In Class News

December 3, 2016 at 10:05 am

ELIP Course Helps Make Athens ‘Home’ for International Bobcats

Lydia Bambeck works with fellow classmates and instructor Art Oestrike. Lydia Bambeck works with fellow classmates and instructor Art Oestrike. The scene is a classroom.

Lydia Bambeck and fellow classmates enjoy collaborating with international student groups across campus.

By Andrea Wurm

Ohio University is home to more than 20,000 students who share two common bonds—a love for Athens, Ohio, and a passion to pursue the degree of their choice. It is also a place that represents 1,740 international students from all walks of life.

But what does it mean to be a Bobcat at Ohio University? For Lydia Bambeck, a senior from Ohio, being a Bobcat has a more global concept than it used to before she enrolled in the Business Relations and Communications course ELIP 1300: “ELIP 1300 has opened my mindset about the presence and involvement of international students on campus. Before this course, I had never thought about Ohio University being home to students from all over the world.”

ELIP 1300 is a dynamic class that supports students from the United States and the world as they further develop their interpersonal and global communication skills. Collaborating with OHIO’s Global Leadership Center, the class asks the crucial question: “What makes Ohio University home to all our students?”

Kai Li

Kai Li recommends the course ELIP 1300 for all international undergraduates.

For Kai Li, an Economics student from China, OHIO offers a sense of community, such as he has developed in this course.

“I recommend this class for international students because they can learn how to better communicate with A­­­­­­­merican students and improve their communication,” he says.

Li also appreciates the hands-on practice with doing teamwork, something that can be challenging for students from any country.

“This class really helps us learn how to do group work,” notes Li. “Team work is better for helping with projects, because you get more ideas. Before this class, I had many classes where we didn’t get to practice team work. But in this class, my teammates have good ideas and the instructor teaches us how to do team work with Americans.”

ELIP 1300 instructor and local business owner and Ohio University alum Art Oestrike works to create a welcoming and active atmosphere in the course in order to breakdown barriers and encourage authentic communication. This semester, he had students work together in groups to focus on how OHIO can offer a more inviting campus for our international students. Collaborating with student organizations such as the International Student Union and Housing and Residence Life, the students are contributing to a vision of making Ohio University’s environment a more global-minded home for all.

Being a global-minded campus is a two-way street. Bambeck points out that just as international students are learning English and about U.S. culture, the American students need to learn more about the rest of the world.

“We are working to make students like myself more aware of the opportunities that international students bring to the university,” she says. Working in international teams on international problems can move our campus toward building a global perspective on campus.

The 2-credit hour ELIP 1300 course is available Spring Semester of the 2016-17 school year on Wednesdays from 5:15 to 7:05 p.m.

For more information on professional and academic communication courses offered by ELIP, visit the website.

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