Chico State reaches out to the world

I connect with people on a more personal level, and I look at the world on a more international level.

“I stayed with a Spaniard who lived through the harsh Franco dictatorship,” says Zach Doan, who studied in Madrid, Spain, in fall 2008. “I hung out with my Spanish friends, experiencing their culture firsthand. I got to see their responses to the election of President Obama, their feelings about our government and the war in Iraq. These experiences have changed me; I connect with people on a more personal level, and I look at the world on a more international level.”

Back in Chico, Zach added an international business minor to his business administration course load. Studying abroad made him realize how important it is to understand business practices around the world. “Business no longer stops at our borders—everything is global,” he says.

Zach’s time in Spain also inspired him to become a CSU, Chico study abroad intern coordinator.

Chico State sends more than 300 students each year to more than 30 countries around the world. About 450 international students come here each year, many through the American Language and Culture Institute on campus. The campus was ranked third for the quality of its study abroad program by the Institute of International Education in 2009.

“I had international students in nearly all my business classes,” says Zach, adding that working in teams in those classes gave him an edge when it came to adapting to a foreign academic experience.

Zach joined an international fraternity. Other students learn German, Arabic, Chinese, Hebrew—or another of the 11 languages taught on campus. Or they enroll in the International Forum or check the Global Connections calendar for international activities on campus.

“Wherever you are coming from, get involved on campus,” says Zach, who was part of Community Action Volunteers in Education (CAVE), the Associated Students Activity Fee Council, and Up ‘Til Dawn fund raiser. “There are something like 200 clubs, student governments, and fraternities and sororities. Many of them support international awareness.”

Student and study abroad intern coordinator Zach Doan (center) talking with international students in Kendall Hall.
Student and study abroad intern coordinator Zach Doan (center) talking with international students in Kendall Hall.