January 18, 2008

New SDSU partnership offers international experience for students

By Pablo Jaime Sáinz

Last summer, Enrique Velasco, an international business senior at San Diego State University, was an intern at Sempra Energy Mexico in Tijuana.

He also received a scholarship from the company in conjunction with SDSU to continue with his business studies abroad.

During his internship at Sempra Energy in Tijuana, he was the position of procurement assistant for two months.

“This endowed me the opportunity to apply my classroom knowledge in an office for a top-notch company,” said Velasco, who will graduate in May with a triple degree business program that includes degrees from universities in Mexico and Canada in addition to his SDSU degree.

“This was a great opportunity to improve my education through an international experience,” Velasco said.

A new partnership between SDSU and the U.S.-Mexico Chamber of Commerce will make more opportunities like Velasco’s available to more SDSU students.

The new partnership will establish a basis for cooperation between SDSU’s College of Arts & Letters, SDSU’s Institute for Regional Studies of the Californias and the U.S.-Mexico Chamber of Commerce.  A memorandum of understanding was signed on December 6, 2007 in Mexico City during the Chamber’s annual bi-national meeting.

 The agreement is part of a broader effort to improve international educational experiences for SDSU students in today’s global economy. 

“This partnership provides more access for students on both sides of the border,” SDSU student Velasco said.

SDSU is currently ranked second in the nation among high research universities for students studying abroad.

“This effort will further enhance the College of Arts & Letters’ programs in Mexico and our relationships with U.S. and Mexican corporations working on both sides of the border,” said Paul Wong, dean of the College of Arts & Letters.

Currently the university offers multiple international degrees with universities in Mexico, Canada, Chile, and Brazil. It also offers courses in Tijuana through the Center for Latin American Studies.

As part of the agreement, SDSU and the Chamber will develop programs to provide more access for students on both sides of the border.  SDSU will send more students to study and participate in internships with businesses in Mexico across several industries including international trade, tourism, investment and real estate development. 

“We look forward to our strategic alliance with SDSU,” said Albert C. Zapanta, president and CEO of the U.S.-Mexico Chamber of Commerce, which has more than 2,000 members.

The partnership will also seek to develop a bi-national management program for major industry corporations seeking qualified bilingual college grad-uates to become future managers in their US , Mexico and Latin American operations, Zapanta said.

“It is important for students to have international educational experiences in order to be better prepared for employment in the global economy,” said Paul Ganster, director of SDSU’s Institute for Regional Studies of the Californias, which will help coordinate SDSU’s College of Arts and Letters work with the Chamber of Commerce.

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