped up their visit at the Medical Education Campus where they were greeted by Campus Provost Nicole Reaves and heard a presentation by Geraldine Hofler on the importance of healthcare education as NOVA assists this growing region in filling the pipeline of healthcare vacancies that is only expected to grow in the foreseeable future.
NOVA has 1,300 international students, representing 126 countries, studying on F and J visas. The top five countries represented among NOVA’s international student population are Vietnam, Korea, China, Nepal and Brazil.