Dear friends, partners, & colleagues -
On behalf of GET, I am pleased to welcome students and colleagues to the fall term, while also reflecting on this past summer.
At the onset of COVID-19 lockdowns in the U.S., we joined other educators in pivoting rapidly to online delivery. For GET, the shift was particularly challenging because our programs traditionally focus on providing immersive experiences for participants who travel from abroad to Illinois. By April, it was clear that we would need to adapt our approach significantly. The GET team went to work redefining how we connect global learners with Illinois experts.
The results: from June through August, we hosted nearly 600 international students in various online programs, covering topics such as: telecommunications, optics, energy materials, mathematics, and more. It was clear that the University of Illinois remains an attractive destination for international students, even in a virtual learning environment.
Our formula for success included key elements:
- shift all lectures, discussions, and co-curricular activities online
- work with international institutions with whom we have established partnerships
- provide high-quality academic content in areas of strength at Illinois
- collaborate with talented faculty and teaching assistants
- optimize our use of online instructional technologies and pedagogical best practices
- showcase future opportunities for program participants to learn at Illinois
- engage alumni as guest speakers to help demonstrate the impacts of an education at Illinois
You can read about some of our exciting summer initiatives, and more, in this edition of the GET Newsletter.
We look forward to the time when we can again welcome groups of international students and professionals to our campus and community. Until then, we will keep teaching, learning, and innovating using online formats — safely and effectively. As always, we invite ideas and partnership for future collaboration with GET’s many friends and the Illinois community.
Dr. Matt Rosenstein, GET Director