Portland-State-University 2014-2015 Bulletin

Office of International Affairs

Ron L. Witczak, Executive Director

101 East Hall



The Office of International Affairs (OIA) provides support for international students, scholars and faculty, as well as PSU students and faculty who are planning to study, intern and teach abroad. OIA also houses Centers and Institutes, promoting cultural understanding and engagement focusing on specific geographic regions. In addition OIA hosts Special Programs for international students visiting the US.

Confucius Institute at PSU

Director: Meiru Liu

306 East Hall, 503-725-2285/9810


The Confucius Institute at PSU (CIPSU) is a joint educational project of Portland State University and the Office of Chinese Language Council International (Hanban) of the People’s Republic of China (PRC). CIPSU seeks to promote deeper understanding of Chinese language and culture in the greater Portland area and fosters mutually beneficial educational exchanges between the United States and China. CIPSU’s offerings include non-degree courses in elementary schools and institutions of higher education, teacher training and testing for Chinese language, academic programs related to Chinese culture and contemporary China and scholarships for Chinese and Oregon students.

CIPSU hosts visiting faculty from the PRC and has a board of directors drawn from the greater Portland area. The board consists of professors from Portland State University and other educational institutions, as well as Portland-area businesses and individuals with a strong interest in China. CIPSU is an independently funded entity that reports to PSU’s Office of International Affairs.

Institute for Asian Studies

Director: Sharon Carstens

307 East Hall, 503-725-8576


The mission of the Institute is to contribute to the internationalization objectives of PSU by: promoting research, training, teaching, curricular development, and public awareness on all parts of Asia; collaborating with other units of the University, and with other educational organizations in Oregon, to promote better understanding of Asia, past and present; sponsoring conferences, speakers training programs, and other Asia-focused activities; and working with PSU administration and faculty to develop strategies for increasing the coherence and effectiveness of the University’s Asia programs and its profile in Asia.

Middle East Studies Center

Director: Birol Yesilada

318 East Hall, 503-725-4074


The Middle East Studies Center at Portland State University promotes understanding of the people, cultures, languages and religions of the Middle East. As a National Resource Center for Middle East Studies under the U.S. Department of Education’s Title VI program, the Center serves as a resource on issues pertaining to the Middle East through activities that reach students and scholars, as well as businesses, educators, and the media. The Middle East Studies Center supports academic conferences, workshops, cultural events, lectures, and a resource library.

The Middle East Studies Center started in 1959 as the first federally supported undergraduate program for Arabic language and Middle East area studies in the nation. Portland State’s Middle East studies curriculum includes foreign language courses in Arabic, Hebrew, Turkish and Persian as well as area studies courses in a number of disciplines. The Middle East studies program boasts a distinguished faculty and vast library resources.

MESC works with PSU’s Contemporary Turkish Studies Program and the Harold Schnitzer Family Program in Judaic Studies. Nationally, MESC belongs to Middle East-related organizations that expand opportunities for faculty and students.

Academic options in Middle East Studies:

  • Bachelor of Arts degree in international studies with a concentration in the Middle East.
  • Bachelor of Arts degree in Arabic language & literature.
  • Certificates in Middle East Studies and Contemporary Turkish Studies complement a Bachelor of Science or Arts degree in any other PSU degree program.
  • Minors in Arabic language, Persian language, Turkish language and Judaic Studies.
  • Study of Arabic, Hebrew, Kurdish, Persian, and Turkish languages.
  • Study abroad in Egypt, Israel, Jordan, Morocco, Turkey, and the United Arab Emirates.

Branford Price Millar Library’s largest specialized collection is the substantial Middle East vernacular holdings, a nationally recognized resource owing its existence to the federal Foreign Language and Area Studies Acquisition Program, augmented through private donations over the years. The collection includes a number of rare books and is available to the public through local and internet online access.

Several scholarships are available to students in support of Middle East language and area studies, including: Foreign Language & Area Studies (FLAS) fellowships, the Aspen Mitzvah Fund Scholarship, the Joseph & Takla Azar Scholarship for Arabic Studies, the Frank & Margaret Bitar Scholarship, the Elizabeth Ducey Scholarship, the Noury & Lamia al-Khaledy Scholarship for Arabic Studies, the Patricia & Gary Leiser Scholarship in Middle East Languages, and the Hanna & Wardah Sbait Scholarship for Sung Poetry and Folk Songs.

Community Outreach

The Middle East Studies Center promotes a critical understanding of the Middle East through engagement with K-12 schools and educators, local and regional community groups, non-governmental organizations, government agencies, media, businesses, and the general public. Drawing on the knowledge, expertise, and experience of the University community, MESC programming reflects the diversity of the region and provides insight into the histories, cultures, languages, religions, politics, and contemporary issues of the Middle East.

IE3: Global Internships

Advisor: Alyse Collins

205 East Hall, 503-725-8256


The IE3 Global Internship program, administered by the Oregon University System, enables PSU students to acquire international experience for credit as part of their degree.

An IE3 Global Internship is a supervised, practical, international work experience. Ranging from 10 weeks to nine months of full-time work, the internship integrates academic credit on the home campus with on-the-job experience, allowing students to gain valuable skills while working toward their degree.

The benefits gained from an international internship are numerous: personal growth, a better understanding of world affairs, competitive advantage in the job market, proficiency in a foreign language, understanding of a foreign culture, knowledge of professional practices in another country, maturity and confidence, and professional contacts for future career development.

IE3 offers internships throughout the world in private-sector companies, government agencies, and non-profit organizations. The latest information on available internships can be found on the IE3 Web site: http://ie3global.ous.edu.

International Student and Scholar Services

Director: Christina Luther

Associate Director: Jill Townley

101 East Hall, 503-725-4094

International Student and Scholar Services staff work with admitted international students, visiting scholars, and international faculty. The office is a central source of information on the services and programs available to these groups. The office works closely with sponsoring agencies, diplomatic missions, and other government agencies to resolve academic, financial, immigration and adjustment issues.

Services and programs offered to international students, scholars and faculty include:

  • An intensive orientation program for all incoming international students and faculty.
  • Provision of immigration assistance for students, visiting scholars, exchange students and scholars.
  • Three scholarship programs specifically for international students.
  • Sponsorship of a wide variety of educational and social events for international students and scholars with University and community groups, including a mentoring program which matches new international students with returning students.
  • Weekly or quarterly workshops on issues affecting internationals, such as insurance, work permission, taxes, etc.
  • A weekly International Coffee Hour open to all PSU students, staff, and faculty.
  • Advising for faculty and staff regarding the invitation and employment of international faculty.
  • Preparation of Labor Certification applications on behalf of international faculty.
  • Advising of international faculty (and their dependents) on regulations and procedures for maintaining legal status, travel, employment authorization, and other issues.
  • Administration of the summer International Visiting Professor (IVP) program.
For more information about staff and services, please visit our websites:

www.pdx.edu/international-students and www.pdx.edu/international-scholars.

For information about international student admissions, contact the Office of Admissions at 503-725-3511 or intladm@pdx.edu.

For information about English as a Second Language (ESL), contact the Intensive English Language Program in the Department of Applied Linguistics, University Center Building Suite 400, 503-725-4088 or esl@pdx.edu.

International Special Programs

Director: Jeff Baffaro


International Special Programs (ISP) provides training and education programs for professional and student groups, custom-designed for specific international organizations/agencies/institutions, which draw on resources and expertise of PSU faculty and the Portland community to provide specialized instruction.

ISP provides administrative, logistical, and curricular support services to provide for a custom-designed group package experience which includes instruction, extra-/co-curricular activities, transportation, housing and meals. ISP hosts 30-35 groups a year. For more information visit our website at www.pdx.edu/intl-special-programs.

PSU-Waseda Transnational Programs (WTP)

Director: Sally S. Mudiamu

220 East Hall, 503-725-5728


PSU-WASEDA Transnational Programs (WTP) runs academic bridge programs for international students at PSU. WTP offers tracks in Business Administration, International Studies, and Health & Sustainability. The one-year curriculum allows highly motivated international students with 460-526 TOEFL scores to immediately enroll in regular courses with local students. Students enrolled in the Waseda Transnational Programs will not be restricted to enroll in regular ESL courses. The program is accelerated and therefore available to motivated and select students who meet certain criteria.

The WTP Office is results-centered for its students' success and provides an extremely high level of support to its students including: 24/7 on-call student services assistant, extracurricular volunteer placements, housing placement, academic advising, TOEFL preparation and cultural/daily living adjustment. The courses are taught by regular PSU faculty and language support specialists to ensure that students are successful and able to participate with native English speakers in the classroom.

Education Abroad

Director: Jen Hamlow

206 East Hall, 503-725-5309


PSU supports a long-standing tradition that study of other cultures and places is an essential component of modern education. As a result of our commitment to internationalization the Office of International Affairs sponsors a wide variety of education abroad programs for PSU students year-round. The University administers some of these programs directly, while others are conducted in cooperation with the Oregon University System (OUS) and educational associations such as the Council on International Educational Exchange (CIEE), School for International Training (SIT), and IFSA-Butler.

The office also seeks to facilitate teaching and other opportunities abroad for faculty and to develop bilateral exchanges with universities abroad which will provide exchange opportunities for both faculty and students.

Advisers in the Office of International Affairs provide guidance and assistance for students who seek to enrich their university education through education abroad. PSU offers over 200 programs in more than 80 countries. Because these programs offer residence credit and home campus registration, participating students who are eligible for financial aid at PSU may apply it, in most cases, to these study programs.

PSU has been working with faculty to develop a variety of short-term overseas experiences for students. The length of these programs ranges from two weeks to five weeks, and they are offered throughout the academic year. PSU faculty members have taken students to the Caribbean, Ghana, Kenya, Nicaragua, Mexico, Italy, Guatemala, Suriname, India, and Costa Rica. As these programs vary from year to year, please contact the Office of International Affairs for more information.

Education Abroad opportunities are subject to change throughout the year. For the most current listing of programs available, please visit our website at www.pdx.edu/ed-abroad, or come to our office in East Hall, room 101.

Fulbright Program

Director: Debra Z. Clemans

101 East Hall


Portland State participates in the International Educational Exchange Program authorized by the Fulbright-Hays Act. Awards available include those offered by the U.S. government, foreign governments, universities, and private donors. Grants are available to qualified graduating seniors, alumni, and graduate students for English teaching or advanced research, to qualified faculty for lecturing and research, and to teachers for teacher exchange programs.

Grants for Graduate Study Abroad and Alumni

Fulbright opportunities are announced annually about May 1, and applications should be prepared as soon as possible. The deadline for submission of application materials to the Fulbright adviser is September 8, 2014 for the 2015-2016 academic year. The Fulbright program director disseminates information about grant opportunities and assists in processing grant applications.

UK Summer Institutes for Undergraduates

Fulbright Summer Programs to the UK are available to undergraduate students with at least two years of study left to complete. Contact Debra Clemans to learn more. Deadlines are in winter term. 

University Lecturing/Advanced Research

The Office of International Affairs provides information to faculty on grants for university lecturing or advanced research. Application deadline for most programs is August 1.

Opportunities Abroad for Teachers

Institute for International Education sponsors teaching positions abroad and summer seminars for teachers and professors through its Opportunities Abroad for Teachers program. Interested persons should apply by October 15 directly to the following website: www.fulbrightteacherexchange.org. Interviews for Oregon-area applicants are arranged by the Fulbright director at PSU and are held in early December.

Boren Programs

David L. Boren Scholarships (NSEP)

Director: Debra Clemans

101 East Hall


Scholarships to undergraduate and graduate students are available through this federally funded program for the purpose of helping more Americans learn the languages and cultures of countries and regions deemed critical to U.S. national security. It aims to build a base of future leaders and professionals who can help the United States make sound decisions, deal effectively with global issues, and to enhance and increase the faculty who can educate U.S. citizens toward achievement of these goals. This scholarship includes a service requirement once a student has completed his or her degree. Applications are due early in winter term each year. Interviews are held on the PSU campus prior to Boren deadlines. Those interested should contact the Boren director listed above for more information on requirements and application details.