August 22, 2019

VSU Recognized as 25-Year Member of International Student Exchange Program

Dr. Ivan Nikolov (left) and Irina McClellan, director and assistant director, respectively, of VSU’s Center for International Programs

VALDOSTA — Valdosta State University was recently recognized for its longtime membership with the International Student Exchange Program (ISEP), a network of 300 universities that offers students affordable semester and year-long study abroad exchanges in more than 50 countries and in any major.

VSU, which typically sends and receives around two dozen exchange students through the ISEP each year, has been a member of the network since 1994. The university received a commemorative plaque marking its 25-year membership.

“VSU has always been a leader in international education in the state of Georgia and strives to provide the best study abroad possibilities for students,” said Irina McClellan, assistant director of VSU’s Center for International Programs. “VSU was one of the first institutions to join the ISEP and has served as the lead University System of Georgia institution in helping not only VSU students but also other USG students to participate in ISEP exchanges.” 

Irina added that the ISEP provides the most economical way for VSU students to participate in an exchange program by allowing students to pay VSU tuition, room, and board wherever they go. 

“So the only difference between being at VSU and abroad becomes the cost of the airfare,” she said. “This virtually allows VSU students to live on a Valdosta budget almost anywhere in the world.”

Taylor Collins, an English major from Woodruff, South Carolina, who expects to graduate in Spring 2020, studied abroad at Leibniz Universität in Hannover, Germany, for the 2018-2019 academic year through the ISEP.

“Being totally immersed in a new culture and a new language for a year was a hard adjustment but was one of the most rewarding and growth-inspiring adventures of my life,” she said. “The people that I met and the experiences I've been blessed enough to have have inspired me in ways I never imagined and helped shape and expand my world view to become a new, and I think better, person. It has inspired me to push even harder for what my dreams are and put even more heart and effort into helping others, and it has also sparked a sense of wanderlust that isn't going to go away easily.”

An ISEP representative will be available at VSU’s The Happening on Aug. 29 to speak to students about study abroad opportunities.

Contact Irina McClellan at (229) 333-7410 or to learn more. 

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