Kirsten Sheppard, director of international education at Maryville College’s Center for International Education, recently attended a seminar for international administrators, held in Stuttgart, Germany.
Sponsored by the Ministry of Science, Research and the Arts/Baden-Wurttemburg, the seminar focused on the German education system, German-American academic equivalencies and student exchange between Germany and the United States. Lectures and discussions were complemented by visits to primary, secondary and tertiary educational institutions in the state of Baden-Wurttemberg.
“I was struck by the incredible emphasis on language throughout the German education system,” remarked Sheppard. “Students in Gymnasium - similar to U.S. middle and high schools combined - all study a minimum of two foreign languages.”
Sheppard said that the experience broadened her perspective of U.S. higher education and where it fits into the global education environment.
She hopes that the knowledge gained will help Maryville College better recruit and serve international students and prospective study abroad students.
In regards to the networking opportunities, she said, “I hope to build partnerships with institutions in this area of Germany related to student and faculty exchange.”
Sheppard was one of 17 applicants selected out of 40 by a committee of representatives from the American Association of Collegiate Registrars and Admissions Officers (AACRAO), the state of Baden-Wurttemburg and NAFSA: Association of International Educators (formerly the National Association of Foreign Student Advisers).