International Speed Networking Event Encourages Students to Study Abroad

September 27, 2012 — Students mill through the Campus Center Atrium, most relaxing after a long day of classes. Outside the Barnes and Nobles bookstore, a group of students sit in anticipation as campus staff set up the speakers and projector for the International Speed Networking Event. Hovering by the refreshments table —pizza, tortellini salad, and carrot cake for dessert— Brittany Kimbrough, mounts the stage to welcome the participants. Inspired by her own study abroad experience in Poland, IUPUI Go Abroad president Brittany Kimbrough set out to create an event where returned study abroad students could meet or “network” with students interested in international travel. “If students can just get the information they need, I will be glad,” stated Kimbrough. The International Speed Networking Event, cosponsored by the IUPUI Diversity Hotspot, was formatted similar to a speed-date event and included two long tables with chairs lining both sides. The returned study abroad students sat in the inside chairs, while the other students sat in the outside chairs, rotating in time intervals. Some of the countries represented at the event included China, Jordan, South Africa, and France. Along with a guided set of questions, the returned students were also given “networking” cards that included their contact information to distribute to participating students. Returned students answered questions like, “What was the political structure like in the country you visited?” and “What is the most important thing your study abroad trip taught you?”  -Sylvia Burlock 2012

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