Spotlight: IUPUI’s 30-Year International Legacy

Since 1989, an emphasis on internationalization has allowed IUPUI to initiate connections with the world. February 2019 marks the 30-year anniversary of establishing IUPUI’s Office of International Affairs as a hub for Hoosier-driven interest in international academic activities and connections.

The overarching intent of IUPUI’s international work is to ensure local students are exposed to the global-conversation, but also enable international students to have practical training in Indianapolis.

Creating a global city

In 2018, Chancellor Paydar had this pledge in leading IUPUI to update its strategic plan: “IUPUI will become a global campus and will partner with Indianapolis as it becomes a global city. We will accomplish these aims through effective international partnerships; international opportunities for students, faculty, and staff; and development of our students as citizens able to operate in a globalized world with skill, wisdom, and responsibility.”

Today, the Office of International Affairs connects students to the world and the world to IUPUI -- through opportunities like study abroad, international student and scholar services, curriculum internationalization, and international partnerships and public programming.

International talent

Over the years, IUPUI has enhanced its outreach efforts, and progressively attracted more attention from the international student community. It formed offices for international programming and student services. As of Fall 2018, IUPUI has 1,924 international students (6.7% of the total student body) that hail from approximately 145 countries. Indiana’s business community has direct access to an ever-developing pipeline of globally-geared talent, supported in part by IUPUI’s efforts. From 2004-2016 alone, the Indianapolis metro area saw a net change in its foreign graduate population of 26%, to 5,300 students annually (Source: Pew Research Center).

IUPUI’s broader global reach

Other examples of IUPUI’s global reach can be seen across the Indianapolis community and beyond:

  • Global Voices: International students have helped enhance Indianapolis’ connectivity to a global dialogue.  IUPUI’s Office of International Affairs runs a “Global Voices” program to connect local school classes, nonprofits, and others with international students to learn about their countries, culture, and experiences.
  • International House: In 1991, IUPUI developed ‘International House’ – a cross-cultural residence community that houses both U.S. and international students, which now has more than 1,100 alumni around the world.
  • Global Health: As the global health research hub of Indiana University, IUPUI attracts a large number of international scholars—nearly 700 annually—to work in research labs, complete short-term teaching assignments, and more. Through IUPUI’s international partnerships, Hoosier faculty and student researchers collaborate on research projects with partners abroad, which improves local intellectual capital and positions them to better compete for research funding.
  • International Partnerships: IUPUI has established collaboration with universities abroad, with its largest current partnerships in Kenya, China, and the UK. Kenya and IU’s connection has notably spurred local growth between Indianapolis and Eldoret, Kenya. The greatest product of this partnership is the creation of AMPATH - a $75 million project dedicated to improving the health of Kenyans, through the prevention and treatment of HIV/AIDS. As part of this partnership, IU School of Medicine students can complete two-month medical rotations in rural Western Kenya, equipping them to better serve Central Indiana’s diverse immigrant population as medical practitioners upon their return.


For more on IUPUI’s efforts as the Office of International Affairs celebrates 30 years, visit http://international.iupui.edu/

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