ENRICHING CULTURAL UNDERSTANDING:
Goshen College has had a long history of intercultural and international education. As early as 1946, President Earnest Miller began to actively recruit international students to the Goshen campus. Prior to becoming President, Miller had spent many years living and working abroad and knew the value of learning about another culture that can only come from direct experience with people from another culture. Similarly, the Study-Service Term (SST) that was inaugurated in 1968 was informed by the majority of faculty who had lived abroad in the post-war era. In the years since the inception of the SST program students have returned from abroad with many questions and insights that could only come from a significant immersion in another culture.
In 1992, the college opened a Multicultural Affairs Office (MAO) that was intended to support students from many backgrounds, but particularly students of color. In addition to providing direct support to students and developing multicultural programs the director of the MAO supervised the faculty sponsor of the Black Student Union, the Latino Student and the International Student Club.
More recently, in 2006, the college received a multi-million dollar grant from the Lilly Foundation to foster a relationship with the Latino community in Northern Indiana. The focus of the grant was on intercultural teaching and learning. It included research on the resources and challenges that changing demographics bring to a rural Midwest community and to higher education, the creation of an intercultural learning environment to benefit all students and strengthen current efforts in recruiting and retaining regional Latino and other minority students.
It is out of this legacy that the Center for Intercultural and International Education (CIIE) was created. The center brings all of the campus intercultural and international resources into one location with the intent of fostering intercultural transformation. A few examples of the many activities of the center include orientation and advising international students, addressing the educational needs and resources of Latino students in the greater Goshen community, a graduate program in Intercultural Leadership, and the Study-Service Term programs in Africa, Asia andLatin America.
The two foci of the center are intercultural and international education. Our location in the Union building houses the broad array of international and intercultural activities that play a vital role on our campus.