Services, Support, and a New Student Group for Global Nomads

Posted: October 12, 2004 at 1:00 am, Last Updated: November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

By Christopher Anzalone

Children of diplomats, missionaries, members of the U.S. military, and employees of international corporations and organizations often spend large parts of their lives living away from their country of citizenship and origin. Because they have lived abroad, these children have learned to understand and appreciate the diversity of the world’s cultures, religions, and ethnicities—skills that are generally well developed by the time they enter a university. In recognition of the unique experiences of students with international living experience, George Mason offers support services for them through the Global Nomads Program, the first of its kind in the nation, which is run by the Multicultural Research and Resource Center (MRRC).

The Global Nomads Program hosts social events at the beginning of each semester and maintains a resource library of journal articles, monographs, and multimedia materials at the MRRC office in SUB I, Room 225. In addition to coordinating events hosted through the MRRC, the Global Nomads Program draws on services from across George Mason’s other offices and academic departments, including the Center for Global Education, Counseling Center, and the Freshman Center.

The program also utilizes the expertise of its faculty, student, and alumni communities to support its initiatives and to help mentor current participants in integrating their international experiences in professional development. “The Global Nomads Program is important because in such an interconnected world, social and professional life is marked by ever-increasing amounts of transnational mobility,” says Peter Mandaville, director of the new Center for Global Studies. “The comfort with cultural pluralism that comes with being a global nomad is a skills set that should be nurtured and developed—something that this innovative program clearly recognizes.”

A recent addition to support services available to Global Nomads students is the Global Nomads Student Association (GNSA), which is currently finalizing its paperwork with the Office of Student Activities. The GSNA, headed by Carolyn Quick, is dedicated to providing support, information, and networking services to students who are U.S. citizens and who share the experience of living away from the United States before coming to George Mason. Quick, a senior who spent the past summer working in the U.S. Embassy in the United Kingdom as the Africa Watch coordinator, hopes to further the collective of Global Nomads students and foster a sense of camaraderie and fellowship among the community. “We recognize that ‘global nomads’ occasionally experience difficulty when they first begin school here at George Mason. Our goal is to facilitate this transition as much as possible by utilizing our student network and resources,” she says.

According to Quick, the GNSA is planning several events throughout the 2004-05 academic year, including a fund-raiser that will feature international cuisine, an evening of entertainment and dining for its members, and participation in an annual walk along Embassy Row in Washington, D.C.

For more information on the Global Nomads Program, visit the MRRC web site. For more information on the Global Nomads Student Association, click here.

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