By Daniel Palm, director, Global Academic Engagement

Another summer has passed and we are excited that fall 2015 is on course to be a record year for international student enrollment at Northern Arizona University.

The Center for International Education has been busy welcoming nearly 500 new international students to campus, all of whom are required to participate in an orientation program organized by CIE. A full week of events and activities helps orient students to campus academic resources, U.S. legal and immigration matters, online account management, English language support, academic advising, registration and a variety of other topics related to international students’ personal and academic success here at NAU.

There are approximately 1,200 international students enrolled from more than 70 different countries, bringing with them diverse perspectives, experiences, cultures, life dreams and aspirations.

I often hear international student alumni reminiscing about Flagstaff, the deep blue sky, cold winters and the rich natural landscape that surrounds us. Typically, as the conversation continues, alumni reflect upon their academic experience and the profound influence particular faculty and staff have had on their lives.

The experience of these alumni speaks to the profound change they experienced by virtue of their time on campus, and reinforces the notion of the importance of continued internationalization here at NAU.

In the ever-increasing globalized landscape of knowledge-driven economies, higher education is positioned to play a crucial role in mobilizing students and university staff through expanded opportunities for collaboration, leading to the exchange of ideas and the acquisition of knowledge.

And of course, this brings us closer to our ultimate goal—that of global engagement and interconnectedness.