Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Campus Spotlight: Northern Arizona University

By Brendan Twist
World Education Services

In Flagstaff, Arizona, not quite halfway between the city of Phoenix and the Grand Canyon, sits the main campus of Northern Arizona University, an institution with a 100-plus year history and a student body of over 20,000. Over 1,100 international students attended NAU last year, making it the third most popular school in the state among international students.

That’s not an enormous number of international students, but Northern Arizona University is going to great lengths to recruit students from abroad and give them an amazing education experience: academically, culturally and socially.

NAU boasts an entire Center for International Education, which provides a wide variety of complementary services to international students, from visa assistance, to OPT workshops. During International Week, it hosts a festival and an “Idol”-style karaoke competition. To learn more about the Center for International Education, check out its newsletter, NAU Global.

Northern Arizona University offers hundreds of different bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees. The school’s most popular majors include business, management, marketing and education. The humanities, social sciences and health professions are also big. In addition, the Center for International Education offers special programs for international business and STEM students. Students in the Global Science and Engineering Program even have the option to live together in a learning community called the International House, or iHouse.

NAU also offers undergraduate students at the Flagstaff campus a Pledge Program that guarantees they will not see a tuition hike over four years. Considering that the price of bread and milk in the U.S. probably went up since I started typing this article, that’s pretty cool!

Outside the classroom, NAU coordinates tons of free cultural activities to keep students entertained and engaged. Attend film screenings, dance performances, and jazz concerts. Stroll through an art gallery. A group called Conversation Partners gathers native speakers of Chinese, Arabic, English and many other languages to improve speaking skills and promote cross-cultural exchange. It’s one of many services offered by the school’s Program in Intensive English, a full-time program that works to improve English proficiency and academic readiness; for international students, the program can serve as a bridge to more traditional coursework.

NAU has a four-season climate; that basically means you can go skiing in the winter and catch a suntan in the summer. The Flagstaff campus is surrounded by an enormous pine forest, hence the school’s sports nickname: the Lumberjacks. In terms of athletics, NAU isn’t the most accomplished school, but it does play in Division I (the highest level of competition), and its men’s basketball team has made multiple appearances in the NCAA tournament, aka March Madness. NAU’s football team enjoys a healthy rivalry with the Southern Utah University Thunderbirds, and the Lumberjacks hold a 12-6 lifetime advantage
in the series.

To learn more about Northern Arizona or to apply, visit the school’s official website or reach out to the staff at the Center for International Education. Go Lumberjacks!

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