The Power of an International Education

Grand Opening of CIEE Global Institute
CIEE Global Institute
Gneisenaustrasse #27
Berlin, Germany
November 4, 2015


Thank you very much, Jim (Pellow).

Ambassador Emerson, Frau Kiziltepe, and other distinguished guests: My colleagues from Indiana University and I are truly honored and delighted to be here to help celebrate the grand opening of this splendid new Global Institute.

The Power of International Education: Widening Horizons Through Partnership

Indiana University is proud to have partnered with CIEE for more than 40 years. Together, we have developed world-class educational programs in science, music, languages, and culture. More than 2,500 IU students and dozens of IU faculty and staff have benefitted enormously from their participation in CIEE programs around the globe.

CIEE embodies the commitment to the principle that higher education must embrace diversity in the broadest sense. For through interaction with others who hold views and perspectives that differ from our own—whose life experiences and customs are vastly different from ours—our minds are opened to new ways of understanding. We comprehend, we empathize, we learn.

I have had the privilege of observing this spirit firsthand during visits to CIEE programs in Cape Town, South Africa and Shanghai, China. The provost of IU’s flagship Bloomington, Indiana campus has commented on this same spirit during visits to CIEE programs in Chile and Brazil, and IU faculty members who have served on CIEE program evaluation teams have all observed and hoped that they have helped to strengthen this spirit around the world. The service of Kathleen Sideli, IU’s associate vice president for Overseas Study, as a member of CIEE’s Board of Directors and her former service as chair of the organization’s Academic Consortium Board further reflects Indiana University’s longstanding support for CIEE’s important missions.

Indiana University has a long legacy of working to support these same values. Just after the Second World War, Indiana University’s eleventh president, Herman B Wells, played a major role in the establishment of the Free University of Berlin—Freie Universität—now one of Germany’s and the world’s great universities and an institution that was a beacon of free and independent teaching and learning in darker times. President Wells also led IU’s efforts to become a truly international university by attracting world-class international faculty, developing international alliances with other governments and institutions, establishing area studies programs, and expanding IU’s foreign languages curricula.

In recent years, Indiana University has redoubled its commitment to these values by bringing our extensive programs in many of these areas together to create a new School of Global and International Studies, recently opened by U.S. Secretary of State, John Kerry.

This superb new Global Institute represents the commitment that all of us share to delivering quality educational programs that meet the needs of the 21st century.

It represents our shared long-term commitment to international exchange, to the promotion of international understanding, and to opening wider the gates of opportunity to students from all backgrounds.

It is also a wonderful symbol of CIEE’s long-term commitment to the country and people of Germany, where CIEE educational exchanges began.

We are proud, as well, that Indiana University’s new Europe Gateway Office, which will serve as the university’s bridge to Germany and all of Europe, is housed within the Global Institute. Through this new Gateway Office, we look forward to strengthening our commitment to the values I have mentioned today, and to reinvigorating our commitment to international exchange and global education that foster increased understanding and diplomacy.

We look forward, as well, to strengthening our ties with CIEE, with our partners in Germany, and with the European higher education community, a community that draws much of its strength and ability to impact lives through the very spirit of partnership that CIEE embodies.

On behalf of Indiana University, I extend our most sincere congratulations to CIEE on the opening of this marvelous new facility and best wishes for continued success.