Archive | July 2015

CENet Study Abroad Scholarship: Cassie Doster

The Global Training Initiative is proud to announce the launch of the Cultural Exchange Network (CENet) Study Abroad Scholarship. The GTI plans on awarding up to 2 scholarships of $1,000 each year.

The first recipient of the CENet Study Abroad Scholarship was Cassie Doster, a rising senior who is majoring in Biological Sciences. Doster attended Monash University in Melbourne, Australia for the Spring 2015 semester.

doster_oz1Here is a summary of the experience in her own words:

“I have been taking Latin, Ecology, Genetics, and a course called Exploring Contemporary Australia. For Ecology, we went on a field trip to a rocky shore to collect data for a project and I was able to see some unique aquatic wildlife. My Exploring Contemporary Australia class has really helped me to learn many things about Australia that I would not have known other wise. We have explored a local suburb, gone to the art museum and a museum on aboriginal culture. We have explored aboriginal culture quite a bit, and I have been surprised to find that most Australians I know  have never learned much about it at all. We have also discussed many other topics such as Australian media, regional identities, multiculturalism, religion, mining and trade, and power and class. We have been focusing on how all of these things come together to help Australian’s create ‘a sense of place’. I really feel as if I understand more about Australia and the people that live here because of this class.”

 I began my study abroad experience with a two week trip to New Zealand. My roommate and I rented a car and drove around the South Island for 14 days. We had an amazing time and did mostly outdoor activities such as hiking. Some of the highlights were the city of Queenstown and the mountains surrounding it, hiking Mount Alfred and the Copland track to geothermal hot pools, kayaking in Milford sound (even though it snowed in the middle of summer while we were there!), finding glow worms in a cave, going to Tunnel Beach, and seeing penguins, sea lions, and many, MANY sheep.

While the best part about New Zealand was the nature, the best part of Australia has been the people (though it is beautiful too!). I am living in the residence halls, which has allowed me to get to know both local and international students. The first two weeks were orientation, and we did many fun things to get to know each other and the area. We went to the Queen Victoria night markets, had an amazing race and looked at street art in the city of Melbourne, and played some fun games such as an ‘Olympics’. During these two weeks I also went to the beach and to Philip Island nature preserve and to see the native animals.

For the Easter break I went home with an Australian friend who lives in rural Victoria. It was really nice to be in the ‘bush’ and to see how people really live. They were extremely nice and even got me a chocolate bilby for Easter. I got to see some farmland and more wildlife such as a huntsman spider and sulfur-crested cockatoos. We also went to a nice little old mining town for one day and then went hiking at Wilson’s Promontory on the coast another day, which was really beautiful. I also tried my first proper meat pie at the local bakery. We then headed back to Melbourne so I could meet some friends to go on a road trip on the Great Ocean Road. We saw some wild koalas, the twelve apostles, and some beautiful scenes all along the southern coast of Australia.


I recently went on a trip to Sydney for the long weekend. I saw the classic icons such as the opera house and harbor bridge. We also went hiking in the Blue Mountains for the day and walked along the coast from Bondi to Coogee beach. We had a great time exploring the city, despite the fact that it rained all weekend.”

The GTI encourages all CENet members to apply for the scholarship. Visit the Study Abroad website for more information.


Introducing the Cultural Exchange Network (CENet)

The Global Training Initiative at North Carolina State University is proud to announce the launch of the Cultural Exchange Network, or CENet for short. CENet is your gateway to exploring all cultures through activities designed to build global competencies. The program connects NC State students to international students from the SKEMA Business School in France as well as students from GTI partner schools in Brazil, China, and Taiwan.

CENet was formerly the International Cultural Leadership Project, which was created in 2011 as a way to connect SKEMA Business School students to the NC State community. Participation quickly grew, as did the number of events offered by the GTI each semester. So, the ICLP transformed into the Cultural Exchange Network.

The goal of GTI’s Cultural Exchange Network is to foster cultural learning through academic, social and service learning activities. The network brings together students and the NC State community to integrate international students into campus life and expose NC State students to a world of cultures available here at home.

Members of the Cultural Exchange Network have access to at least 40 activities every semester, which are free to students. These high impact experiences contribute to the integration of international populations at NC State as well as provide individual global learning opportunities. CENet activities focus on cultural learning through academic, social and service situations.

Engineering Summer Internships

The GTI partnered with NC State’s College of Engineering this summer to host two undergraduate internship programs. The first program was designed for students who are studying in the U.S. through a scholarship from the King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST) in Saudi Arabia. These students are currently attending other U.S. universities like Brown, Emory, Purdue, and Penn State. Thirteen students joined NC State professors in their research labs and took custom computer programming classes during their month-long program. During the final evaluation of the KAUST Summer Program, all of the students said they appreciated the internships experiences and classes that were organized for them. They also enjoyed spending the month at NC State and getting to know other students and exploring campus and downtown Raleigh. Many of them commented that they would have liked to have spent more than four weeks with their professors in order to delve deeper into the lab experience.

Singing “Happy Birthday” in Arabic

Four female engineering students from the Palestinian Technical University in the West Bank came to NC State through the Leadership, Integrity, Fellowship, Engineering (LIFE) Scholars program. The LIFE Scholars program, which is now in its second year, pairs students with NC State professors for a full-time summer research and learning experience. These students spend two months working in research labs under the guidance of a faculty member.

“The feedback from the faculty has been great,” said Dr. Larry Silverberg, director of undergraduate programs for Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering. “The faculty invite the top students to apply to their research programs as graduate students.”

Visiting the NC Museum of Art

Visiting the NC Museum of Art