ICC Adds on to Growing International Program

Published 05/07 2014 05:39PM

Updated 05/07 2014 07:15PM

EAST PEORIA -  A new addition to ICC could make it more attractive to students from around the world. Administrators unveiled a Chinese Language and International Center on Wednesday. 

It's all part of the community college's expanding international program. 

ICC unveiled four newly remodeled rooms, making up its International Center and Chinese Language Institute. Each one dedicated to bringing more culture to the campus. 

"The new international center brings the opportunity of people of different cultures and countries to come together to connect to one another," said Rita Ali, Vice President of Diversity International and Adult Education at ICC.

This rooms represent ICC's attempt to grow it's international community, one that welcomes 200 students from around the world each year.

"I would say for the last eight years it's gradually increased."

Since starting a little over a decade ago, ICC's International program has expanded rapidly. They host students from 55 different countries, some of them Fulbright scholars. 

Administrators said the additions will also help solidify ICC's relationship with partner schools around the globe. Specifically, Xiamen Huaxia in China helped fund their new Chinese Language Institute. Their extended an olive branch to Dr. Ali and her program by speaking at their ceremony.

"We've expanded study abroad for students, but not just for students but for faculty. We've done faculty exchange.

These programs are unique for a school like ICC.

"If you look at some of the progressive, mostly universities, they have an international center. And that's not common among community colleges."

Students like Tyler Vicary and Joel Rice are taking advantage of these programs. They'll be leaving for China within the next month.

"The fact that I've gone overseas for more studies. It's partially gonna help my engineer program," said Tyler Vicary.
"It makes us a more diverse school, but makes us recognized by more companies and more internships available to students," said Joel Rice.

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