Letter to the editor: International Degree helps students, university as a whole

Manuel Michel

I am a recipient of the OSU International Degree and my comments are in response to the article published on 2/18/2016 regarding the suspension and potential termination of this program. The OSU International Degree Program is a paragon of excellence because of its reputation and the opportunities it helps create for OSU graduates, the campus community, the state of Oregon, and the world.

This degree provides OSU students the opportunity to gain additional experience in their primary area of study and adds a global focus. Students improve their research, writing, and foreign language proficiencies, gain cultural understandings, and make international contacts. Furthermore, they analyze issues that directly affect Oregon. Recent International Degree thesis projects include Oregon forests and their susceptibility to drought and environmental changes, global and Oregon perspectives on honey bees, and invasive pests that affect Oregon agriculture.

The exchange of wisdom and ideas that take place when OSU students step off-campus to study abroad, participate in internships, or conduct research for their thesis projects, generates benefits and advancements at all ends of the spectrum. This is especially true in the industry I work in, which is agriculture. As International Degree students work and interact with students, faculty, and professionals from other universities, companies, and organizations around the globe, OSU’s reputation grows and strengthens with every interaction that takes place and each relationship that is formed.

My International Degree has been fundamental to my career. I would not be where I am today without the combination of education, experience, and skills that OSU and the International Degree Program provided me.

Manuel Michel

Oregon State University alumnus

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