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Cal State Fullerton Expands Global Partnerships With Universities in South Korea, Sweden, Vietnam

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For decades, Cal State Fullerton has taken pride in its range and depth of outreach to countries across the world. Once the pandemic restrictions were lifted, the university began reestablishing relationships and developing new partnerships with global universities to provide opportunities for CSUF students to study abroad and allow international students access to the CSUF campus as well.

“CSUF has such a rich history of global involvement. The university’s mission of social mobility and focus on diversity and inclusion, position us to have a meaningful impact on our students, who may wish to study overseas as well as students who are studying overseas who may wish to enroll in CSUF through enrollment pathways with our international partners,” said Debra Leahy, Dean of Extension and Associate Vice President for International Programs.

To deepen and expand these global relations, a team of CSUF leaders traveled this summer to meet with 11 university partners in three countries: Vietnam, South Korea and Sweden. The meetings allowed opportunity to discuss academic and regional partnerships.

FTU University Participants
CSUF delegation with members of the Foreign Trade University leadership in Vietnam

“The opportunity to develop trade relationships between Orange County businesses and firms in Vietnam and South Korea may have a significant economic impact regionally and overseas,” said Sridhar Sundaram, Dean of CSUF’s College of Business and Economics. “This, in turn, helps extend transformative learning opportunities for students.”

With the campus’s proximity to and engagement with the Little Saigon community in Orange County, CSUF has had a long-standing history with Vietnam.

“Beloved throughout Vietnam, Orange County’s Little Saigon community, home to the world’s largest overseas Vietnamese population, exerts even more influence over the future success of both nations,” said alumnus Tam Nguyen ’05 (MBA), Chair of the Cal State Fullerton Philanthropic Foundation Board of Governors. “CSUF continues to forge partnerships in Vietnam that are mutually beneficial.”

Among the universities engaging with the CSUF delegation in Vietnam were Foreign Trade University, Hanoi, and Fulbright University of Vietnam. The team committed to an exchange of students and faculty members to learn, teach and conduct research in both countries. The team also held exploratory meeting with University of Economics and Law, Hanoi and the University of Economics, Ho Chi Minh City.

While the delegation was in Vietnam, it also had an opportunity to meet with groups of CSUF alumni, and more targeted meetings onsite with alumni who who are now running successful businesses in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City.

Tam Nguyen Debra Lehy Sri Sundarham FTU Student
Members of the CSUF delegation meet with students at Foreign Trade University

“Graduates of Cal State Fullerton are contributing to the economies of both countries with critical investments of capital, ingenuity, knowledge, creativity and ethics,” said Nguyen.

In South Korea, CSUF leaders met with partners at Korea University and Ewha Womans University to determine ways to enhance these partnerships and open access to more students. In meeting with new partner, Woosong University, and its Solbridge International School of Business, the team explored increasing pathways, disciplines and creative opportunities for students to study at one another’s respective universities.

In Sweden, the delegation met with its counterparts at KTH Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm and Luleå University of Technology in Luleå. Reciprocal exchanges, enrollment pathways, expanded study abroad options were discussed as well as opening opportunities for students to enroll in CSUF’s Summer Session.

“When considering study abroad and student/faculty/staff exchanges, we strive to forge alliances and develop programs that position students to examine social structures and cultural views beyond their own experiences,” said Leahy.

Joshua Park (left), Dean of SolBridge International School of Business meets with CSUF delegation including Debra Leahy and Sri Sundaram.

“Ultimately, these partnerships are built around reciprocity and aligning with the goals and needs of our respective universities,” she added.

In fact, three of the universities that were part of this delegation visit will be visiting CSUF during the 2023-24 academic year.

Soon, the university hopes to not only expand opportunities for students at CSUF and abroad but create a wide spectrum of educational opportunities and cultivate a network of international alumni.

Valerie Orleans