Center to offer international student resources in centralized location
The new International Center, located on California Avenue and Beckett Hall Drive, opened its doors to students this August. The center provides services to international students and scholars, as well as students who are interested in studying abroad.
Previously, the various international resources were not in a centralized location, with the study abroad office located off-campus and the extension center positioned by the student farm. Three Global Affairs departments comprise the new center: the Services for International Students and Scholars (SISS), Study Abroad and the UC Davis Extension Center. A space is also currently being built for the Office of the Vice Provost within the center.
“All our international centers were dispersed, so at some point someone said that we need to address this and get all these services in one building,” Vanda Rovis, project manager, said. “If somebody is coming and needs to find support, it’s all here. The campus wanted to provide a one stop shop for international students.”
The projected budget for the center was $29,901,000. The 61,700 square foot building offers students academic amenities including modern classrooms, computer labs, a large multipurpose room and a common gathering space.
“The building commons space was originally not funded [and] it was not part of the building,” Rovis said. “Campus provided funding for a space to congregate, something like the Student Community Center. They thought this would be a great place to be a beacon for mingling between the international students and the campus at large.”
Additionally, the International Center features an outdoor BBQ area and a kitchen for catering events. A coffee cart is also in the plans to be added by the end of the year.
The initiative to build a centralized building for all on campus international ordeals began in 2012. UC Davis made the project a design build, with different companies submitting their designs for the building. Ultimately, Flint Builders were given the project. Once the plans were finalized in 2014, the process took under a year and a half to complete, with sections of the building opening at various intervals starting in mid-August.
The UC Davis Extension portion of the center offers classes to international students staying with host families while abroad. Part of this program requires the students spend time learning English, and to accommodate this need, the International Learning Center (ILC) will offer a state of the art facility stocked with books, magazines and online resources. According to ILC director Abram Jones, the center provides a space that reflects the most modern language centers across the country.
“The fact that we’ve set it up with this modern layout that is sensitive to the community of language centers that are in operation across the country, I think students will really appreciate it,” Jones said.
Students are excited to use the International Center and take advantage of the resources it offers.
“I think it’s really great that UC Davis has taken the initiative to make the international students feel welcomed here,” said Kevin Tang, a second-year chemical engineering major.
Written by: Lindsay Floyd – firstname.lastname@example.org