Luzia Geier


Q&A with Luzia Geier: Celebrating International Education and Exchange

November 21, 2017

From November 11 to 17, NYIT took part in International Education Week, a joint initiative of the U.S. Department of State and the U.S. Department of Education. Students and faculty and staff members attended a number of events held on the New York City and Long Island campuses to celebrate international education and exchange.

Luzia Geier, program coordinator in International and Experiential Education, recently sat down with The Box to talk about the week’s events and how NYIT is leading the way in preparing students to enter a global environment.

Why is international exchange and education important?
How can it not be important? We live in a globalized society: people, goods, and services cross our borders every second of the day, 365 days a year. In practice, this means that the multiple communities we are a part of—our families, schools, colleges, and workplaces—become increasingly more international over time. In order for these communities to thrive, it is a necessity to foster intercultural understanding and provide opportunities for exchange, be it at home or abroad. Educational institutions should, by definition, be at the forefront of this effort.

What were some of the events held during the week?
International and Experiential Education hosted a total of 13 events on both the New York City and Long Island campuses in collaboration with several on- and off-campus partners. Programming was themed around the three broader topics: social engagement, career development, and intercultural understanding.

For instance, students engaged in a conversation about different cultural perspectives on LGBTQ issues, had the chance to ask a Singaporean consul about his career in diplomacy, and raised awareness for the situation of undocumented immigrants here in the United States. In addition, the Office of Global Engagement partnered with international artisans to sell crafts at “global markets” on both campuses throughout the week.

Were students involved in helping to organize the week’s events?
Yes! The International Student Ambassadors were crucial in helping to coordinate the entire week. They were responsible for getting the word out, monitoring attendance, and “stamping” the International Education Week passports we handed out at each event. Attendees could trade their stamped passports for NYIT swag at the Night of Culture, which concluded the week and was organized in a great team effort by different student groups and clubs.

Student <strong>Irveen Chatwal</strong> models one of the creations during the fashion show at the Night of Culture event.

Student Irveen Chatwal models one of the creations during the fashion show at the Night of Culture event.

At this event, we also awarded the three winners of our office’s annual No Ordinary Journey essay contest. Every year, we encourage international students to tell us about their personal experiences adjusting to a culture different than their own. This time, the winners came from Morocco, the Netherlands, and India.

How did the week go? Would you say it was a success?
It certainly was. We did have a good turnout at all events, and feedback was positive throughout.

How does NYIT prepare students to enter a global environment and promote international experiences?
There are a bunch of different opportunities for both international and domestic students to learn about other cultures, shape their international profile, and prepare for a career in a global economy. The Global Exchange program allows students to study in Abu Dhabi, China, and Canada. Our academic programs are the same everywhere, and that way, students can keep progressing along their degree track and earn credits as they would at their home campus, while having the option to take a variety of electives based on their specific location.

We also offer semester-long exchanges with European universities in Denmark and the Netherlands. What is more, students can go on volunteer service trips. The Alternative Break program takes place each year in January and March, and encourages NYIT students and faculty and staff members to lend a helping hand to impoverished communities abroad.

Last but not least, our student body itself is really international: Approximately 20 percent come from other countries including India, China, and the United Arab Emirates. This gives all of our students the chance to learn and thrive in an international academic environment, every day of their college experience at NYIT.

To learn more about resources for international students and International and Experiential Education visit

Learn more about International Education Week.

Handmade crafts and other items were available for purchase at a Thrift Shop held on both the New York City and Long Island campuses. All proceeds support student scholarships for NYIT’s Alternative Break program.

At the event Diplomatic Forum: Singapore, held on November 13, H.E. Eugene Ng, consul of the Republic of the Singapore in New York, spoke with Brett R. Shanley, a Ph.D. candidate at Teachers College at Columbia University, about his career in diplomacy.

Cross-cultural communications specialist Anastasiia Stoiatska (B.S. '11) led a Networking Skills Workshop and spoke about the importance of making connections in the American job market.

NYIT student Jenni Fonkwa visits the Thrift Shop.