UC Chile Welcomes 420 International Students from 33 Countries Around the World
Some of the students are here for exchange programs, research internships, professional internships, double/dual degree programs, and summer programs. During the ceremony, the new Green Guide was presented, which contains concrete actions to contribute to sustainability, as well as the academic integrity policy of UC Chile.
During the first semester of 2023, a total of 420 international students from 33 countries and 164 universities arrived at our university to participate in academic exchanges, research internships, professional internships, dual degree studies, and summer programs. The Office of the Vice President of International Affairs organized a heartwarming reception for the students at Fresno Hall, which was attended by various University Leadership authorities.
President Ignacio Sánchez expressed his appreciation for the students' decision to choose UC Chile, recognizing that their experiences will bring new perspectives and knowledge from other parts of the world to the institution. “The contribution that you will make to our university, to our students, and to our academic community is of great value. This way, we can all learn from each other and become better individuals,” said President Sánchez.
Reflecting on the significant achievements made by the Office of the Vice President since its inception in 2020, the university president emphasized how it has strengthened interdisciplinarity, interculturality, and the connection between students and professors at the university. “Internationalization is essential for a university. It enables us to collaborate with other institutions around the world, providing our students with opportunities to participate in international events and networks,” he added, citing partnerships such as CINDA, Universitas 21, Oducal, and the Hemispheric University Consortium, among others.
Expressing her delight at the international students' presence at UC Chile, Lilian Ferrer, Vice President for International Affairs, encouraged them to make the most of their time in Chile so they can develop as individuals. "I am certain that the experience you will gain during these months will be incredibly valuable for your academic trajectory, but more importantly, for your personal growth. You’ve already crossed physical borders, we now invite you to cross your own borders in Chile,” said Vice President Ferrer.
Global Competencies, Green Guide, and Academic Integrity
At the student reception, the significance of certain skills and competencies in an increasingly globalized world was emphasized. Maribel Flórez, Director of General Education, stressed the need to strengthen these skills, particularly in the context of teamwork, which will increasingly involve people from diverse backgrounds and cultures. “Research shows that diverse teams are 1.7 times more creative than homogeneous ones. Different perspectives enable better decision making and promote creativity and innovation,” said Flórez.
During the ceremony, the Green Guide was one of the novelties presented. The guide, which is a joint initiative of the Office of Sustainability and the Office of the Vice President for International Affairs, provides different concrete actions to contribute to sustainability. “The actions range from preparing for a sustainable trip or using eco-friendly transportation to go to the university, to sustainable shopping and eating, and recycling, among others,” explained Maryon Urbina, Director of Sustainability.
The Green Guide is a crucial component of the university's goal to achieve carbon neutrality by 2038 and is a response to Pope Francis' call for the protection of our “common home.” Cristian Díaz, director of Global Mobility, emphasized that the objective is for international students to adopt these practices not only within UC Chile but also in their daily lives. They can also complement and compare them with similar initiatives developed by their home universities to generate shared knowledge.
Academic integrity was another of the topics addressed during the meeting with the students. Gonzalo Pizarro, Academic Director of the Office of Academic Affairs and board member of the International Center for Academic Integrity, stressed the significance of promoting values such as honesty, truthfulness, trust, fairness, and respect during the exchange experience. He also encouraged students to share best practices, raise questions and concerns, and review the available resources in this area. “We aim to raise awareness about the significance of honest and respectful work within the university. To achieve this, we offer an online academic integrity course and various resources,” said Pizarro.
Belén Saavedra, Support Coordinator, mentioned the different opportunities available for students to participate in activities within the UC Chile, such as social or research initiatives.
The ceremony also featured a performance by the folkloric group Almas UC, showcasing a diverse demonstration of typical Chilean dances to the international students.