High hopes for 2016 international graduates

On Friday, May 6, 2016, the Office of International Student Life and the Emory Alumni Association presented the 2nd Annual International Graduation Recognition Ceremony. The ceremony featured an international alumni speaker, recognition of each participating undergraduate and graduate student, and a reception. As part of the opening ceremony, Shinsaeng Ko, director of International Student and Scholar Services, offered the following advice to students.

“Some of you may be nervous, and some of you just cannot wait to start a new chapter in your life. As you embark on a new journey, please ponder the meaning of understanding, especially global understanding.

“Having received a world-class education at Emory, my hope is that you have developed a much-needed global perspective…. Some say that having an opportunity to live in and directly interact with other people and their culture is the best way to enhance one’s understanding and build bridges. After having lived in the U.S. – a country other than your own – you now have first-hand knowledge and experience of its people and cultures.

“I, myself, sometimes struggle to see and appreciate different perspectives and values. It seems to me that this may be a lifelong challenge that I must continually overcome as a global citizen.

“While being proud of and embracing your roots, open your eyes to see and understand people that are different from you. After you catch up on sleep and spend time with your family and friends, I encourage you to venture out again to see different parts of the world. International travel can be expensive, but the global understanding you will gain from it is priceless and lifelong.

“With open-mindedness and global understanding, step by step, one relationship at a time, we will collectively forge stronger, yet more peaceful partnerships across the globe.”

Congratulations, Class of 2016!