The past decade has witnessed a significant growth in SPSU's international footprint.
While some limited programs existed before, starting in January 2002, SPSU began developing
or expanding student and faculty exchange programs with institutions of higher education
in Asia, Africa and Europe. Aside from offering a major and minor in International
Studies and a new degree program in Political Science through its Department of Social
and International Studies, SPSU now has very active articulated degree and exchange
programs with partner universities in China, Cameroon, Jamaica, Italy, and Germany,
with additional programs under development in the Republic of Georgia, India, and
Malaysia. These programs involve more than 250 students and ten disciplines, including
several engineering technologies, technical communication, computer science, international
studies, and business administration. In recent years, SPSU has been recognized by
the Institute of International Education for hosting the fifth largest international
student population among all universities in the U.S. based on percent of student
body. Each year, 30-50 SPSU students also participate in short- and long-term study
programs in such locations as Germany, China, Korea, England, Spain and Italy.
Raj (Rajgopal) Sashti, Director of International Program Development, provides leadership for the increase in international education activities at SPSU. He is a recipient of three Fulbright scholarships to Germany, Japan and Brazil, has been awarded numerous direct and matching grants to develop and implement more than thirty domestic and overseas faculty development and curriculum enrichment projects funded through Fulbright Programs of the U. S. Department of Education and the Council for the International Exchange of Scholars (CIES). In connection with his professional activities, he has studied and traveled in two dozen countries in East Asia, South Asia, Southeast Asia; Africa; the Middle East; Europe; and Latin America.
Raj joined SPSU in Fall 2009 and also established the university as the headquarters of the Nine University and College International Studies Consortium of Georgia. In addition to his leadership responsibilities at SPSU. Raj has served as an international education adviser to more than 40 universities and colleges including California State University, the University of Pittsburgh, North Carolina State University and the University of Tennessee.
Since joining SPSU, Raj has been awarded, three Fulbright grants, two Scholar in Residence and a Fulbright Foreign Language Teaching Assistant(FLTA) Program. Based on grants from flagship universities, he has also organized numerous conferences to internationalize the curriculum, invited and hosted diplomats and Fulbright scholars, and served as a panelist for the webinars of the Fulbright Program organized by the CIES.
Over the next five years Southern Polytechnic State University is deeply committed to securing funds to support the following activities:
- Fifty $1,000 Student Study Abroad Scholarships
- An Enhanced Program of Service to International Students.
- Faculty Development Workshops to infuse international dimensions into the curricula.
- An International Studies Resource Center.
- An International Faculty Exchange Program.
- Expansion of the International Footprint into Russia, Vietnam, and other countries.
- Development of new and creative partnerships which will offer additional ways to bring international dimensions into the university experience of SPSU students.