Message from the Dean: November 2023

Frances Vavrus
Frances Vavrus, Dean and Vice Provost of the International Division at the University of Wisconsin–Madison.

This week, the University of Wisconsin–Madison joins higher education institutions across the country in observing International Education Week (IEW), a celebration of the benefits of international education and cultural exchange. As a global university boasting a dynamic community of international students, collaborative research across borders, and programming that encourages every student to explore the world, UW–Madison has much to celebrate.

Earlier this week, UW–Madison was recognized as a top university for study abroad and international students in the Open Doors Report, which is produced by the Institute of International Education in partnership with the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs. The report ranked UW–Madison as #12 for study abroad among U.S. institutions and #20 for international students.

These rankings are more than accolades to add to the university’s already impressive reputation. They signify a campus culture of exchange, with students choosing Wisconsin to enhance their global perspective, while at the same time many others take part in programming designed to immerse themselves in cultures outside of the United States. This curiosity is one of the reasons why the university is recognized around the world.

In observance of IEW, I delivered the keynote speech and moderated a panel of educators, leaders, and experts at an event on Nov. 15 entitled “Raise the Bar: Advancing Careers through Multilingual Education,” at the U.S. Department of Education in D.C. Having directly experienced the profound impact of programs such as FLAS and Fulbright-Hays, I was gratified to share my experiences and take part in conversations on how new generations can enhance their professional paths through multilingualism and intercultural competence.

I hope that those of you on campus have had an opportunity to take part in events planned for the week. Even beyond IEW, there are countless ways to add a global dimension during your time as a Badger, bother on campus and abroad. I encourage students to explore possibilities, and in doing so, become more deeply engaged in the world.